Damn, I feel for Donovan Mitchell.
Going into 2023, only six players have pulled off a 70-point game in National Basketball Association (NBA) history. Two days into the new year, it rose to seven after Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell exploded for a career-high 71 points Jan. 2 to land a 145-134 overtime win against the Chicago Bulls, according to NBA.com.
Mitchell’s historic night gave the NBA their second-highest scoring game from an individual in almost 45 years, and with the 71-point tally, only five other players have pulled that off: Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famers Wilt Chamberlain, Kobe Bryant, David Robinson, Elgin Baylor and David Thompson.
Donovan Mitchell is the first player to score at least 70 points in a game since Phoenix Suns‘ Devin Booker did so back in 2017, and it’s the most in a game since Bryant rained down 81 in 2006.
New Year New Me😂… 71 of them thangs ‼️‼️ pic.twitter.com/eqTSqAEKk8
— Donovan Mitchell (@spidadmitchell) January 3, 2023
Mitchell’s teammate Robin Lopez also got in on the fun, who scored one point against the Bulls:
I’m going to get it out of the way and point out that Donovan Mitchell and Robin Lopez combined for 72 tonight. Hashtag Historic Game.
— Robin Lopez (@rolopez42) January 3, 2023
You have to feel for Donovan Mitchell just a little bit.
This guy has the game of his life with a whopping 71 points, probably the only time that he’ll ever be able to pull something off like this, and it gets completely overshadowed by the whole Damar Hamlin story. (RELATED: ESPN Is Bringing Back Their ‘This Is SportsCenter’ Campaign In Absolutely Fantastic News)
He was cool about it though:
Donovan Mitchell sent wishes to Damar Hamlin and his family on behalf of the Cavs organization after scoring a franchise-record 71 points pic.twitter.com/c5v2PzDrfR
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 3, 2023
Shout out to Donovan Mitchell, man. The glory is real with this one.