Late in the third quarter of Tuesday’s pivotal Game 5 between the Phoenix Suns and Denver Nuggets, the Suns huddled as Devin Booker prepared to shoot a free throw following an away-from-the-play-foul assessed to Christian Braun. While Phoenix began huddling, Nuggets guard Bruce Brown and superstar center Nikola Jokic tried to sneak their way into the group, much to the dismay of Kevin Durant and Jock Landale.
Durant swiped away Brown, who curled around to the other side of the huddle. Then, Landale brushed aside Jokic, who entered the eyesight of Durant and received a forearm to the chest from the dominant scoring wing. At that point, Jokic embellished the contact, flailed his arms and stumbled backward. Both Brown and Durant were issued technical fouls, which Durant didn’t seem to agree with.
As TNT’s color commentator, Grant Hill, alludes to, this is the second consecutive game between these sides that’s involved some extracurricular flopping. During Sunday’s Game 4, Jokic, trying to inbound a ball that caromed into the stands and exploit an advantageous 5-on-4, extended a forearm to the chest of Suns owner Mat Ishbia, who exaggerated the contact. The two reconciled prior to Game 5, but it seems the theme of flopping lives to see another game in this entertaining Western Conference Semifinals series.