Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic was well on his way to another monster triple-double on Monday night against the Washington Wizards, but he had to settle for 28 points, 19 rebounds and nine assists after being ejected for yelling at the referees in the middle of the fourth quarter.
Jokic initially got upset with just over six minutes to play, when he attempted to take a charge on Spencer Dinwiddie but did not get the call despite a lot of contact. On the replay, it's clear he took a shot to the groin and was also grazed in the chin by Dinwiddie's elbow.
Down on the other end of the floor, he got tangled up with Dinwiddie on a screen, and once again there was no whistle. By that point, he was hot and let the officials know about it. He was quickly assessed two technical fouls for his outburst, and ejected from the game. After briefly continuing to voice his displeasure, he made his way to the locker room amid applause from the Nuggets fans.
Denver nearly fell apart without him but was able to hold on for a 113-107 win over Washington to improve to 14-13 on the season. Now back over .500, the Nuggets are in a tie with the Dallas Mavericks for seventh place in the crowded Western Conference.
Though the Nuggets still got the win, which is all Jokic will care about, it's a shame his night ended in that fashion. Not only did he miss out on another triple-double, but the ejection and everything that comes with that will take away from the fact that he was putting together another master class.
Just search "Nikola Jokic" on YouTube, and the first thing that pops up is a video of the incident, not his highlights. Even this post was centered around the ejection. But if you watched Jokic yelling at Tony Brothers, you should also make time to watch him carve up the Wizards. He is operating on a different level than almost everyone else in the league, and Monday night was yet another example.
There was one play in the second quarter where he tried to go to work against Daniel Gafford and actually got blocked, but then recovered the loose ball and whipped a fastball across the court to Monte Morris for a 3-pointer. And in the third quarter, he faked a handoff and found Morris again with a ridiculous no-look pass. And when the Nuggets needed him to score, he did just that, tossing in an array of jumpers, floaters and post moves.
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