Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell made NBA history on Monday with a dazzling game in which he scored 71 points.
It is his personal record, that of a Cavaliers player since its founding and the highest score achieved by a player since Kobe Bryant's 81 points with the Lakers against the Toronto Raptors on January 22, 2006. Mitchell was able to celebrate for everything high because his performance also served to give the victory to the Cavaliers against the Chicago Bulls (145-134) in overtime.
The American professional basketball league record has been held by Wilt Chamberlain since March 1962, with the 100 points he scored for Philadelphia.
Mitchell's 71 points are the seventh-highest score in NBA history.
“To be up there, in the record books, with guys like Wilt, it's really an honour,” he said in post-game remarks with a big smile on his lips.
“I feel very blessed, honored to be in that company.
I have always believed that I can be one of the best players in this league, but I have to keep working,” he added.
completed the game with 8 rebounds, 11 assists and a block in the 50 minutes he was on the court.
She monopolized the offensive game of her team with a recital of baskets.
In her biggest game, she hit 22 of 34 2-point attempts and 7 of her 15 scoring attempts from beyond the 3-point line, with shooting percentages well above what she had averaged for the season.
The Cavaliers star showed his full potential just two days after a disappointing performance against the same opponents.
The contrast between this Monday's game and the one he played against the Bulls on Saturday is stark.
That day he missed the 6 triples that he tried and scored only 5 of the other 16 field goals to finish with only 15 points, although his team managed to prevail by the minimum.
This Monday, however.
Mitchell allowed his team to rally from a 21-point deficit and force overtime, in which he was instrumental with 13 of his team's 15 points.
Donovan Mitchell sets a new scoring record for the Cleveland Cavaliers and becomes only the 7th player in NBA history to score 70+ points in a game.
— NBA (@NBA) January 3, 2023
The credit for reaching overtime was his, not only because of the high scoring but also because of the final play of regulation time, in which he intentionally missed a free throw, grabbed his own rebound and scored acrobatically to equalize the result at 130 with lack of only three seconds, a play somewhat similar to the one Luka Doncic starred in last week for the Dallas Mavericks in another historic performance.
The Cleveland Cavaliers reached an agreement this summer with the Utah Jazz to sign Donovan Mitchell, in exchange for three players and three first-round draft picks, in the biggest trade of the season.
So far, he's averaging 21.4 points per game, somewhat below what's expected of him as a three-time All-Star.
This Monday's performance shows that he can raise the bar.
With the two victories against the Bulls (achieved without Darius Garland, the other star of the team), the Cavaliers add 24 wins and 14 losses in the season and consolidate in fourth position in the Eastern Conference of the NBA, led by the Boston Celtics.
The Brooklyn Nets are second, after an impressive 10-game winning streak, and the Milkwaukee Bucks, third.
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