Donovan Mitchell didn’t want to overhype the best offensive performance of his young career.
“I think the biggest thing for me is just staying calm, not getting too high,” he said after dropping a career-high 46 points on Saturday night. “I’ll probably watch it a few times but not overdo it. Just staying calm and understanding that I’m not a rookie. Not saying this is regular, but I just treat it like another game and move on.”
The NBA, rightly, isn’t just going to let that happen.
Mitchell’s play — which has helped the Utah Jazz take down top teams in the West and East in back-to-back games — has earned him Player of the Week honors for the second time this season.
In three games last week, Mitchell averaged 34.0 points on 46.6 percent from the field and 44.4 percent from three-point range. He also averaged 5 rebounds and 5 assists, helping the Jazz to a 3-0 record with wins over the Clippers, Nuggets and Bucks.
Mitchell called his performance against Milwaukee (46 points, three rebounds, six assists) the best regular season game of his young career.
“Just because of the way I mentally evolved throughout the whole game,” he said. “At the beginning of the game, I really wasn’t sure what I was doing. They threw some different looks at me. Then as the game went on, I started talking to myself. ‘You gotta push through. You gotta push through those mistakes.’”
He went on to score 17 points in the fourth quarter to help erase a 17-point deficit and earn the Jazz their 36th win of the year.
Mitchell was equally pivotal in last week’s win over the first-place Denver Nuggets, providing a memorable crunch-time performance.
“I have a lot of pride in those shots,” he said afterward. “I think the biggest thing is I have confidence in myself and my teammates and coaches have confidence in me making those shots.”
Mitchell was previously named the Western Conference’s Player of the Week for the week of January 6-13. Mitchell is the first Jazz player to win multiple Player of the Week awards in a single season since Carlos Boozer in 2009-10.
Here is a closer look at the week for Mitchell:
Feb. 27 vs. L.A. Clippers: Registered 32 points, four boards and four assists in a 111-105 win against the Clippers.
Feb. 28 at Denver: Totaled 24 points (4-of-8 3FG), eight rebounds and five assists on the second night of a back-to-back in Denver, beating the Nuggets 111-104.
March 2 vs. Milwaukee: Scored a career-high 46 points (5-of-10 3FG), including 31 second-half points, six assists and three rebounds, coming back from 17 points down in the fourth quarter to defeat the Bucks, 115-111.