Cleveland Cavaliers superstar Donovan Mitchell had a performance for the ages, scoring a career-high 71 points on 22-of-34 shooting in a 145-134 overtime victory against the Chicago Bulls on Monday night.
The point total marks the NBA’s second-highest tally in the 21st century, trailing only Kobe Bryant’s historic 81-point performance in 2006.
“This is nuts, to be honest,” Mitchell told The Associated Press. “I’m extremely blessed and humbled that I’m in that company, in that group. I’ve always believed I can be one of the best players in this league, but I’ve got to keep working. This is a big milestone, but at the end of the day, those guys have all won at the highest level. That’s my ultimate goal.”
Mitchell becomes just the seventh player in league history to score at least 70 points in a contest, setting a Cavaliers franchise record in the process. He also took the fewest field-goal attempts for any player to top 70 points.
“I’ve never been witness to a performance like that live.” Cavs coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. “We were treated tonight to one of the greatest performances in the history of the NBA.”
In addition to his monstrous scoring total, Mitchell added 11 assists and eight rebounds in 49 minutes. He’s the only player to ever top 70 points while dishing out more than six assists.
Mitchell also helped force overtime, purposely missing the second of his two free throws with four seconds remaining in a two-point game before grabbing his own miss and hitting a circus layup.
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