SALT LAKE CITY – Denver Nuggets rejected the possibility of one-game suspensions for three keys, including star center Nikola Jokic, due to leaving the bench during a physical confrontation between Utah Jazz power ahead of Derrick Favors and Nuggets backup center Mason Plumlee.
Favors and Plumlee were both expelled after the exchange of shoves resulted in a scrum under the basket with 2:46 left in the first quarter of the jazz's 114-108 victories Wednesday.
The NBA could decide that Jokic, Gary Harris and Jamal Murray violate the rule prohibiting players who do not participate in the game from leaving the bench's immediate proximity during an assault. Violators of the rule are automatically subjected to one-game suspension and $ 50,000 in fines.
"I think our assistant coach made sure nobody was on the court," said Denver coach Mike Malone. "I have no doubt that our guys stayed where they were going to stay."
Jokic walked off the Nuggets bench and took Several steps down the baseline against the scrum, he did not step on the court or confronted anyone before being withdrawn by a Nugget's assistant, he seemed confused by a question of potential discipline from the league office.
"I was not on the court," Jokic said. who had 28 points, 21
Harris and Murray also took down the baseline but did not go as far as Jokic.
" I did nothing, "Harris said." I took a couple of steps, I mean it's natural. The fans took a few steps. You see [something] that way, you obviously want to go up for your teammates. Of course it became quite physically out there, so it was just a natural reaction to [want to] stepping in there and trying to do something. But the guys at the court did a great job breaking it up. "Fracase occurred when Favors and Plumlee got tangled under the basket. Favors hooked Plumlee's arm, and they changed hard buckets after getting into each other's faces. Several other players helped separate the two before a few battles.
Denver Will Barton and Utah's Royce O & # 39; Neale were also issued technical disturbances after the incident. "" It is unfortunate that the incident escalated how it did "Malone said." Before that happened, from my vantage point, I could see very clearly Derrick Favors pulling Mason's arm. Then it just broke out. It would have been nice to be defused right when it happened, but it's part of the NBA. It happens. "
Nuggets next match is at home Friday against the Phoenix Suns.