Donovan Mitchell joined elite company Friday. (And not just.)
The Utah Jazz rookie poured in a career-high 41 points (29 of them in the second half, including 17 in the fourth quarter) to help his squad to a 114-108 victory over the visiting New Orleans Pelicans. Impressively, Mitchell got his 41 points in efficient fashion, shooting 13 of 25 from the field, including 6 of 12 from 3-point land. Plus, he was 9 of 11 from the free-throw line.
So, about that company Mitchell joined. By scoring 41 points, Mitchell joined LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Stephen Curry, Blake Griffin and Eric Gordon as the only active players to have scored 40 points as a rookie.
Doing something that only seven active players have done is impressive in its own right, but go back and re-read that list. Besides Gordon, who is a very good player, those are all superstars — or players who at least were superstars at one point.
Now, this achievement doesn’t mean Mitchell is guaranteed to turn into a superstar or anything, but it’s never a bad thing when you’re in a group with LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry. Also, it would be quite interesting to see the Denver Nuggets front office’s reaction to seeing Mitchell go off like this.