CLEVELAND – The NBA announced that Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell has been named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week for Week 12 (games played Monday, January 2, through Sunday, January 8). This marks Mitchell’s second player of the week honor this season, winning the award in Week 9 (games played from Dec. 12-18), and is his fifth of his NBA career (once in 2021-22 and twice in 2018-19). His honor also marks the 66th time a Cavalier has ever won the weekly award, as he becomes the first Cavalier to win player of the week multiple times in a single season since LeBron James in 2017-18.
The Cavaliers went a perfect 3-0 in games Mitchell appeared in this past week. The sixth-year NBA guard averaged an Eastern Conference-best 37.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, 7.3 assists and 1.0 steal in 38.7 minutes. He also shot .530 from the field and .861 from the foul line, while scoring at least 20 points in all three games. In addition to leading the conference in points per game, Mitchell ranked sixth in assists per game and was the only player in the East to average at least 30.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 7.0 assists.
Mitchell started the week with one of the highest scoring games in NBA history, registering a franchise-record 71 points (22-34 FG, 7-15 3FG, 20-25 FT), 11 assists, eight rebounds and one block in 50 minutes during a 145-134 overtime win over Chicago on Jan. 2. It marked the most points scored by any NBA player since Kobe Bryant’s 81-point game against Toronto on Jan. 22, 2006. Mitchell also became just the seventh player in NBA history to record 70 points or more in a game, joining Wilt Chamberlain, Bryant, David Thompson, David Robinson, Elgin Baylor and Devin Booker. No other NBA player in league history accomplished a 70-point, 10-assist effort until Mitchell’s performance. With 24 points in the third quarter, 18 in the fourth and 13 in overtime, Mitchell combined to score 55 points after halftime, tying Bryant for the most points by any NBA player after intermission in the last 25 seasons, and helping the Cavaliers overcome a 21-point deficit. His 71 points shattered the franchise’s single game scoring record, beating the previous mark of 57 by LeBron James (11/3/17 at WAS) and Kyrie Irving (3/12/15 vs. SAS). The 99 points Mitchell scored or assisted on were the second-most ever behind the night Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points on March 2, 1962 (104 points created). Additionally, Mitchell became only the fourth NBA player to make 20 field goals and 20 free throws in a single game, along with Chamberlain (March 2, 1962), Booker (March 24, 2017) and Michael Jordan (March 28, 1990).
Mitchell followed his historical 71-point outing with a near double-double of 20 points, nine assists and six rebounds during Cleveland's 90-88 victory over Phoenix on Jan. 4. He closed out the week by tallying 22 points (7-12 FG, 6-6 FT), one steal and one block in 30 minutes of a 112-98 win at Phoenix on Jan. 8. Through his 36 appearances this season (all starts) with Cleveland, the 6-3 guard is averaging a career-best 28.8 points (eighth-best in NBA) on career highs in field goal percentage (.488), three-point percentage (.405) and free throw percentage (.874), to go with 3.9 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.44 steals in 36.5 minutes per contest. He is one of two NBA players averaging 25.0 points or more while shooting at least .400 shooting from beyond the arc (Stephen Curry), and his 136 three-pointers made rank third in the NBA. The Cavaliers’ 26-15 record is the fourth-best mark in the Eastern Conference and the franchise’s best 41-game start since 2017-18 (26-15).