NBA admits 2 incorrect calls helped Donovan Mitchell get to 71 points

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Donovan Mitchell needed every minute of overtime to get his 71 points. But the NBA is admitting it should never have gone there.

Donovan Mitchell had the game of his life Monday night, dropping 71 in a thrilling overtime win over the Chicago Bulls. Mitchell needed every minute of overtime to get to 71 and the Cavs needed every one of those points to get the win.

But according to the NBA’s Last Two Minute Report, the refs missed two crucial calls that would have ended the game in regulation, giving the Bulls the win and holding Mitchell well short of his eye-popping scoring total.

What calls did NBA refs miss to help Donovan Mitchell get to 71 points?

The first mistake was an uncalled travel on Jarrett Allen who took a pass from Mitchell, pivoted into the lane and made a hook shot to cut the Bulls’ lead to 1.

The second mistake was an uncalled lane violation on a Mitchell free throw with 4.6 left. Mitchell missed the shot intentionally, got his own rebound and made the layup to force overtime.

If the Mitchell lane violation is called correctly, the Bulls likely avoid overtime and he finishes with 56 points. If the Allen hook shot is called a travel, we don’t know exactly how many points he finishes with but the Bulls would have had a five-point lead with eight seconds left, almost certainly avoiding overtime and keeping Mitchell well below where he finished.

71 points is still 71 points, but Bulls fans can just go ahead and throw an asterisk up next to this one if they want.

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