Nikola Jokic Suspended 1 Game for Leaving Bench During Nuggets-Jazz Altercation

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJanuary 25, 2019

DENVER, COLORADO - JANUARY 19: Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets plays the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Pepsi Center on January 19, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. 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. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

The Denver Nuggets will be without star center Nikola Jokic due to a one-game suspension.

Per an official statement from the NBA (h/t Mike Singer of the Denver Post), Jokic will sit out Friday's game against the Phoenix Suns for leaving the bench during an altercation in Wednesday's 114-108 loss to the Utah Jazz.

The incident occurred late in the first quarter when Derrick Favors and Mason Plumlee got in each other's faces under the basket near the Nuggets' bench. Favors responded by shoving Plumlee, leading to players from both teams pulling them apart and de-escalating the situation.

Jokic walked out near the basket before an assistant coach pulled him back to the bench.

Even though Jokic's absence does leave a significant void in Denver's lineup for one game, the team can get by without him against a Suns squad that has the worst record in the Western Conference (11-39).

Jokic is having an All-Star-caliber season with 19.8 points, 10.3 rebounds and 7.7 assists per game. The Nuggets lead the Northwest Division with a 31-15 record, two games behind the Golden State Warriors for the top seed in the West.

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