Jazz news: Donovan Mitchell joins Michael Jordan in NBA history with career-high 57 points
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Jazz’s Donovan Mitchell joins Michael Jordan in NBA history with career-high 57 points

Donovan Mitchell, Michael Jordan, Bulls, Jazz

The Utah Jazz’s Donovan Mitchell had a ridiculous performance to open up the 2020 NBA playoff slate. So ridiculous in fact, that it eerily resembled Michael Jordan’s career-best playoff stat line.

Although the Jazz fell in overtime to the Denver Nuggets in Game 1 of their playoff series by a score of 135-125, it was of no fault of Mitchell himself. The 23-year-old scored 57 points on 19-of-33 shooting to go along with nine rebounds and seven assists.

Not only is that the third-highest point total in a playoff game in NBA history, it’s just six points behind Michael Jordan’s 63 points versus the Boston Celtics back in 1986– the biggest mark in a single game in playoff history. Perhaps even more remarkable is the fact that Jordan took two overtimes to rack up his point total; it took Mitchell just one overtime period.

And just like Jordan, Mitchell’s team fell short despite his massive point total.

The only other player in NBA history to score more than Mitchell in a playoff game was Elgin Baylor, who scored 61 points in Game 5 of the NBA Finals against the Celtics. Unlike Jordan and Mitchell, Baylor led his team to victory.

Nuggets guard Jamal Murray — who scored 10 of his 36 points in the decisive overtime period — had a simple, but honest reaction to his rival’s worldly performance in Game 1.

Mitchell was named an All-Star for the first time in his career this season. The young guard posted career-highs across the board in points per game (24.0), field goal percentage (.449), 3-point percentage (.366), free-throw percentage (.863), rebounds per game (4.4) and assists per game (4.3).

Mitchell will look to continue his strong start to the series by leading the Jazz to a victory in Game 2 on Wednesday.