SALT LAKE CITY – Four players were ejected after Rudy Gobert and Myles Turner contested late in the Indiana Pacers’ 111-110 win over the Utah Jazz Thursday night.
The brawl began after Gobert appeared to pull Turner down to the ground with him after Turner blocked his shot at the edge with just over four minutes left in the game. Turner responded by pushing Gobert in the back, which caused the Jazz Center to carry turn Embrace and try to fight him to the ground.
Donovan Mitchell and Joe Ingles joined the fight as members of both teams converged near the Jazz bench. Gobert, Turner, Mitchell and Ingles were all ejected.
Turner blamed the commotion on Gobert knocking him to the floor after the opening play.
“I had to defend myself in that situation,” Turner said. “I think I did something wrong. But that’s not for me to decide. We’ll talk to the league and see what happens from there.”
Mitchell scored 26 points and Gobert added 19 points and 11 rebounds. Mitchell pinned the turmoil on built-in frustration over the referees allowing too much contact early in the game.
“That whole thing could have been avoided – just pull the line early, as opposed to letting it build for the whole game,” Mitchell said.
Gobert said the officials “allow guys to do far too many s —” but noted that he didn’t feel it was a situation where he had to throw a punch.
“If I don’t feel threatened, I won’t throw a fist and be suspended and hurt my team, so I didn’t feel threatened at all and I won’t fight on the basketball court,” Gobert said. “But if someone wants to fight, I’m easily accessible. I’m very easily accessible. I just won’t do it on social media, as if someone had a problem, Instagram, Twitter, WhatsApp, easily.”
Mitchell got off to a quick start and gave the Jazz an early boost. But after Bojan Bogdanovic moved for a payoff to give Utah a 42-38 lead halfway through the second quarter, the Amblers held the Jazz to just four baskets for the final 6 * minutes before halftime. Meanwhile, Indiana crashed the boards and repeatedly won second-chance baskets to go back ahead.
The Walkers closed out the half on an 11-3 run punctuated by TJ McConnell’s back-to-back baskets and took a 60-51 lead.
Gobert scored 11 points in the third quarter to help the Jazz briefly rally. Turner and Malcolm Brogdon combined to make three 3-pointers on three straight possessions to extinguish the run and extend the Pacers ’lead back to 83-74.
Utah drew no closer than five points from the fourth quarter and had any comeback hopes broken with Mitchell and Gobert’s ejections late in the quarter. The loss was Utah’s first home win this season.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this story.