NBA players react to Donovan Mitchell dropping Cavs-record 71 points against Bulls

3 Min Read

This season, Donovan Mitchell has become the new star for the Cleveland Cavaliers, and he has infused them with an energy and sense of excitement they haven’t had since LeBron James left in 2018.

But on Monday, he took things to a rarefied level by scoring 71 points on 22-of-34 shooting in the Cavs’ 145-134 win over the Chicago Bulls, and NBA Twitter erupted in a sense of amazement.

In addition to scoring 71 points, Mitchell came close to a triple-double by dishing off 11 assists and grabbing eight rebounds. With Cleveland trailing late, he got himself going and converted on a putback to force overtime, then dominated the rest of the way.

Not only was it the most points in a game by any player this season, but it was the most points any player had scored in a single game since Kobe Bryant dropped 81 points during the 2005-06 season.

For the Bulls, DeMar DeRozan had a huge game himself with 44 points.

It was an important win for Cleveland, given that it had recently lost three games in a row and fallen to fourth place in the Eastern Conference. The surging Brooklyn Nets have risen to second place in the conference, and the Cavs currently trail them by 1.5 games in the standings.

The win also boosted Cleveland to a 17-4 record at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, which is one of the best marks in the NBA.

Before the team traded for Mitchell over the summer, it had an ascendent young team that was expected to fight for a playoff spot this season behind the talents of Darius Garland and Evan Mobley. But Mitchell’s arrival immediately elevated expectations, as some felt the Cavs could have an outside shot at contending for the NBA championship right away.

In order to do so, they will have to improve their 7-10 road record, but they came into Monday’s contest with the best defensive rating in the league, which is always a huge key to winning away from home.

Share This Article
Robert is a native of Santa Monica, Calif. and a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has been an avid NBA fan since he was a little kid in the mid '90s and has seen the Cavs go from NBA laughingstocks, to contenders, back to laughingstocks and finally world champions. He feels strongly that the NBA and sports aren't just entertainment, but also a means for learning life lessons.