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Nikola Jokic suspended one game for blindside hit to Markieff Morris

Pro Basketball Talk's Kurt Helin says reigning MVP Nikola Jokic deserved a one-game suspension for retaliating against Miami's Markieff Morris, as he and Corey Robinson discuss the fallout for Denver and the Heat.

The second it happened, it was clear a suspension was coming for Nikola Jokic.

The Denver center and reigning MVP has been suspended for one game without pay by the league for a cheap retaliation shot on Miami’s Markieff Morris during Monday night’s Nuggets win.

Morris got a $50,000 fine for his role.

With 2:39 left in the game, a frustrated Morris went for the take-foul (or Euro-foul, if you prefer) on Jokic and rather than just grab him to stop the fast break, Morris threw an elbow into the midsection of Jokic. That’s when Jokic responded with a forearm that sent Morris flying (Morris is listed as out for the Heat game against the Lakers Wednesday due to whiplash). Both men were given technicals and ejected for the incident.

Jimmy Butler was hot after the incident, was yelling at the Denver bench, and got a technical for his actions. Tuesday, the NBA fined him $30,000 for escalating the incident then refusing to cooperate with NBA security investigating the situation after the game.

On Tuesday, the altercation moved to social media when the Jokic’s brothers, Nemanja Jokic and Strahinja Jokic, opened a Twitter account to threaten Morris.

Jokic will serve his suspension Wednesday when the Nuggets host the Pacers. This could be bad news for Denver, which has been outscored by 19.1 points per 100 possessions this season when Jokic is on the bench. It’s also bad news for Jokic, the suspension will cost him $210,417 (according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks).