Jazz’s John Collins Takes Dig at Bulls Assistant After Heated Altercation

John Collins, Chicago Bulls

Getty John Collins #20 of the Utah Jazz.

The Chicago Bulls got a hard-fought victory over the Utah Jazz, with an emphasis on the fighting (by NBA standards) in the waning moments.

The Bulls led by one point with nine seconds to go and DeMar DeRozan set to go to the free throw line for two shots. But the foul that got him there didn’t sit well with teammate Torrey Craig, who began jawing with Collin Sexton, who committed the foul.

A fracas ensued, with Jazz big man John Collins and Bulls assistant coach Chris Fleming getting physical with each other.

“Collin and Craig got into a little, you know what I mean, just talking,” Collins told reporters postgame on March 5. “[I] ran over, I’m standing there, and the coach comes over and shoves me for no reason. Ya’ll can go watch the film, and I just protected myself. Literally just standing there and dude just puts a forearm in my chest and is pushing me.

“He need some more self-control. … I don’t know what to say about that. That was weird.”

“I’ve chatted against coaches, but I’ve never had one touch me like that,” Collins said. “That was a first.”

Bulls Notch Critical Win Over Jazz

Collins and Fleming were both assessed technical fouls, as was Craig, giving the Jazz a free throw. Jordan Clarkson converted it and tied the game. DeRozan sunk both free throws while a pair of missed threes by the Jazz sandwiched a turnover by Coby White to end the game.

DeRozan finished with a game-high 29 points, adding seven assists, six rebounds, and one steal. He scored 17 points in the fourth quarter alone.

The win helped maintain their 2.0-game lead over the Atlanta Hawks for ninth place in the Eastern Conference standings.

Atlanta also logged a win on the evening, taking down the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Just 20 games remain in the regular season, and the Bulls will face off against the Hawks once more, on April 1. As critical as this win was for the Bulls, it did not sit well with Head Coach Billy Donovan.

Billy Donovan Chides Bulls for Losing Composure

“I saw DeMar get fouled, I don’t know if he was holding his face or grabbing his face. I think Torrey said something. Everybody came over. Chris Fleming was trying to hold everybody off to kind of separate. And then from there, it just kind of escalated. … At that point, I just kind of stepped in to kind of break it up a little bit,” Donovan said during his media availability.

“I don’t look at it from a Utah situation at all. I look at it for us, and we’ve got to be better in those moments, in my opinion. Not only do we lose a point on a technical foul, but we ice our free-throw shooter.”

The Bulls also had a late-game blow-up in the loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on March 1.

“I understand the emotion and the intensity of games,” Donovan said. “But at the same point too, whether it’s complaining or upset or frustrated, it’s not helping anything.”

Donovan again called for everyone on his side to do better in those situations going forward.