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SALT LAKE CITY — Donovan Mitchell walked to the other side of the court; he wasn't having any part of what was going on near the Utah Jazz bench — and he was far from alone.
Utah's 123-105 win at Sacramento Saturday took a back seat to a Kings fan who was sitting in the front row.
With 9:32 in the game, the Jazz bench suddenly cleared: A fan sitting courtside had a bit too much to drink or eat, and, well, it soon ended up all on the court.
Yes, a fan puked on the hardwood (go ahead, get the "Kings played so bad that ..." jokes fired up), which caused a 15-minute delay in the game.
"That was something," said Jazz coach Quin Snyder, downplaying the incident that had his team cracking jokes and smiling.
The Jazz had taken control of the game with a 12-2 run that extended their lead to 14 in the first minutes of the fourth quarter, and then the game quickly vanished from everyone's mind. Jazz players covered their noses and laughed as they ran away from the bench to try and escape the smell that had suddenly emerged.
"He was just throwing up; it was like continuously," Jordan Clarkson said. "To that kid, we all had nights like that; it happens — drink a little bit too much. I hope he's good. Drink a little pedialyte, get his electrolytes, drink some water and stuff. Tomorrow, he'll be straight. Everybody has been there before."
Well, maybe not exactly there, but Clarkson's point still stands. A fan had a rough night; it happened to impact an NBA game. The Jazz players all said they hope he's recovering, and Mitchell said he hopes the viral moment won't negatively affect the fan.
It was an unprecedented situation for the players, no doubt. They've seen courtside cleanups before — spilled drinks, food, etc. — but nothing to this extent.
"Life is full of surprise," Rudy Gobert said. "I hope he's OK. … I kind of made eye contact with him, too. He was smiling — smiling and throwing up at the same time."
The incident led to a long break in play as employees worked to get everything cleaned up. Even Kings mascot Slamson the Lion jumped in to help out the clean up efforts.
"Shout out to the cleaning crew because I definitely wouldn't have cleaned it up," Clarkson said. "It would have probably stayed there for a long time if I was part of that."
Since the incident occurred near the Jazz bench, the players migrated away and hung out along the baseline as they waited for the game to restart. That actually ended up making an already odd and amusing situation a little better.
The fans and players exchanged jokes, with Clarkson warning the crowd: "Y'all better be careful, what if they start serving it to y'all?" Jazz players were also able to take photos with fans as everyone waited for the game to begin again.
Because, yes, a game did occur Saturday around the incident.
Mitchell led the way with 26 points on 11-of-22 shooting, and Gobert had 21 points and 14 rebounds. The Jazz had seven players in double figures to beat a spiraling Kings team.
Sacramento has now lost seven of its last eight games, and there was some sense of desperation in how it played Saturday. Utah had some big scoring stretches, utilizing a strong transition game to push the tempo and get open 3-pointers early in the shot clock. The Kings, though, punched back.
Despite already getting good nights from Mitchell, Gobert and Conley, who had 17 points due to a great first quarter, Utah only led by 4 entering the fourth quarter.
But the Jazz started the quarter on a 12-2 run to blow the game open, and then the game took its extended break.
"We were flowing and were getting a little tired," Clarkson said. "So I think that kind of helped us a little bit. Get our breath back and then we just blew it wide open after that."