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Donovan Mitchell's 55 points in his first 2 playoff games most ever by guard

April 19,2018 11:07

Mitchell eclipsed the 53 points Jordan put up in his first two playoff tilts in 1985. With a heavy burden on his back as a rookie, Mitchell has sparkled in the opening two games of the series, going toe to toe with the Thunder's star-studded roster ...

Donovan Mitchell scored 28 points on 10-of-25 shooting to lead the Jazz to a Game 2 road win against the Thunder on Wednesday. He scored 13 points in the fourth quarter alone to turn a 10-point deficit into a 102-95 victory.
Mitchell may not win Rookie of the Year. That award just might have Ben Simmons’s name written all over it. But the Jazz rookie has been everything and more for a Utah team now in position to defend home court and take command of their first-round series back in Salt Lake City.
Mitchell scored 20 points altogether in the second half. In a telling sequence for the Jazz guard, he spun around Patrick Patterson for a smooth layup before spinning off of Paul George for a floater shortly after.
On another possession in the fourth quarter, he froze Russell Westbrook — his idol — off the dribble before nailing a floater that gave the Jazz an 81-80 lead early in the fourth.
It didn’t matter who was guarding Mitchell down the stretch; he found a way to will his Jazz team to victory. In the fourth quarter he was more aggressive, especially when Steven Adams fouled out down the stretch.
Mitchell’s 28-point game came after his 27-point performance in Game 1. His 55 points are now the most by a rookie guard in their first two playoff games in NBA history, according to ESPN Stats & Info, surpassing Michael Jordan’s mark of 53 points in 1985. That’s the kind of season Mitchell is having. In any other year, he’d be the runaway favorite for Rookie of the Year. He just happens to be playing in a world where Simmons exists, and is dominating as well.
The Jazz aren’t a one-man band. Their defense held Oklahoma City to just 16 points in the fourth quarter, including only two for their big three of Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony. But that defense is complemented by a dynamic scoring guard in Mitchell, who has proven he won’t shy away from the big moments this season.
The series is heading back to Salt Lake City for Games 3 and 4, and the Jazz were able to steal a game on the road. If they handle business at home, Utah will be in position to pull off an upset in the first round. And the way Donovan Mitchell is playing, a win in front of Jazz fans in Game 3 isn’t off the table at all.

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