It was a frustrating end for the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night, and no one was more frustrated than their leading scorer.
Jazz star Donovan Mitchell saw his night against the Philadelphia 76ers end with an ejection in the final minute of a 131-123 overtime loss. The ejection came after a play ended in a jump ball, in which Mitchell could be seen berating an official over a number of calls against the Jazz. Mitchell was hit with his second technical foul of the game, an automatic ejection.
A visibly frustrated Mitchell ended up taking his anger out on a water cooler, which resulted in some collateral damage for a nearby worker:
Mitchell finished with 33 points on 12-of-34 shooting with eight rebounds and six assists.
After the game, Mitchell did not hold back on what he felt about the officiating:
Mitchell's full remarks:
First off, gotta give the 76ers credit. They played a hard game. Joel does what he does and at the end of the day, they're a good team. We competed. But it's tough. It's tough to go out there and see how we fight and compete and to have a game like that taken from us. I'm never, ever wanting to blame a ref, to blame an official — I could say I could have done more — but this is getting out of hand.
There have been games like this that we've won, there have been games like that that we've lost. But this whole refereeing stuff — we're nice, we don't complain, we don't get frustrated, we fight through things, and the fact that we continually get screwed in a way by this. We won this game in my personal opinion. But like I said, I'm gonna give them credit, they won, whatever, we're cool. But it's been a consistent thing and the question is 'Can we do it? Can we sustain it? Are we for real No. 1?' Yeah the hell we are. It's getting f***ing ridiculous. This is what's happening.
We have the whole second half of the season to go and get ready for, but I'm sick of it. To be honest, we all are. I think this is something that just ... it eats at me. Y'all know what it is, we all know what it is, but it's really getting out of hand. It's really, really, really getting out of hand, and the league needs to do something about this. I want to see the Last 2 Minute report. I want to see it.
You can imagine those words might cost Mitchell some money, though some have pointed out some clearly blown calls against the Jazz. There was also some successful lobbying on the part of Joel Embiid that landed Mitchell his first technical foul.
Both of Mitchell's technicals came with less than a minute left in overtime, which Embiid forced with an unreal 3-pointer at the end of regulation. By the end of the game, Mitchell taking some long 3-pointers in a desperate attempt to get the Jazz within two points, eventually leading to the play where he got his second tech.
Mitchell wasn't alone airing out frustrations over the officiating, as Rudy Gobert called the officiating disrespectful to the sport of basketball:
The discussion didn't end with Mitchell's comments to the media, as he was seen engaging in a more lighthearted exchange with Embiid:
With the loss, the Jazz fall to 27-9, but still remain in first place in the Western Conference, three games ahead of the Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Lakers. The Sixers also got to remain in first place in the East, a half-game ahead of the Brooklyn Nets.
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