When Utah needed scoring in the worst way on a bad night, Mitchell came through. It’s what superstars do.
The 42 points scored by Mitchell in Utah’s 128-112 victory over the Sacramento Kings were just what the Jazz needed on a night where the team’s 23-game home winning streak appeared to be in grave jeopardy. The Kings held a six-point halftime lead and stretched that advantage to 10 midway through the third.
All night, the Jazz — the top team in the Western Conference — had been playing down to its below-.500 competition.
But as all NBA fans know, all it takes is one big run to flip a game. And the Utah Jazz have proven very capable of pulling off game-breaking runs; especially when The Spida starts rolling.
At the 5:29 mark of the third quarter, Joe Ingles sank a 3-pointer that kicked off an 18-1 run, wrenching the lead from the Kings’ grasp. Mitchell had his hands all over this run. He assisted Ingles on that initial three and then a second straight Ingles triple. Mitchell than made to straight baskets of his own, the latter of which tied the game at 85-85.
Later, Mitchell would come to Utah’s rescue again. After blowing a 98-89 lead, Sacramento going on an 11-0 run to go ahead 100-98, Mitchell scored six straight points. It handed the lead back to the Jazz and gave them the push they needed to overcome such a blunder.
The Kings did manage to take another lead, 105-104, but Utah closed out the fourth quarter on a 24-7 run (Mitchell scoring eight of those points) to cover the 11.5-point spread on an off night.
Is there any other person you could give it to? Setting aside a forgettable first-half in terms of efficiency, Mitchell tied his season high of 42 points (and stashing his second 40-point outing in the past three tries). He needed 31 shots, a shadow of his poor first half, but went 15 of 17 from the free-throw line. The makes at the line tied a career high while the attempts set a new career-best mark.