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By The Numbers: Donovan Mitchell and the NBA’s historic holiday season

Statistically, the NBA is on a run never seen before in the history of the league. 

Luka Dončić, LeBron James and others have been rearranging the record books during the holiday season, and on Tuesday night, Donovan Mitchell gave making history a go.

Here are the key numbers from Mitchell’s legendary performance.

70 and 10: Mitchell is the first player in NBA history with 70-plus points and 10-plus assists in a game.

7: Mitchell is the seventh player to score 70-plus points in an NBA game.

81: Mitchell’s 71 points are the most points in a game by any player since Kobe Bryant had 81 against Toronto on Jan. 22, 2006.

11: Mitchell tied a career-high with 11 assists.

20: Mitchell’s 20 made free throws were also a career-high, and he is the first player to make 20-plus free throws in a game since Jerami Grant made 21 for Portland on November 25 against the Knicks.

25: The 25 free-throw attempts for Mitchell represent a career-high and are the same number that Dončić attempted against the Rockets on Monday night.

55: Mitchell’s 55 points after halftime tied Bryant for the most in a half by any player over the past 25 seasons.

57: Mitchell broke the single-game Cavs scoring record held by both Kyrie Irving and James.

99: Mitchell scored or assisted on 99 points for the Cavs, the second-most all-time behind the 104 points Wilt Chamberlain scored or assisted on during his historic 100-point effort.

68: Mitchell surpassed the previous record of most points scored against the Bulls, held by Wilt Chamberlain, who scored 68 points against the Bulls in 1967.

6-foot-1: At 6-foot-1, Mitchell is now the shortest player to score 70-plus points in NBA history, surpassing the previous record-holder David Thompson, who was 6-foot-4.

22: The 22 made field goals by Mitchell are the most by a Cavaliers player since James made 23 against the Wizards on Nov. 3, 2017. Mitchell is just the second Cavs player to make more than 20 field goals in a game.

Mitchell isn’t the only NBA star being super as of late. 

Check out these numbers from Dončić, James and Nikola Jokić, among others.

Dec. 20: Going big

On Dec. 20, Jokić became just the third player in NBA history to record 40-plus points, 25-plus rebounds and 10-plus assists in a single game, joining Wilt Chamberlain and Elgin Baylor.

Dec. 23: James Harden proves sharing is caring

Harden dished out 21 assists in the 76ers’ win over the Clippers, tying Wilt Chamberlain (1968) and Mo Cheeks (1982) for a Philadelphia franchise record.

Dec. 23: 43 points for all

For the first time in NBA history, five players scored 43 or more points on the same day: Dončić (50 points), RJ Barrett (44 points), Joel Embiid (44 points), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (43 points) and Tyrese Haliburton (43 points).

Dec. 25: A LeBron Christmas

LeBron set an NBA record and showed his durability by playing in his 17th Christmas Day game, one the Lakers lost to the Mavericks, 124-115.

Dec. 25: The gift of buckets

On Dec. 25, 10 players scored 30 or more points, a Christmas Day record: Jayson Tatum (41 points), Jokić (41 points), James (38 points), Ja Morant (36 points), Embiid (35 points), Julius Randle (35 points), Dončić (32 points), Jordan Poole (32 points), Landry Shamet (31 points) and Christian Wood (30 points).

Dec. 25: Ja lights it up

Morant became the second player in NBA history to total 35-plus points, 5-plus rebounds and 5-plus assists in their NBA Christmas debut (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar).

Dec. 26: Duncan is all cash

Against the Timberwolves, Duncan Robinson went 3-for-5 from 3-point range and in the process, became the fastest player in NBA history to 800 made 3-pointers. Robinson needed just 263 career games, 25 fewer than the previous record-holder Dončić, who did it in 288 games. Robinson was also the fastest to 200, 300, 400, 500, 600 and 700 made 3-pointers

Dec. 27: Luka Legend

Dončić became the first player in NBA history to record 60-plus points, 20-plus rebounds and 10-plus assists in a game during the Mavericks win over the Knicks. The 60 points also set a Mavericks franchise record, and he became the first player since Wilt Chamberlain in 1968 with a 50/10/10 game and the youngest player to record a 50-point triple-double in NBA history. Lastly, the triple-double was the tied for highest-scoring triple-double in NBA history with Harden, who did so in 2018 against the Magic with 60 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists.

Dec. 29: Buddy wastes no time

Buddy Hield’s 3-pointer just three seconds into a game against the Cavaliers was the earliest a 3-pointer had been made in the play-by-play era, breaking fellow Pacer Reggie Miller’s record of four seconds.

Dec. 29: Knicks two of a kind

Against the Spurs, Randle (41 points) and Immanuel Quickley (36 points) became the first pair of Knicks teammates to record 35-plus points in the same game since David Lee (37) and Al Harrington (36) on Nov. 29, 2008.

Dec. 29: Scoring machine

With his third 50-plus-point game of the season, Dončić became just the eighth player in NBA history to have three 50-plus-point games in a single season before age 25, joining James, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Rick Barry, Nate Archibald and Wilt Chamberlain.

Dec. 30: Shooting the lights out

CJ McCollum set a Pelicans franchise record by making 11 3-pointers in a win over the 76ers. It was the second time this season a player hit more than 10 3-pointers, joining Damian Lillard, who hit 11 against the Timberwolves on Dec. 12. McCollum is also just the 17th player to hit more than 10 3-pointers in a game in NBA history.

Dec. 31: Another NBA first for Luka

Over a five-game stretch, Dončić became the first player in NBA history to have 225 points, 50 rebounds and 50 assists.

Jan. 3: Still king of the court

Over his last two games, James has compiled 90 points, 21 rebounds and 15 assists. He is just the sixth player in NBA history to record 90 points, 20 rebounds and 15 assists over a two-game span, joining Wilt Chamberlain, Elgin Baylor, Russell Westbrook, Embiid and Dončić.

Jan. 3: Age is just a number

James joins Michael Jordan as the only two players in NBA history to have recorded back-to-back 40-plus-point games at age 35 or older.


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