Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell turned in one of his best playoff performances in Game 1, overcoming a slow start to finish with 45 points in their 112-109 win over the LA Clippers.
After scoring 13 points in the first half, he came to life after the break, dropping 32 of his points in the second half, getting some pointers from three-time champion and Jazz minority owner Dwyane Wade.
"It's great to have someone that I call my brother sitting courtside, being part of this organisation just trying to help me out and find ways to improve and not just for myself but finding ways with the team.
"I'm grateful that he's able to do that, not a lot of guys do that, especially in live-action in a playoff game."
"It's great to have someone that I call my brother being part of this organization." - @spidadmitchell on @DwyaneWade- NBA (@NBA) June 9, 2021
Mitchell: 45 PTS in Game 1 W.. Game 2 is Thursday at 10pm/et on ESPN pic.twitter.com/8p6QzZ5LSe
Tonight marked Mitchell's fourth 40-point playoff game, tying him with Jazz legend Karl Malone for the most in franchise history. Malone played 193 playoff games, while Mitchell just put a bow on his 27th playoff game.
The Jazz needed every one of those buckets, especially with point guard Mike Conley Jr. sidelined and the Jazz experiencing a tough shooting night to that point. They trailed 60-47 at the half, before Mitchell found his groove, going on a 10-2 personal run to bring his team back into the contest.
"It's been all Spida Mitchell."- NBA (@NBA) June 9, 2021
Donovan Mitchell scores the first 10 @utahjazz points of the 3rd quarter to make it a 5-point game on TNT! pic.twitter.com/EdUxDZKkLy
He would finish with 16 points in the third quarter and towards the end of the period, could be seen absorbing instruction from the three-time champion, before going on to put his team up 1-0.
"I continuously ask him what he sees," Mitchell said postgame of his interactions with Wade. "I know what I see, but sometimes you have a different perspective, especially sitting on the floor like that, being able to see what he sees in his mind.
"It's great to have your coaching staff, your players and then you have a Hall of Famer in Dwyane Wade, [asking] what do you see? How can I be more even efficient?"
D-Wade giving Spida Mitchell advice during a playoff game ✊- Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 9, 2021
With his mentor now a big part of the franchise, Mitchell is looking more and more like 'D-Wade 2.0' as he continues to lead his team with these type of performances.
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