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Video: Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic is heated after foul from Meyers Leonard

Meyers Leonard, Nikola Jokic, Nuggets. Blazers

Denver Nuggets All-Star center Nikola Jokic took exception to a hard foul from Portland Trail Blazers center Meyers Leonard in Game 5 of their second-round playoff series on Tuesday.

With a little over six minutes to go in the game (with Denver up by 20 at that point), Jokic posted up Leonard near the free throw line. The Joker then drove to his right and threw up a hook shot, only for Leonard to foul him and give a little shove on the play.

Jokic immediately approached Leonard to let him know he didn’t appreciate the contact. Cooler heads from both sides intervened.

This isn’t the first time Jokic displayed extreme emotion on the hardcourt. Jokic went ballistic at an official after he felt the Washington Wizards’ Bobby Portis fouled him on a layup attempt on March 31. The referee gave Jokic two technical fouls which resulted in his ejection.

It’s hard to blame Jokic for his emotions. We’re talking about NBA playoff basketball, during which emotions run high and tempers flare. This was also Game 5 of the Nuggets’ second-round series against the Blazers. A 3-2 edge gives the winner a huge boost heading into Game 6.

Behind Jokic’s game-high 25 points, Denver routed Portland in Game 5, 124-98. The Nuggets big man also added 19 rebonds and six assists.

Should Jokic and Co. win Game 6 at the Moda Center in Portland on Thursday, they will make their first Western Conference Finals since 2009. That year, Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers beat Denver, 4-2. Los Angeles went on to win the first of its consecutive NBA titles.