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The NBA believes the result of Mitchell’s desperation should not have counted

Donovan Mitchell sent the best game of his career into overtime with an incredible performance.

“Too incredible,” the NBA said.

Mitchell’s desperation basket that called overtime – after a deliberately conceded free throw – and extended what became his 71-point effort for the Cleveland Cavaliers in their 145-134 victory over the Chicago Bulls should not have counted, the NBA said on Tuesday.

Reason: Mitchell crossed “the flat of the free-throw line before the ball touched the basket,” according to a released league report that evaluates calls made by officials in the last two minutes of the fourth quarter and game overtime. that were within three points or less.

Free throw players may not cross the free throw line until the ball has reached the basket cylinder. It’s a violation, the shot would not count and Chicago would have had possession with 4.7 seconds left, with the Bulls leading 130–128.

Bulls coach Billy Donovan knew Monday night that this was a violation and predicted the league’s final two-minute report would prove him right. The league has used reports for years as a form of accountability and transparency, but game results don’t change after a missed call is discovered after the fact.

“It doesn’t do anything,” Donovan said. “It’s like ‘we’re sorry.’ … It’s a pity, because I thought our guys were fighting and competing.”

Mitchell intentionally missed the free throw because Cleveland was two points behind. He accurately cleared the ball from under the basket as he intended, entered the crowd of players to catch the rebound, and scored a goal with 3 seconds left in the game to equalize.

That basket gave him 58 points, breaking the Cleveland singles record of 57 held by former Cavaliers stars LeBron James and Kyrie Irving and leading to overtime.

Mitchell scored another 13 points in overtime. 71 points is the highest in the NBA since Kobe Bryant scored 81 points on January 22, 2006.

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AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports.

Copyright 2023 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed without permission.



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