Nuggets' Mike Malone Suspended 1 Game for Making Contact with Ref vs. Lakers

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistNovember 20, 2017

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 19:  Michael Malone, head coach of the Denver Nuggets is held back by assistant coach Wes Unseld Jr. as he gets ejected from the game against the Los Angeles Lakers on November 19, 2017 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.Ê (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Robert Laberge/Getty Images

Denver Nuggets head coach Mike Malone was suspended one game without pay, to be served on Monday night against the Sacramento Kings, after "entering the court, halting play and making contact with a game official" against the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday, according to Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated.   

Malone and center Nikola Jokic were both ejected from the game against the Lakers, though the NBA has rescinded Jokic's ejection fine and announced he should not have been kicked out of the game, per Greg Beacham of the Associated Press.

The pair were unhappy with a non-call against Jokic under the basket in the second quarter of Denver's 127-109 loss, and moments later guard Jamal Murray was given a technical after arguing about a separate non-call, per the Associated Press.

While Malone ran onto the court and blocked a referee's path, Jokic appeared to only argue with the official without making contact.

Malone stood up for Jokic after the game.

"I'll be honest, I deserved to get tossed," he said, according to the AP. "But Jokic did nothing to warrant an ejection. That's something that we'll try to look into a little bit, if we can."

Jokic, nonetheless, was contrite after the incident.

"I want to apologize to the Nuggets," he told reporters, per the AP. "I feel bad. I left my teammates, my players, alone there. I just want to apologize to the Nuggets' front office and who works for [the organization]."

The 22-year-old is putting together another strong season, averaging 15.6 points, 11.3 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game for the 9-7 Nuggets.