Donovan Mitchell records 46 points in return to Utah: How Cavs guard continues to score

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell recorded 46 points Tuesday night against the Utah Jazz at Vivint Arena. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Mitchell shot 14-of-27 from the floor and made 7 3-pointers. He was a perfect 11-of-11 from the free throw line.
  • Despite Mitchell leading the Cavs in scoring Tuesday night, Cleveland lost 116-114 to the Jazz.
  • The Cavaliers fall to 26-16 while the Jazz sit at 21-23.

The Athletic’s instant analysis:


Tuesday night’s game was Mitchell’s first game back in Utah since getting traded to Cleveland in September. The Cavaliers sent Collin Sexton, Lauri Markkanen, rookie Ochai Agbaji, three first-round draft picks and two pick swaps in exchange for Mitchell.

Mitchell spent his first five NBA seasons with the Jazz. Paired with Rudy Gobert, the two went 243-147 together in Utah. Mitchell went to the postseason five straight times in Utah, leading the Jazz to the best record in the NBA in 2020-21.

Entering Tuesday, Mitchell was averaging 28.8 points, 3.9 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game this season with the Cavaliers. On Jan. 2, Mitchell scored 71 points against the Bulls, becoming the sixth player in NBA history to record 70-plus points in a game.

Mitchell tried to find a way to win the game for the Cavs in the fourth

Even with the emotions and the magnitude of returning to Utah, Mitchell looked like Mitchell. His scoring kept the Cavs in the game against the Jazz, as he ended the first half with 25 of Cleveland’s 55 points. Yet, as the fourth quarter began, Mitchell really began to take over.

He scored 17 points in the fourth quarter alone, hitting key 3s and finding his way to the basket. It just wasn’t quite enough in the end, but he was trying to will the Cavs to the end of the game. But there were some empty possessions toward the end of the game for the Cavs that ended up factoring in. — Russo

Mitchell continues to have big scoring nights

Mitchell was a major contributor for the Cavs offensively. It was his 18th game this season where he scored 30-plus points, and his fifth game this season with 40-plus points. Mitchell is a true scoring threat. He knows how to get to his spots and find his shots.

His presence on the floor in how he facilitates, play makes and finds those shots helps orchestrate the Cavs’ offense. But he also has confidence in his scoring and a knowledge of when to score that allows him to have these big scoring nights pretty consistently. — Russo

Highlight of the game

Key stat

Mitchell recorded his fifth 40-plus point game of the season Tuesday.

Required reading

(Photo: Chris Nicoll / USA Today)


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