NBA suspends Nuggets' Nikola Jokic for leaving bench during fracas with Jazz

Is Jokic's 1-game suspension fair? (1:51)

The Jump crew wants the NBA to examine its rules regarding players leaving the bench in light of Nikola Jokic's 1-game suspension. (1:51)

The NBA has suspended Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic for one game for leaving the team's bench during an altercation against the Utah Jazz, it was announced Friday.

Jokic left the bench area during a physical confrontation between Jazz power forward Derrick Favors and Nuggets backup center Mason Plumlee on Wednesday. Favors and Plumlee were ejected after their exchange of shoves resulted in a scrum underneath the basket with 2:46 left in the first quarter of the Jazz's 114-108 victory.

Jokic got off the Nuggets' bench and took several steps down the baseline toward the scrum. He did not step on the court or confront anyone before being pulled back by a Nuggets assistant.

Kiki VanDeWeghe, the league's executive vice president of basketball operations, said Jokic's close proximity to the altercation and aggressive manner created the potential for further escalation of the situation.

Said Jokic after the game: "I was not on the court. I mean, I cannot step? I was not even close."

Plumlee was fined $25,000 on Friday and Favors was fined $15,000.

"I felt -- we felt -- pretty strongly that he would not be suspended based on other instances, similar instances. But they saw it in a different light,'' Nuggets coach Michael Malone said prior to the Nuggets' game Friday night against the Phoenix Suns.

"They made their decision and now our complete and full attention has to be finding ways to win without Nikola instead of worrying about well, why was he (suspended)?'' Malone said. "We're not going to change their decision. You respect it and you move on."

Jokic will serve the suspension during Friday's game against the Phoenix Suns. He is averaging 19.8 points, 10.3 rebounds and 7.7 assists this season, leading the team in all three categories.

There was a chance the Nuggets could've lost more players to suspension. In addition to Jokic, Gary Harris and Jamal Murray also appeared to violate the rule that forbids players not participating in the game from leaving the immediate vicinity of the bench during an altercation.

Harris and Murray also took steps down the baseline, but they did not go as far as Jokic did.

ESPN's Tim MacMahon and The Associated Press contributed to this report.