Cavs’ Donovan Mitchell scores 71 points as Ottawa wins

cleveland – Donovan Mitchell Cleveland scored a record-breaking 71 points, most by an NBA player in 17 years, and the Cavaliers recovered from a 21-point lead to beat the Chicago Bulls 145-134 in overtime Monday night.

It was the most points in any game since Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant scored 81 points against Toronto on January 22, 2006. Wilt Chamberlain He owns the NBA record with his 100th for Philadelphia against New York on March 2, 1962, in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

“To be up there in the record book with players like Wilt is really humbling,” said Mitchell, who was acquired from Utah in the offseason. “I always thought I could be one of the best players in the league. I am speechless and blessed to be in the company of these guys.” greatness. ”

Mitchell scored 13 points in the overtime after forcing overtime by hitting an intentionally missed free throw and launching a circus shot with 3.0 seconds left, tying the game at 130 points and breaking the Cleveland record of 58 points.

At present, Mitchell is the seventh player on the 70-point club. Chamberlain has done it six times, while Bryant and David Thompson have done so Elgin BaylorAnd the David Robinson and Phoenix Suns Devin Booker I reached the number once each.

“Tonight we had one of the greatest performances in the history of the game,” said Cleveland coach JB Bickerstaff. “Every play he made was a necessary play.”

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

Mitchell also had a game-tying 11 assists and 8 rebounds in 50 minutes, and also scored career highs with 20 free throws and 25 free throws attempted. He scored five points in the first quarter, 11 in the second, 24 in the third, and 18 in the fourth. Bryant’s 55 points after halftime tied the most by a player over the past 25 seasons.

“I think I had a game like that once I was playing NBA2K, but I don’t think I shot it well,” Mitchell joked about his video game skills. “

Speaking of Mitchell’s video game proficiency, the Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving This was to say when he was told that Mitchell had broken his previous Cavaliers record of 57 points, shared by him and LeBron James:

“Good. Records are supposed to be broken. I’m glad he did. What’s funny about it is…he told Don I yelled at him, but I was in Call of Duty before the game with Don for a bit. We were playing quads, and he was locked up, As I could tell. He was locked up.”

“I haven’t seen the clips of the game yet, but obviously the guy had to be on fire,” said James, now with the Lakers. “We play a game where a lot of the guys are always talking about getting buckets, you know? They put the ball in the hole. And obviously, tonight, Donovan showed he’s one of the best players in our league that can take… Sixties, fifties, forties – you know you’re so talented at what you do. That’s definitely something he’ll never forget, his family will never forget.” .

Mitchell went 22-of-34 from the field and made 7 of 15 three-pointers in holding the Cavaliers, who were without an All-Star guard Darius Garland (twisting right thumb) and forward Evan Mobley (right ankle soreness) for the second consecutive game.

He scored or assisted with 99 points, the second-most in a game in NBA history and the most since Chamberlain’s 100-point game.

Mitchell put Cleveland ahead for the first time—the only change in the game—by burying a three-pointer to open overtime.

Mitchell entered the new year in a state of offensive funk, averaging 17.5 points over the previous four games while shooting 32.9% on 73 field goal attempts. He now ranks ninth in the NBA with a 28.0 goals scored average.

“A lot of teams are sending more bodies to him, and that’s on us to help him,” Bickerstaff said. “His mates have to realize they have to get teams to push and pitch.”

ESPN’s Tim Bontemps, Dave McMenamin and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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