NBA says Mitchell’s game-tying basket against Bulls shouldn’t have counted

The NBA admitted that they missed a call on Donovan Mitchell’s free throws (Getty Images)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

It seemed like the National Basketball Association (NBA) was quick to spoil Donovan Mitchell’s historic 71-point performance during the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 145-134 overtime victory over the Chicago Bulls.

Hours after the majestic outing that landed him in the sixth-place in the league’s single-game scoring record, the league officials had a run-down of their Last Two Minute Report and revealed that Mitchell’s follow-up shot after intentionally missing his last free throw shouldn’t have counted.

According to the committee, Mitchell stepped over the plane of the free throw line before the ball touched the basket ring which was a clear lane violation.

“It doesn’t do anything. We’re sorry. That’s unfortunate, because I thought our guys battled and competed,” said Chicago’s head coach Billy Donovan.

If the referees called the lane violation on Mitchell, he would only end up with 56 points and a heartbreaking defeat against DeMar DeRozan and the Bulls.

With 4.7 seconds remaining and the Cavaliers trailing by three points, 130-127, the superstar shooting guard calmly sank his first free throw to cut their deficit to just two points.

Needing a miracle to force overtime, Mitchell pulled the tricks up his sleeve and intentionally missed his second shot which he followed up for the game-tying deuce.

Cleveland then steamrolled their way in the extra five minutes of the ball game and dominated the Bulls behind Mitchell’s 13-point explosion in OT on his way to tying Elgin Baylor and David Robinson’s record.

Mitchell buried 22 of his 34 total attempts while also dishing out 11 dimes to complete his record-breaking double-double performance.

Wilt Chamberlain still holds the record with 100 points followed by Kobe Bryant’s 81, Chamberlain’s 78, David Thompson and Chamberlain’s 73, and Chamberlain’s 72.