Donovan Mitchell scored 71 points, becoming just the sixth player to score more than 70 in a single game

CLEVELAND — Not only did Donovan Mitchell jump on LeBron James in a corner in one of Cavaliers’ traditions Monday night, he enjoyed one of the best regular season games in NBA history.

Mitchell, 26, stunned the Chicago Bulls with 71 points in a 145-134 win in overtime, becoming just the sixth player to score more than 70 points in a single game.

Not only did Mitchell pass LeBron and Kyrie Irving as the Cavs’ highest single-game scorers, comfortably setting his personal best, but he set the NBA season-high mark to date and is the first player to score at least 70 since Devin Booker hit 70 on March 24, 2017. He did it against the Bulls, Michael’s old team. His best ever was 69 points in a single game.

Mitchell’s 71 points tied David Robinson and Elgin Baylor for the eighth-highest single-game score in regular season NBA history. Wilt Chamberlain has scored at least 70 five different times; Kobe Bryant and David Thompson are the others who have done it.

Mitchell, who is already enjoying a career year in his first season with the Cavs, handily bested his previous personal best of 46 points in regular season competition, though he scored 57 in a playoff game in 2020. The Cavs’ former franchise record for getting Points per game between good players – LeBron and Kyrie Irving both scored 57 points in a single game.

In a dreadful 50 minutes, Mitchell finished shooting 22 of 34 and set another career best with 20 free throws on 25 attempts. Looking at his final score, his score of seven seems almost pedestrian. It all came on a night when the Bulls had 44 points off DeMar DeRozan and led the game by as many as 21.

The Bulls led 130-127 with 4.4 seconds left when they fouled Mitchell as he was making a fetch, to deny him a chance at the tying 3. On the turn, he collided into the lane and hit the rebound off the glass and the game went into overtime.

The Cavaliers without Darius Garland (sprained thumb), second-leading scorer and All-Star last season, and Evan Mobley (right ankle soreness), were the 2022 runner-up for this year’s Rookie.

(Photo: Ken Blaze/USA Today)


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