Miami Heat players came to Markieff Morris‘ defense on Monday night after Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic hit the veteran forward with a blindside shot to the neck late in their 113-96 win over Miami. Jokic was tossed after the exchange, while Morris was also ejected after being assessed a Flagrant 2 foul for his actions leading up to the hit. In the subsequent hours, Morris’ twin brother, Los Angeles Clippers forward Marcus Morris, joined the fray via social media, prompting Jokic’s two brothers to do the same.
Marcus Morris tweeted that Jokic “Waited till bro turned his back” before delivering the blow and wrote “NOTED,” insinuating he’d bring a little something extra when his Clippers and Nuggets next meet. Jokic’s brothers, Strahinja and Nemanja, then created a Twitter account for the sole purpose of firing back at Morris.
In a response to Morris’ tweet, the Jokic brothers wrote “we will be waiting for you” if Marcus tried to take “a step further” in escalating the situation with Nikola.
The Morris-Jokic exchange took place as the Heat were down 17 with 2:39 remaining. Morris drove an elbow into Jokic’s chest while the Serbian was trying to make a pass, and as Morris turned around Jokic got a running start and slammed his shoulder into the Kansas product’s upper back.
Jokic’s shot left Morris on the floor for several moments, but he eventually walked to the locker room without assistance.
Jimmy Butler was enraged after Jokic’s foul and needed to be held back by his Heat teammates.
“That was a very dangerous and dirty play,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said after the game. “Keef took a foul, and it was one of those fast-break-take fouls and he did with his shoulder. You might deem that maybe as a little bit more than just slapping somebody, but after watching it on film, it was a take foul. That’s how I saw it. And the play after that’s just absolutely uncalled for.”
The NBA has yet to assess a suspension to Jokic or Morris. The Nuggets and Heat meet again on Nov. 29 in Miami, while the Clippers will host the Nuggets on Dec. 26.
Jokic took the high road after the game and admitted he messed up, though, so his brothers may not need to retaliate like they think.
“It’s a stupid play,” Jokic said after the game. “I feel bad. I am not supposed to react that way.”