Donovan Mitchell put the Jazz on his back in a monster 45 point effort that brought back memories of Michael Jordan & his flu game against Utah.
The stakes were nowhere near as high as this was a second round game compared to Jordan’s finals performance, but it was still impressive the way Mitchell dominated given what he was going through. Utah Jazz coach Quin Snyder revealed that Mitchell was feeling “a little nauseous, a little light-headed.”
Quinn Snyder says that Donovan Mitchell wasn’t feeling well pregame “a little nauseous, a little light-headed” and said he told him that he’s just not going to accept that. “There’s nothing he’s going to let get in the way of that.”
— Cassidy Hubbarth (@CassidyHubbarth) June 9, 2021
It’s not just that Mitchell went and played through these conditions. He thoroughly dominated. He was the best player on the court for all four quarters.
Donovan Mitchell Had Himself A Michael Jordan Flu Game Esque Performance
When the dust settled, here was Mitchell’s final stat line:
– Kawhi Leonard and Paul George:
43 Points – 36% FG – 33% 3P
– Donovan Mitchell:
45 Points – 53% FG – 40% 3P pic.twitter.com/dWTfhEGdnQ
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) June 9, 2021
That includes 32 in the second half. His performance was eerily similar to Michael Jordan’s in game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals. The series was tied 2-2, and Jordan was experiencing flu like symptoms (which later might have been food poisoning) before game 5.
Several times during the game, Jordan looked extremely fatigued and had to be held up by teammates. However, he still went out and put up 38 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals and 1 block in a narrow 90-88 win. Jordan gave himself no excuses, and it looks like Donovan Mitchell followed in his footsteps.
Here’s what he had to say following the impressive victory:
“Luke [Kennard] hit a bunch of shots on me, Reggie [Jackson] hit a bunch of shots of me, and there were situations that I was being lazy and letting that fatigue kind of get to me. So I came in at halftime, I just said, ‘Look, I’m just going to find a way.’”
Donovan Mitchell certainly did find a way as 32 of his of his 45 points came in the second half. The Clippers were left stunned and looked outclassed as they recovered from a tough Game 7 against the Dallas Mavericks. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George struggled to hit shots and Utah’s homecourt advantage seemed to make a huge impact.