Suns’ Kevin Durant Sounds Off on Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic After Game 5 Altercation

Kevin Durant, Phoenix Suns

Getty Kevin Durant #35 of the Phoenix Suns warms up before the NBA game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Amid a pivotal Game 5 between the Phoenix Suns and Denver Nuggets, two-time MVP Nikola Jokic appeared to try and get intel from the Suns’ huddle while Devin Booker was shooting a technical free throw. Upon noticing this, Suns star Kevin Durant took matters into his own hands, shoving the Nuggets star, which ignited a brief skirmish between the two Western Conference juggernauts. Durant was accessed a technical foul for his involvement, but when asked about the altercation postgame, the Suns’ star said the situation was much to do about nothing.

“Absolutely nothing,” Durant said of the altercation via HouseofHighlights. “It wasn’t anything serious. They were excited, they were up big, and we were trying to draw up some stuff, and you know how that goes. It was nothing.”

However, Suns head coach Monty Williams appeared to be less than enthused about the play, imploring the NBA to act against the players who engage in those offenses.

“The league has to figure out all that stuff, man,” Williams told reporters after the loss via “NBA Interviews”. “There’s just too much silliness going on in the NBA when it comes to that. Everybody does it. It should be like a written rule that you shouldn’t walk over to somebody’s huddle, but everybody in the league does that. It’s kind of silly.”

Haller: Suns ‘Desperately’ Need Chris Paul

Suns star Chris Paul has not been active since the team’s first-round matchup with the Los Angeles Clippers. Phoenix has been able to make do without him, but it is clear that he is missed on the roster, especially when you look at how the offense has been unable to settle itself during the Nuggets’ big runs. Doug Haller of The Athletic says the Suns now ‘desperately’ need Paul back in the lineup when they face elimination in Game 6.

“Paul worked out before Game 5 at Ball Arena. He shot mid-range and deep jump shots. He moved laterally and shot off the dribble. Coach Monty Williams did not offer an update on Paul’s status before Game 5, but it looked like the veteran point guard was getting close. He has not played since suffering a groin injury in the second half of Game 2,” Haller wrote.

“Groin injuries can be tricky, so the Suns may play this cautiously. When The Athletic originally reported a week ago that the Suns expected he would miss Games 3-5, Game 6 always appeared to be the most likely first option for him to return. If healthy, Paul could provide another playmaker and scoring option, which the Suns desperately need.”

Bruce Brown Praised for Game 5 Performance

The Nuggets got unexpected help from their combo forward, Bruce Brown, in Game 5. Brown came up big for the Nuggets when they needed him most, scoring 25 points on 7-11 shooting after not scoring more than 14 points in a single game for the playoffs. What is the best way to describe Brown’s Game 5 performance? “Outstanding,” according to Nuggets head coach Michael Malone.

“I thought Bruce was outstanding,” Malone said after the win via “NBA Interviews”. “Playing downhill, playing to the rim, playing in attack mode. That’s when Bruce is at his best. … Off the bench, where our bench only gave us 11 points in Game 4, I thought Bruce’s productivity and aggression, and toughness were much needed.”

Nuggets star Jamal Murray also had high praise for Brown’s performance.

“Bruce, when he’s downhill, making shots, putting pressure on the rim, making those floaters, he’s a hooper, man,” Murray said via HouseofHighlights. “I give him a lot of credit for just picking us up, staying consistent through the whole game, attacking.”