A feud between Jazz’s Rudy Gobert and Pacers’ Myles Turner leads to four ejections; suspensions could follow

Not often do you see four players thrown out of an NBA game, let alone in a single game. That’s exactly what happened during The Indiana Pacers’ 111-100 win over the Utah Jazz on Thursday night, following a feud between Jazz center Rudy Gobert and Pacers big man Myles Turner.

After Turner blocked Gobert’s shot with just over four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Gobert took a fall and appeared to grab a hold of Turner’s shorts, bringing him to the floor. Turner made an exception to the action, chasing Gobert to deliver a two-pointer, and Gobert responded by charging at Turner. A lot of hugging and pulling resulted, with members of both teams rushing to the scene of the altercation.

After reviewing the play, officials rated Turner and Gobert with technical faults (it was Gobert’s second technician of the night) and both players were ejected. That was almost expected due to the nature of the dispute and the modern landscape of the NBA, especially just a few nights after the reigning MVP Nikola Jokic. won a one-match suspension delivering a hard shoulder to the back of Heat forward Markieff Morris.

“Twenty years ago, they would have let you fight a little harder. I can’t put myself in a position where I hurt my team, Gobert. said after the game. “I have more to lose. I have to defend myself, but I won’t be suspended.”

Less expected, however, were the penalties for Jazz players Donovan Mitchell and Joe Ingles, who were also ejected along with single technical fouls for their role in the aftermath of the dispute. You can see in the video, however, that Ingles seems to be pushing officer Ed Malloy when he enters the fight. Mitchell continued toward the Pacers bench while the officials tried to destroy things, and also appeared to make contact with an official during the altercation.

According to Malloy, the skipper for the game, “Ingles was deemed technically malicious and was ejected from the game for contacting an official and acting as an instigator and escalator of the situation.” Malloy made an important distinction with his next response, however, when he said Ingles’ contact “was not viewed as intended.”

This is significant because, according to the letter of the law, Ingles could also face suspension from the NBA due to contact with an official. How the rulebook states:

“Any player or coach guilty of intentional physical contact with an official will be automatically suspended without pay for one match. A fine and / or a longer period of suspension will result if circumstances dictate.”

The rule clearly states that the contact must be “intentional”, however, so Malloy calling it “unintentional” should help Ingles avoid suspension or further punishment.

Malloy did not mention contact with an official regarding Mitchell, saying he was fired for “acting as an instigator and escalating the situation,” so it seems unlikely he will also be suspended. It is certainly possible, however, that Gobert and / or Turner could face suspension for their actions.

After the game, Mitchell reprimanded officials for not taking control early.

“That shouldn’t have happened. It’s nothing else, just a constructed frustration,” Mitchell said after the game, through Andy Larsen of The Salt Lake Tribune. “I won’t put the fact that we lost the game on this. … That should be taken care of in the first half. We are held accountable for our actions, they should too.”

As the game wound down, Jazz center Hassan Whiteside and Pacers forward Kelan Martin were both hit with technical fouls as well, though neither was ejected from the game. We’ll wait and see if any additional fines or suspensions follow what became an eventful conclusion to Thursday night’s game.

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