Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic gets ejected in victory over the Miami Heat, 113-96. The reigning NBA MVP was ejected for violently slamming his shoulder into Markieff Morris out of frustration, per ESPN. Jokic scored 25 points, had 15 rebounds, and had ten assists in the beat down over the Heat on Monday night.
The Heat reported that Morris did receive a neck injury during the incident. Jokic said he saw a replay of the altercation and recoiled when he saw how hard Morris’ head bounced off the floor.
“I felt bad, really bad,” Jokic said.
Nikola Jokic and Markieff Morris were both ejected from the game after the two exchanged hard fouls. pic.twitter.com/AtOklXIU5k
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 9, 2021
This naturally frustrated teammates on both sides after the incident occurred. The more known name that seemed frustrated the most was All-Star Jimmy Butler. He expressed his frustration to the Nuggets bench as well as Jokic shortly after the scuffle was broken up.
Jimmy Butler has something to say to Nikola Jokic. pic.twitter.com/5OqyoPsq9b
— Will Manso (@WillManso) November 9, 2021
Denver Nuggets’ Supporting Cast Secures Win
Will Barton scored 25 points and Jeff Green added his 13 points for the Denver Nuggets. The Nuggets held the opposition under 100 points for the seventh time this season, according to ESPN. Butler pitched in for the Heat with 31 points, and Duncan Robinson scored 13 points.
The Altercation between Jokic and Morris
The game was out of reach for the Heat; however, a late foul by Morris was a bit uncalled for. Morris elbow Jokic near the midsection which caused Jokic to lose his composure and retaliate. The retaliation resulted in Morris on the floor and rolling up in pain.
“I felt I just needed to protect myself but on the other hand I’m not supposed to react that way, get thrown out of the game,” Jokic said.
Miami Heat head coach Erick Spoelstra was highly concerned for Morris’s health and neck throughout the entire altercation.
“We wanted to make sure Kieff was and is OK. We’ll find out more,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said of the apparent neck injury. “He’s moving around right now in the locker room. But that was a very dangerous, dirty play.”
Ultimately, Morris received a flagrant foul, which led to his ejection. Officials also ejected Jovic while Butler was handed a technical foul. The veteran forward Jeff green made a valid point that many seem to share the same sentiment. He discussed how both parties were in the wrong. However, the altercation is bad for the game of basketball and should never take place.
“I think Markieff just went and tried to make a hard foul. I don’t think he had any intention of hurting Joker,” he said. “But sometimes when things like that happen, you don’t know the intention of the other person and you just react and that’s what Joker did.”
“a play that shouldn’t happen,” continued Green.