Donovan Mitchell, Cavs HC Blast 'Dirty' and 'Bulls--t' Play by Spurs' Zach Collins

by 24USATVFeb. 5, 2024, 12:01 a.m. 21
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Cleveland Cavaliers star Donovan Mitchell and head coach J.B. Bickerstaff took exception to what they thought was a "dirty" play by San Antonio Spurs forward Zach Collins in his team's 117-101 victory Saturday night.

Mitchell and Collins were ejected late in the fourth quarter. Collins knocked Mitchell to the floor while attempting to set a screen. The five-time All-Star guard quickly returned to his feet and shoved the 6'11" big man.

"He hit me in the face," Mitchell said, per Cleveland.com's Chris Fedor. "I feel like it was dirty, so I pushed him back. Knew I was going to be ejected. But if you hit me, I will hit you back. That's that."

"The kid was upset about the play that happened before and he retaliated, which was bulls--t on his part," he said. "Donovan did what Donovan does. He stood up for himself. I understand the rule but if a guy takes a cheap shot on you, you should be able to protect yourself."

The officials seemed to agree with the Cavaliers' reading of the situation. Collins received a flagrant 2 foul, which is reserved for contact both "unnecessary and excessive" and leads to an automatic ejection.

Mitchell said he was unsure of what led Collins to get so physical. Bickerstaff alluded to the three-pointer the guard had hit on Cleveland's previous possession, which increased the team's lead to 17 points.

Mitchell finished with a game-high 31 points along with eight rebounds, seven assists, two steals and two blocks.

The Cavs have now won 13 of their last 14 after Saturday. For Mitchell, the inevitable fine he'll receive for his shove on Collins will be a little easier to absorb thanks to his team's recent surge.

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