Damian Lillard, Jazz Players React To Missed Goaltending Call
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — With 19.5 seconds left in the game, the Portland Trail Blazers found themselves down 116-114 on the road against the Utah Jazz.
The Blazers blew a 72-58 halftime lead, but that wasn’t the story of the night.
Instead, it was what happened on the potential game-tying possession. Portland’s star guard Damian Lillard took the ball in the back court, beating Joe Ingles off the dribble, driving past Rudy Gobert, and bracing for contact from Royce O’Neale and executing a perfect lay up off the glass.
But then it didn’t fall.
Rudy Gobert committed a blatant goaltending violation that the officials missed. Lillard erupted throwing his hands behind his head in disbelief while he pleaded his case to the refs.
But it didn’t change anything.
Final buzzer. Jazz win. Dame has to be separated from the officials screaming, “that’s bull****! That’s bull****!” as team security escorted him off the floor. He didn’t mince words after the game either, and even took to twitter to express his frustration. Lillard responded to a video of Donovan Mitchell after the game commenting on the controversial no-call.
The Jazz star responded to the tweet that Lillard directed at Mitchell.
The Jazz realized they got away with a call. But instead of frustration, they were elated to finally add a tally to the win column after going 13 days since their last victory.
In the locker room, Mike Conley was asked what he saw on the final play, he smiled and shrugged his shoulders, “that’s all I got.”
Rudy Gobert said it was clearly a missed call, “Obviously after watching the replay, it was goaltending. I was just trying to make a play.”
“Officials are humans, and it’s part of the game,” he added.
“Yeah I don’t really know what to say,” said Donovan Mitchell. “We’ve been on the other side of that a few times so I can understand where his frustration came from.”
Jazz Show Toughness In Comeback
After slogging their way through a five-game losing skid, it seemed like the Jazz were headed for six-straight. Lillard lit up the Jazz scoring 27 points before the halfway point of the game.
The Jazz were frustrated, Portland was tired coming off the second night of a back-to-back and were shorthanded with Hassan Whiteside being out due to injury.
That frustration found its way to the court in physical, gritty play.
Trevor Ariza was issued a technical early in the second quarter and was ejected from the game, kicking a chair as he hit the showers. Royce O’Neale and Carmelo Anthony were issued a double tech less than five minutes later after a scuffle. Then Donovan Mitchell and Gary Trent Jr. were each issued a technical as the halftime buzzer sounded.
After the game, Mitchell said that it helped the Jazz dig deep and play with toughness – something they lacked the previous five games, “I don’t see why guys like Gary Trent [Jr.] should come in and punk us. I’m not gonna lie, that shouldn’t happen.”
“At the end of the day, we are who we are. We’re not a team you can come in and talk trash to.”
The Jazz and Trail Blazers play their fourth and final game of the 2019-20 season on April 2nd in Portland and is scheduled to be broadcast on TNT.
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