Cleveland’s Donovan Mitchell scored a staggering 71 points – matching the eighth-highest score ever in an NBA game – as the Cavaliers closed the gap of 21 points to beat the Chicago Bulls 145-134 in extra time on Wednesday. Monday.
Mitchell’s performance was the highest point total in a single game since Lakers great Kobe Bryant scored 81 points against Toronto in 2006.
Wilt Chamberlain holds the single-game scoring record with 100 goals for Philadelphia against the New York Knicks on March 2, 1962.
Mitchell became only the seventh player to score 70 points or more in a game.
He’s the first Cavs player to score 60 points in a regular game of the season – and he’s made 11 assists and won eight rebounds to warm up.
“First and foremost are my teammates,” Mitchell said in an on-field interview after the game, in which he was cheered wildly by Cavaliers fans.
“I know I scored 70 points and all, but I wouldn’t be here without them. We wouldn’t be in this position without important players and that’s the honest truth.”
Donovan Mitchell set a new scoring record for the Cleveland Cavaliers and became the 7th player in NBA history to score more than 70 points in a single game. pic.twitter.com/qbOwr3sqyH
– NBA (@NBA) January 3, 2023
The Bulls lead with 21 points in the second quarter and 18 points in the third quarter.
However, the Cavs backed off, and Mitchell forced into extra time as he won the bounce from his own intentionally missed free-throw and destroyed an unlikely situation with three seconds left.
“Tonight we enjoyed one of the greatest performances in NBA history,” said Cavaliers coach JB Bickerstaff.
Mitchell took 22 of 34 shots from the field, drilling seven three-pointers as he carried a Cavs team without star defender Darius Garland and forward Evan Mobley.
DeMar DeRozan scored 44 points for the Bulls – the team never lost in regulation.
Mitchell scored 13 points in extra time — including a three-point setback to open extra time to give the Cavaliers the lead for the first time — and a good record.
“It was humbling,” Mitchell said of placing himself among the best in the game. “I didn’t just do it, I did it in an effort to get us back and win.”
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