Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic was on his way to another huge triple-double before his night was cut short.
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Jokic was ejected with 6:09 remaining in their 113-107 win over the Washington Wizards after getting into it with the officials.
His frustration began just before when he attempted to take a charge on Spencer Dinwiddie, but he didn’t get the call despite plenty of contact. On the other end of the court, he got tangled up with Dinwiddie on a screen and again didn’t hear the whistle, letting the officials know all about it.
He was quickly assessed two technical fouls and tossed from the game, falling just shy of a monster triple-double and what would have been his sixth of the season, leaving the game with 28 points, 19 rebounds and nine assists.
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“Nikola can’t do that, he’s aware of that. Fourth quarter techs, an ejection,” Nuggets head coach Michael Malone said postgame. Malone himself was frustrated at the lack of calls, slamming his hands on the scorer’s table as Jokic was leaving the court.
“Just not a very smart play. We have to control our emotions better than that.”
Denver held a comfortable 81-48 lead with 6:48 to go in the third quarter, before Washington made a push behind Bradley Beal, going on a 13-4 run to get the deficit under 20 points.
After Jokic’s ejection, the Wizards got to within 105-95 with 3:25 left, before the Nuggets held on for the win.
“I couldn’t be more proud of our group,” Malone added.
Despite a road-heavy schedule and some key injuries, the Nuggets sit above .500 at 14-13, tied with the Dallas Mavericks for seventh in the Western Conference.