Apparently, Cleveland Cavaliers star Donovan Mitchell got lucky once again as he escaped a violation that would have prevented Isaac Okoro from even making his game-winning triple during Thursday’s showdown with the Brooklyn Nets.
Okoro’s triple powered the Cavs to the 116-114 win. However for the Nets, it shouldn’t have ended that way had the referees whistled on the lane violation that Mitchell committed. After Mitchell launched his second free throw with 11 seconds left, he quickly ran to the basket in an attempt to recover the ball should it miss. With the ball bouncing off the rim, the Cavs guard got the rebound and tried to lay it in (twice) but to no avail.
While Mitchell didn’t make his putback attempts, his effort allowed Cleveland to gather the ball and set up Okoro’s game-winner.
According to the NBA’s Las 2 Minute report, however, Mitchell committed a free throw lane violation since he left the charity stripe even before the ball touched any part of the basket, via ClutchPoints Twitter.
The Last Two Minute Report says
that Donovan Mitchell committed a lane violation on a free throw in the final seconds of Cavs-Nets last night, which led to Isaac Okoro's game-winning three.pic.twitter.com/2GdTZUZkRj
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) March 24, 2023
Making matters worse, it is already the second time this season that the referees missed such call on Donovan Mitchell in a crucial part of a game. Back in January against the Chicago Bulls, the Cavs star did the same thing and actually succeeded. It was the same night Mitchell dropped 71 points.
Bulls head coach Billy Donovan mentioned the violation and missed call in his presser following the showdown, per NBC Sports. But still, the officials has not learned from it.
Here’s the Donovan Mitchell put back after the intentional miss. The ref at bottom of screen is so intent on starting the clock he isn’t watching for Mitchell violating the free throw line before the ball hits anything. This cost the Bulls the game. pic.twitter.com/vMfRZ8MedS
— BBALLBREAKDOWN (@bballbreakdown) January 3, 2023
Of course Cavs fans will be happy with the results since they won. Nonetheless, it wouldn’t have been that way had they been on the wrong end of such missed call.