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Cavs' Donovan Mitchell Nearly Reaches Wilt Chamberlain Record in 71-Point Game

Mitchell nearly reaches Wilt Chamberlain record vs. Bulls originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Any time your name is mentioned alongside Wilt Chamberlain, you’re doing something right.

And by scoring 71 points and handing out 11 assists in a 145-134 overtime win over the Chicago Bulls Monday night, Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell nearly eclipsed what many believe to be an unbreakable record set by The Big Dipper 60 years ago.

With those points and dimes, Mitchell accounted for 99 of the Cavaliers’ 145 points in the contest — somehow, just five points short of the 104 points Chamberlain accounted for during his 100-point game as a member of the Philadelphia Warriors on March 2, 1962, according to OptaSTATS.

Donovan Mitchell of the @cavs scored or assisted on 99 points tonight.

That’s the second most in a game in NBA history behind Wilt Chamberlain in his 100-point game on March 2, 1962 (104).

— OptaSTATS (@OptaSTATS) January 3, 2023

Mitchell accrued his points on 22-for-34 shooting, including 7-for-15 from 3-point range and 20-for-25 from the free throw line. He scored 24 in the third quarter, 18 in the fourth and 13 (with 3-for-3 3-point shooting) in the five-minute overtime period for 55 in the second half (plus overtime) alone.

By comparison, Chamberlain shot 36-for-63 with 28 free throws in his 100-point game, which, of course, occurred before the invention of the 3-point line. He also slung two assists, which resulted in him accounting for 104 points. And he did it all in just four quarters.

Although Mitchell fell just short of matching Chamberlain’s mark, his performance was historic nonetheless. With it, he became just the seventh player in NBA history to score 70 or more points in a game, joining Chamberlain (six times), Elgin Baylor, David Thompson, David Robinson, Kobe Bryant and Devin Booker.

He also broke the record for most scored by a Bulls opponent in the franchise’s 56-year history, which, incidentally, was previously held by Chamberlain via a 68-point outing on Dec. 16, 1967. 

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