Donovan Mitchell is quite literally unstoppable, and you can’t deny it at this point. His trajectory has gone up and up and up during his six-year career, going from barely playing through his first dozen career games to becoming the runner-up for the Rookie of the Year award.

He’s become a premier playoff performer during his six postseason tours; however, the Jazz only won two playoff series; Mitchell was a standout and did everything he could to help lead Utah over the hump before they traded him to Cleveland last summer.

Now that trajectory is skyrocketing again after he dropped a Cavaliers franchise record 71 points, career-high tying 11 assists, and eight rebounds in 50 minutes on 22-34 shooting from the field and 7-15 shooting from beyond the arc to lead the Cavaliers to a 145-134 overtime win over the Chicago Bulls. He also hit a career-high 20-25 free throws.

Mitchell has scored the most points in a game by any player since Hall-of-Famer Kobe Bryant put up 81 points against the Toronto Raptors on Jan. 22, 2006. Then-76ers center and eventual Hall-of-Famer Wilt Chamberlain holds the single-game record for most points scored after he scored 100 against the Knicks on March 2, 1962.

“To be there in the record book with guys like Wilt is truly humbling,” said Mitchell, per ESPN. “I always believed I could be one of the best players in the league. I’m speechless and blessed to be in the company of that greatness.”

Mitchell’s coup-de-grace happened during overtime, as he scored 13 points. He forced overtime after rebounding his intentionally missed free throw and hit a circus shot layup with 3.0 seconds left to tie the game up at 130-all. The clutch bucket broke the Cavaliers’ previous single-game scoring record of 58 points.

Spida is the seventh player in League history to join the 70-point club. Chamberlain did it six times, while Bryant, David Thompson, Elgin Baylor, David Robinson, and Booker each scored at least 70 points once.

“We were treated tonight to one of the greatest performances in the history of the game,” Cleveland coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. “Every single play that he made was a play that was necessary.

“Donovan has never put himself above the team, so how can you not root for a guy like that? I told everyone else to get out of the way.”

The three-time All-Star scored or assisted on 99 points, the second most in a game in NBA history and the most since Chamberlain’s legendary 100-point outing. His 55 second-half points are tied with Bryant for the most by any player over the past 25 seasons.

The post Donovan Mitchell On His ‘Humbling’ Franchise Record 71-Point Outing appeared first on SLAM.

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