The first half of Game 4 between the Suns and Nuggets saw the high level shot-making we expected from the stars of this series from the outset, with Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic both having it going for Denver, while Kevin Durant and Devin Booker stayed hot after a terrific Game 3 for Phoenix.
However, the late second quarter saw a stoppage of play for a review in one of the most bizarre scenes this season. After Josh Okogie crashed into the front row going for a loose ball, the ball ended up in the lap of new Suns owner Mat Ishbia. Nikola Jokic ran over to grab the ball and try to inbound it quickly while Denver had an advantage, so he tried to rip it out of Ishbia’s hands and then gave him a shove with his left elbow starting a mild kerfuffle.
lmao Jokic ripped the ball from the Suns owner pic.twitter.com/9vMkhyn0Um
— CJ Fogler account may or may not be notable (@cjzero) May 8, 2023
The referees went to the monitor to review, and Jokic was given a technical foul for the shove — it was probably good it was Ishbia and not a random fan or else it could’ve become a real altercation — while a fan who was near the scene was ejected for something he said or did.
Nikola Jokic appears to shove Suns owner Mat Ishbia pic.twitter.com/322WTMuMhV
— Oh no he didn't (@ohnohedidnt24) May 8, 2023
Ishbia, a former Michigan State basketball player, sells it with what might be the first owner flop in league history, but at the same time Jokic has to just chill out a little bit and not go trying to rip the ball out of a fans hands while they’re all just trying to get another player off the front row. We’ll see if the T ends up being significant, as the Suns finished the half up two thanks in part to the free point from Jokic’s altercation with Ishbia, but a player-owner scuffle was not on the bingo card for anyone coming into Sunday night.