It was a night to forget for Utah's star guard Donovan Mitchell, who shot 12-for-34 and got ejected during the Jazz's 131-123 overtime loss to the 76ers, providing a controversial ending to a matchup between the NBA's conference leaders. Afterwards, Mitchell and teammate Rudy Gobert had plenty to say about the game's officiating.
"It’s tough to go out there and see how we fight and compete, and to have a game like that taken from us," Mitchell said in his post-game interview with the media. "And I’m never, ever one to blame a ref, to blame an official … But this is getting out of hand."
“The fact that we’re just continually get screwed, in a way, by this. We won this game, in my personal opinion … It’s getting f------ ridiculous.”
The Jazz led by three points with 10 seconds remaining when the Sixers tied the game on a three-pointer by Joel Embiid. It was part of a monster night for Embiid, who finished the game with 40 points, 19 rebounds, three assists and two blocks on 14-for-27 shooting.
Mitchell was ejected after picking up his second technical foul in overtime, which came after an appeal to officials from Embiid to punish Mitchell for arguing. Mitchell let some frustration out on his way to the locker room, throwing a Gatorade cooler that ended up hitting a security guard (Mitchell can be seen apologizing immediately afterward).
Embiid further goaded Mitchell on Twitter after the game in response to the Jazz point guard playfully calling him a fool for his part in the ejection.
Utah was called for 24 fouls in Wednesday's game, while Philadelphia was called for 17. The Jazz attempted 19 free throws compared to the Sixers' 35.
Gobert joined his teammate in expressing frustration with the referees after Wednesday's loss.
"We’re not able to get some calls that everybody else in the f------ league gets,” Gobert said. “We know that we’re the Utah Jazz, and there may be some people that don’t want to see us go as far as I believe that we can go.
"We know that, you know, when you’re a small market … it’s a little harder. And that’s one of the things we’ve got to overcome," Gobert continued. "I have a lot of respect for the officials because I think it’s a tough job. I think that, you know, I think they try their best, but … it was too obvious tonight. They can’t make it that obvious.”
Despite the loss, the Jazz still sit atop the Western Conference, three games ahead of the Suns and Lakers. Philadelphia remains a half-game ahead of the Nets for the No. 1 seed in the East, as both teams won on Wednesday.