Cavs Dribbles: Recapping Donovan Mitchell’s 71-Point Eruption

Random dribbles on Donovan Mitchell and the Cavaliers …Donovan Mitchell Caris LeVert Jarrett Allen

1. In the second half, it seemed every time Mitchell touched the ball, he scored. And it actually wasn’t too far from that. It basically really happened. Mitchell got the ball, he shook off the defense, he put the ball in the basket.

2. Sounds so simple, but his 71 points in the overtime home win over the Bulls were truly dynamic. If you remember, he had but five points at the end of the first quarter, when the Cavs were terribly flat and looked totally out of it. 

3. Mitchell came to the rescue. Yes, it was a bit of a one-man show, but goodness gracious, was that one man good. It also was a fairly selfless 71-point outburst. Never before had anyone passed for double-digit assists in a 70-point game. Mitchell finished with 11.

4. One of those was a fantastic pass to Jarrett Allen, and an even better catch and finish by Allen, in crunch time. While this night was all about Mitchell’s record-setting eruption, not enough can be said about Allen. The man just shows up and delivers.

5. It should be noted that the second-highest scoring game in Cleveland is now the one by Michael Jordan, who went for 69 at the old Richfield Coliseum in 1990. So it’s kind of nice for the Cavs that Mitchell’s huge night came against the Bulls.

6. The Cavs improved to 8-0 without Darius Garland. That has nothing to do with anything, but I just think it’s kind of a cool stat. It’s good that they can win without him, too. I suspect he’s going to miss more time with that sprained thumb.

7. So, was there ever a time when you thought the Cavs would win on Monday? I know I sure didn’t. It seemed like every time they got within a basket or two, DeMar DeRozan and the Bulls would get closer to putting it away.

8. And man, DeRozan was also very good. On most nights, the 44 points DeRozan scored would make you all the talk. It would usually lead to a win. But this night belonged to Mitchell. And credit Allen for the job he did defensively on DeRozan late in the game.

9. Mitchell will now forever be mentioned in the same sentence as Wilt Chamberlain, Kobe Bryant, Jordan, Elgin Baylor and other all-time greats when it comes to one-night scoring explosions. Always humble, Mitchell indicated that’s really cool.

10. Mitchell to reporters: “To be there in the record book with guys like Wilt is truly humbling. 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.”

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

12. Bickerstaff also made a brilliant coaching move by telling the rest of the Cavs to get Mitchell the ball and get out of the way. No, seriously.

13. And remember how Mavericks star Luka Doncic scored 61 and followed in his own missed free throw — on purpose — to tie the game against the Knicks, just last week? What are the odds of Mitchell doing the same against the Bulls?! It happened, though, and the NBA truly is on fire. It has so many players you just don’t want to miss. Suddenly, the regular season is no longer boring to the casual fan.

14. It’s never boring to me, by the way. It’s why I’ve been doing this for 117 years. And watching performances like the one delivered by Mitchell make me glad I still am.

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