After his team’s impressive 118-110 road win over the Golden State Warriors on Saturday night, Cleveland Cavaliers big man Evan Mobley called out Draymond Green for a “dirty play” on Donovan Mitchell that ultimately prompted his second technical foul and automatic ejection from the game.
The controversial sequence took place midway through the third quarter. Responding to a dangerous shoulder shove from by Green while he was running full speed in transition, Donovan Mitchell pointedly raced back down the floor and went chest-to-chest with the Warriors’ veteran and emotional leader, drawing a foul that triggered replay review. The officials finally deemed that Mitchell’s act was instigated by Green’s push, opting against upgrading the former’s personal foul while issuing a second technical on the latter.
Draymond Green and Donovan Mitchell are having fun. pic.twitter.com/jiykwv2o1p
— Steve Jones Jr. (@stevejones20) November 12, 2023
After the game, the Warriors and fans across the NBA expressed confusion that officials could go back to levy punishment for a previous possession while in the midst of replay review. Mobley, on the other hand, cut right through that bubbling consternation, acknowledging what the referees effectively did by calling Green for a technical.
“I think that was a little bit of a dirty play so Donovan retaliated,” he said, per the AP.
Coach J.B. Bickerstaff shared that sentiment, lauding Mitchell and the Cavs for standing up to Green.
“It’s our guys standing up for themselves and protecting themselves,” Bickerstaff said. “There was a play before where Donovan was hit in the back. And we’ve talked about it, that we don’t back down from anybody.”
Golden State actually took the lead late in the third quarter behind its revamped bench, feeding off an amped-up Chase Center crowd. The Cavs quickly righted the ship in the final stanza, though, re-taking control of the game to salt away its second victory over the Warriors in a week.