A 71-point night: Donovan Mitchell wills Cavaliers to remarkable comeback
It took one an all-time scoring outburst from Cleveland star Donovan Mitchell to will the Cavaliers to a 145-134 come-from-behind, overtime win against the Chicago Bulls this afternoon at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
Mitchell finished the game with 71 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds shooting 22-of-34 from the field, 7-of-15 from three and 20-of-25 from the line in what was one of the greatest individual performances in NBA history.
His 71 points was the highest mark by an NBA player since Kobe Bryant dropped 81 against the Toronto Raptors on 22 January 2006 and only the third time in the past 25 years a player has reached 70 points in a single game.
He joins Elgin Baylor, Wilt Chamberlain, David Thompson, David Robinson, Kobe Bryant and Devin Booker as the only players in NBA history with 70-point outings to their name and is the shortest player ever to do so.
He is also the only player ever to record 70+ points and 10+ assists in a single game.
Mitchell had just five points at the end of the first and just 16 at halftime before exploding for 24 in the third and 18 in the fourth.
He capped his night off with a 12-point overtime to drag the Cavs to their 24th win of the season.
The loss was a heartbreaker for Chicago after a stellar first half saw them earn a 21-point lead prior to halftime.
Mitchell’s 24-point fourth quarter spurred on a 44-31 Cleveland run before they finally ran down the Bulls lead in the final moments of the game.
Up by three with 7.4 seconds remaining, Chicago’s Ayo Dosunmu fouled Mitchell who made the first free throw before intentionally missing the second and putting the ball back up and in à la Luka Dončić last week.
The overtime period belonged to Cleveland with Mitchell hitting a trio of threes before knocking down a pair of free throws to ice it and put a bow on the biggest comeback of the season.
Cleveland did not hold a single lead throughout the 48 minutes of regulation.
His teammates mobbed him when the final buzzer sounded and gave him a water bottle shower as the Cleveland faithful serenaded him with “M-V-P” chants.
Very few players have a performance of this magnitude on their resumé but Mitchell, who is no stranger to historic outings, now has a seat at the table.