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Donovan Mitchell joins LeBron James, Kevin Durant in rare company with new milestone

Donovan Mitchell LeBron James Kevin Durant Jazz

Three years into his NBA career, Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell is on a career scoring pace on par with two of the league’s all-time greats.

Mitchell scored his 5,000th point during Saturday’s matchup with the Los Angeles Clippers—his 221st professional regular-season game. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that pace makes Mitchell the third-fastest active player to surpass the scoring milestone, behind Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (197 games) and Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant (205 games).

Mitchell has averaged over 20 points per game in each of his three NBA seasons since being drafted no. 13 overall in 2017. His career scoring average currently sits at 22.7 points per game on .440/.355/.821 shooting splits. The former Louisville Cardinal was named to his first All-Star team in 2019-20, amid a career-best scoring season (24.1 PPG).

James, in his 17th NBA season, is third on the NBA’s all-time scoring list with 34,103 career points (27.1 PPG) in 1,259 games. Durant is currently 31st on the all-time list with 22,94o points in 849 appearances (27.0 PPG).

Mitchell likely doesn’t care about the personal accomplishment at the moment considering his team’s performance on Saturday. Mitchell’s squad followed up a close win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday with an abysmal effort in a 110-94 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Donovan Mitchell led the Jazz in scoring on Saturday with just 13 points on 5-for-15 shooting. He struggled with his shot—and with Jrue Holiday—during Thursday’s matchup with New Orleans, yet found a way to manufacture 20 points (6-for-14 FG), including some clutch points down the stretch.

Mitchell’s Jazz (42-24) will have a chance to bounce back against James and the Lakers on Monday.