It was an NBA record night on Monday as Donovan Mitchell and LeBron James set point records.
Mitchell scored 71 points – the highest single-game point total since Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant scored 81 against Toronto in 2006 – as the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Chicago Bulls 145-134 in overtime .
His career high is a franchise record and, according to the NBA, Mitchell is the seventh player to score 70+ points in a game.
Wilt Chamberlain holds the NBA record with 100 points for Philadelphia against New York on March 2, 1962.
“To be there in the record books with guys like Wilt is really humbling,” Mitchell said, per ESPN. “I always believed that I could be one of the best players in the league. I am speechless and blessed to be in the company of such greatness.
Mitchell was drenched in water by his teammates at the end of the game, while his coach JB Bickerstaff described his performance as “one of the greatest performances in the history of the game”.
“Every play he made was a play that was needed,” Bickerstaff said, according to ESPN. “Donovan never put himself above the team, so how can you not cheer for a guy like that? I told everyone to walk away.
Mitchell broke James’ Cavaliers previous record of 57 points in a game. James had jointly held that record with Kyrie Irving, although the NBA great also put his name in the history books on Monday.
By scoring 43 points as the Lakers beat the Charlotte Hornets 121-115, James became only the second player aged 35 or older to record consecutive games over 40 points. The other being Michael Jordan.