(Photo of Donovan Mitchell, Lonzo Ball: Jeffrey Swinger/USA TODAY Sports)
SALT LAKE CITY - Former University of Louisville standout and NBA superstar Donovan Mitchell continues to add milestones to his young NBA career.
In the third quarter of Thursday night's 129-118 win over the New Orleans Pelicans, the shooting guard for the Utah Jazz hit his 600th career three-pointer. The mark took him just 240 games to accomplish, becoming the fastest player in NBA history to do so.
He beat Sacramento Kings guard Buddy Hield by just four games, and also surpassed Portland's Damian Lillard, and Golden State's Steph Curry & Klay Thompson.
Through the first 15 games of the 2020-21 NBA season, the fourth-year player is averaging 24.3 points, 3.0 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game, with his scoring and assist marks good for career-highs. He is also shooting 43.8% from the field and a career-best 40.8% on three-point attempts.
Last season marked the first time in Mitchell's career that he was named an NBA All-Star, and it was for good reason. The 6-foot-1, 215-pound guard set career-highs all across the board; averaging 24.0 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.3 assists while shooting 44.9% from the field & 36.6% on three-point attempts in 69 regular season games. During that season, he became the third-fastest active NBA player to score 5,000 career points, trailing only LeBron James and Kevin Durant.
Once the 2020 NBA Playoffs began inside the Orlando, Fla. 'bubble', Mitchell switched into high gear. During Game 1 of the Jazz's opening round series against the Denver Nuggets, the Greenwich, CT. native scored a career-high 57 points. He became the youngest player to score 50+ in a playoff game since Michael Jordan's 63 vs. the Celtics in 1986, and it was the third-highest playoff scoring game behind MJ's 63 and Elgin Baylor's 61 in the 1962 NBA Finals also against the Celtics.
While Utah lost the series to Denver, it was not due to Mitchell's efforts. He averaged 36.3 points per game during the seven-game series, and became just the third player in NBA history to have a pair of 50-point games in a single playoff series (Michael Jordan, Allen Iverson).
After the playoffs, Mitchell and the Jazz agreed to a five-year, $195 million designated rookie max extension. The deal is guaranteed for $163 million, and meeting the All-NBA criteria for each season could increase it to the full $195 million.
Mitchell was drafted with the No. 13 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft by the Nuggets, only to be traded to the Jazz on draft night. As a sophomore at Louisville, Mitchell averaged 15.6 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.7 assists en route to being named a 2016-17 First Team All-ACC selection.
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