Utah Jazz forward confronts Luka Doncic for acting like child

Utah Jazz (Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports)
Utah Jazz (Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports) /

Bad blood is brewing between the Utah Jazz and Dallas Mavericks.

There was a slight delay in the Utah Jazz (40-23) and Dallas Mavericks (39-25) getting to the locker room at halftime of their Monday night clash in Texas.

After failing to draw a foul on the final possession before the break, Mavericks forward Luka Doncic appeared to throw the ball toward the back of Jazz center Rudy Gobert. But Gobert’s hardnosed teammate, forward Royce O’Neale, intercepted the ball and proceeded to get in the face of the reigning Western Conference Player of the Month for his childish antics.

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As the Bally Sports Southwest Twitter account noted below in its caption to the replay of Luka Doncic’s unsportsmanlike conduct, the “playoff atmosphere” was quite evident at that moment between the current No. 4 (Utah) and No. 5 (Dallas) teams in the West.

A skirmish nearly ensued:

Throughout the first half, Doncic, as usual, had been whining incessantly about supposedly missed foul calls following several of his nifty drives, shakes, and post-ups.

When the squads returned to the court for the second half, the officials awarded the Jazz a free throw after reviewing the tape and assessing Doncic a technical foul, presumably for taking target practice at Gobert’s back. Utah guard Mike Conley then drained the freebie attempt.

Although Doncic is the one who expressed his frustration entering the break, the Jazz players must have felt their fair share of frustration as well. After all, Doncic fueled the Mavericks to a 60-49 halftime lead, tallying 18 points, five rebounds, and three assists while shooting 7-for-12 from the field, 1-for-3 beyond the arc, and 3-for-3 from the charity stripe in 17 minutes of action.

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