GP2 addresses Jokic butt slap incident during Game 2 originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
Gary Payton II didn’t make a huge impact in the Warriors’ Game 2 win over the Denver Nuggets on Monday night, but he still was a talking point during and after the contest.
During the first quarter of the first-round NBA playoff series game, GP2 blocked a shot by Nuggets star Nikola Jokic and stared down the big man as the Warriors raced back down the court.
Otto Porter Jr. made a 3-pointer on the next possession, forcing Nuggets coach Michael Malone to call a timeout. At that point, GP2 ran by Jokic on his way to the Warriors’ bench and gave the Serbian a gentle butt slap.
Jokic, already peeved by having his shot blocked, immediately reacted by turning around and walking in the direction of GP2. Steph Curry, and eventually Jordan Poole, had to hold Jokic back and nudged him towards his bench.
Jokic addressed the altercation after the game, saying that GP2 didn’t have to do that. Four days later, the Warriors’ wing finally was asked about what happened.
“No comment,” Payton II told “Willard and Dibs” on 95.7 The Game on Friday.
When host Mark Willard told GP2 he felt the butt slap was just part of sports and asked GP2 if he was surprised Jokic reacted like that, the 29-year-old offered a few more words.
“Yeah, like you said, it’s a part of sports,” Payton said. “Just, like, ‘You’re playing well, keep going.,'” Payton said. “I guess everybody don’t take it like that. It is what it is.”
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After scoring a combined eight points in the first two games of the series, GP2 finished with 11 points in the Warriors’ Game 3 win on Thursday night in Denver. He made all four of his field goal attempts, including all three of his 3-point attempts.
Jokic and the Nuggets are looking at a first-round sweep if they can’t hold serve at Ball Arena on Sunday and force a Game 5 back in San Francisco.
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If the Warriors manage to knock off the Nuggets on Sunday in the Mile High City, the handshake between GP2 and Jokic might get a little awkward — or it might not even happen.