Utah Jazz star guard Donovan Mitchell was extremely disappointed after an 131-123 overtime loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, as he was ejected with 31.5 seconds left in what he felt was a winnable person.
Incensed for being assessed a technical on two separate plays, Mitchell would suggest that referees consistently make bad calls against the Jazz during his postgame presser. Though giving credit to Philadelphia for their performance, the All-Star believes that the game was “taken” from Utah.
” 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,”
“Now, I’m never ever one to blame a ref, to blame an official — I can 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 this that we’ve lost. But this whole refereeing stuff. … We’re nice, we don’t complain, like, we don’t get frustrated, we fight through things, and the fact that we continually get … screwed, in a way, by this. You know?
The Jazz, led by Mitchell, controlled the majority of the game, until late in the fourth quarter when MVP candidate Joel Embid tied the game with a clutch 3-pointer to force overtime.
In the overtime period, the Jazz would prove no match for the Sixers. Eventually, an increasingly led to more frustration from Utah and Mitchell’s untimely ejection.
Mitchell did his part while on the court as he scored 33 points, grabbing 8 rebounds, and dishing out 6 assist. Still after the game for Mitchell, it was all about his frustrations towards the refs.
“We won this game, in my personal opinion. You know?” Mitchell continued.
All-Star center Rudy Gobert was also critical of the officiating:
“Our guys are not able to get calls everybody else in the f—ing league gets,” Gobert said. “We know we are the Utah Jazz, and maybe some people don’t want to see us go as far as we can go, but it’s disappointing.
“Three times in a row, Mike Conley is going to the rim, and they’re grabbing him right in front of the officials, and there’s no calls. And on the other end, there are calls that are invisible that are being made.”
Both Gobert and Mitchell who picked up 5 fouls in the game, were also referring to how this is an on-going problem and not the first time the refs dictated the outcome of their game.
“I think it’s disrespectful, to be honest, to the game of basketball and to our team, and hopefully, they’re going to watch the game when they get home,” Gobert added.
“But it’s very disappointing to be disrespected like that. … It’s not just one play, because we all make mistakes. I have a lot of respect for the officials. It’s a tough job. I think they try their best, but it was too obvious tonight. They can’t make it that obvious. We’re going to watch film and do all that and keep getting better, but we deserve more respect as a team and as human beings for all the work we put in.”
The Jazz will head into the All-Star break and have almost a week off. They finished the first-half of the season with No.1 seed in the Western Conference and best record across the league.