Video: Donovan Mitchell shows clutch gene with two go-ahead buckets in final minute
It looks like the rise of Donovan Mitchell is not slowing down anytime soon. Even through bumps and team struggles, he has been the Utah Jazz’s most consistent weapon. Now that the season is more than halfway in, the rookie is appearing to be bulldozing his way to the usually-impenetrable rookie wall.
The 21-year-old shined yet again Monday night, as he helped lift the Jazz over Western Conference powerhouse San Antonio Spurs. Along with explosive play offensively and defensively, his clutch gene showed up just when it was expected to.
Donovan Mitchell doing it all in crunch time 👀 pic.twitter.com/Y674VDsm7n
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 13, 2018
As one of the top Rookie of the Year candidate, Mitchell proved his place through a pair of big plays. The first was a timely on-ball steal with only 1:02 remaining and the Jazz down by one. He picked the pocket of Spurs forward Kyle Anderson and breezed his way to the other end for an easy lay-up.
The second was just as good. Trailing again by a single point, the mature-beyond-his-years rookie casually swished a step-in jumper with under 45 ticks left to make Utah re-grab the lead.
The Jazz held on to win, 101-99, for their 10th-straight victory. Mitchell had a game-high 25 points to go along seven rebounds, five assists, and three steals.
With plays and games like that, head coach Quin Snyder is of course very trusting of his sensational youngster. Here’s what he told Kent Taylor of Wave 3 prior to the Spurs meeting:
“There wasn’t a light bulb that said ‘Oh we have to change what we’re doing,’ it’s just gradually more responsibility that we wanted to give to him, particularly at the offensive end and he was able to assume it and expand on it… And when someone does something, it’s like, he finished eating, let’s put some more food on his plate.”
Mitchell leads the team in scoring, and he’s also top three in made threes, assists, and steals.