How Rare Was Donovan Mitchell’s 70-Point Game For the Cavaliers?

How Rare Was Donovan Mitchell’s 70-Point Game For the Cavaliers?
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

It was a historic night for Cleveland guard Donovan Mitchell last Monday against Chicago.

The sixth-year guard out of Louisville joined NBA greats like Wilt Chamberlain, Kobe Bryant, Elgin Baylor and David Robinson in the 70-point club, scoring 71 points in 50 minutes in a 145-134 overtime victory over the Bulls.

Mitchell shattered his previous career high for points in a game, which was 57 against the Nuggets as a member of the Utah Jazz in 2019, while helping the Cavaliers stay within two games of Boston for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

Since 2005, two other NBA players have eclipsed the 70-point plateau — Bryant’s 81-point outburst in 2006 and Suns guard Devin Booker’s 70-point game in 2017.

It’s also the most points scored by a member of an Eastern Conference club since Michael Jordan put up 69 points in a 117-113 win over the Cavaliers in 1990. The only member of the 70-point club to play for an Eastern Conference team was Chamberlain when the Warriors played in Philadelphia (doing so on three occasions).

But if you went to an NBA game in person since 2005, what are the chances of you seeing one of these unreal performances? If Ohio sports betting offered odds, it would be a monumental longshot. utilized Statista’s average NBA attendance standings to come up with the overall attendance number across the NBA each year since 2005 (including the playoffs). Once getting that number, we divided it by the total of the attendance of the three games that saw 70-plus point performances to get the final percentage chance.

Chance of Attending a 70-point NBA Game*

Attendance for 70-point Games % Chance Odds

Note: Since 2005
* — The final odds are not exact.

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Mitchell’s Record-Breaking Night in Cleveland

On Monday night, Mitchell succeeded in breaking the Cavaliers’ single-game scoring record of 57 points, which was set by LeBron James and Kyrie Irving on separate nights.

The veteran guard now holds the franchise’s single-game scoring record, while becoming the first NBA player to score more than 70 points in a contest in six years.

Yet, perhaps the most impressive thing about Mitchell’s outburst was the fact he did it while shooting 64.7% from the floor and 46.7% from behind the arc — illustrating how efficient he was that night.

Mitchell took the fewest shots of any member of the 70-point club (34), while tying Bryant for the most made 3s (seven) of the 12 players who have scored that many points in the league’s history.

His 20 made free throws were the third-most of those 12 members, with Chamberlain’s 28 in his historic 100-point game in 1962 and Booker’s 24 makes in 2017 ranking ahead.

To put Mitchell’s shooting stats Monday in perspective, he currently ranks 30th in 3-point percentage (40.7%), 52nd among NBA players in field goal percentage (48.7%) and seventh in points per game (29.0).

Mitchell is now eighth among NBA players in regular season most valuable player odds on Ohio betting apps.

BetMGM Sportsbook Ohio lists Mitchell’s MVP odds at +3500. Dallas’ Luka Doncic is currently the favorite at +275, just ahead of Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo.

How Odds Stack Up Against Other Feats

Last Monday night, those in attendance had the type of rare experience reserved for hole-in-one celebrations.

The odds of making a hole-in-one are 12,500-to-1, or 0.01%, while attending a game where an NBA player scores 70 points or more has a 0.02% chance of happening. Needless to say, hitting a bet at those odds would net you quite a nice payout at Tipico Ohio Sportsbook

To give Mitchell’s feat a non-sports point of reference, the odds of a person getting struck by lightning are 15,300-to-1, or 0.0065% — three times less than attending a 70-plus point game.

But attending a 70-point game is child’s play compared to hitting a Mega Millions jackpot, where your odds are more than 306 million-to-1.

It’s not quite hitting the lottery, but Cavaliers fans can hope Mitchell’s scoring outburst is a sign of what’s possible in the new year, as Cleveland looks to make it past the opening round of the NBA Playoffs for the first time since 2018.

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Christopher Boan

Christopher Boan writes for and has been covering sports and sports betting for more than seven years, with experience at, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.

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