Nikola Jokic says Gary Payton II didn't need to slap his butt in Game 2

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Jokic says GP2 didn't need to slap his butt in Game 2 incident originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

The Denver Nuggets have two days to pick up the pieces and regroup after a 20-point loss to the Warriors in Game 2 of their first-round NBA playoff series.

At several points during the Warriors' 126-106 win, the Nuggets looked like they were splintering, with frustration getting the best of them at several moments during the game.

While an incident between DeMarcus Cousins and Will Barton on the Nuggets' bench will get the attention, there was a smaller altercation earlier in the game that got reigning NBA MVP and current MVP finalist Nikola Jokic hot and bothered.

With two minutes remaining in the first quarter, Jokic had a shot blocked by Gary Payton II, who stared down Denver's star. The Warriors secured the ball, went down the court and hit a 3-pointer, forcing Nuggets coach Michael Malone to call a timeout. As Jokic was walking back to his bench, GP2 brushed by him and gently slapped him on the butt.

Jokic clearly wasn't happy and he tried to get at GP2 before being stopped by Steph Curry and Jordan Poole.

"He doesn't need to do that," Jokic told reporters after the game. "I just reacted. No need to do that."

That was just the beginning of Jokic's frustrations.

Late in the third quarter, Jokic was assessed a personal foul on a driving Andrew Wiggins. He wasn't happy with the call and slammed the basketball on the court, drawing a technical foul.

Midway through the fourth quarter, Jokic thought he got fouled by Draymond Green, but when no whistle came, he yelled at the refs, earning a second technical foul and an ejection.

"I mean, it's pretty much everything," Jokic said after the game regarding his frustration. "It is what it is. I'm not supposed to do that, and I'm not going to do that. I think I got fouled in the moment because I heard the slap. That's why I just reacted."

Jokic finished with 26 points and 11 rebounds but it wasn't nearly enough to help the Nuggets even the series. Instead, the head back to Denver trailing two-games-to-none and need to win four of five games against the Warriors in order to advance.

"Hopefully we can kind of find a better flow defensively and offensively," Jokic said. "We had too many breakdowns. Sometimes we just score and they just literally dribble and pull up three, and we know that's what they're going to do. I think just probably be focused and just to get flow back that we usually play."

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The Nuggets will get on a plane Monday night and fly back to Denver where they will reassess where they stand as a team. Jokic, as the team leader, will do what he can to hold them together.

"I mean, I told the guys before we even go to the first game, we're going to lose together, we're going to win together," Jokic said. "In my opinion I'm still with the guys and I'm still hopefully going to fight with them. For me we are not splintered."

Everyone will find out Thursday night how the two days off went for the Nuggets.