UTAH JAZZ

Donovan Mitchell Scores 25 In First Half Against Jazz

Jan 10, 2023, 8:22 PM | Updated: Jan 11, 2023, 4:21 pm
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH - JANUARY 10: Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Cleveland Cavaliers looks on during ...
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH - JANUARY 10: Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Cleveland Cavaliers looks on during the first half against the Utah Jazz at Vivint Arena on January 10, 2023 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – Donovan Mitchell put on a scoring clinic in the first half of his return to Salt Lake City. He scored 25 points, hitting four 3-pointers and 9 free throws.

Mitchell also added 3 rebounds and 4 assists. Despite the impressive half, the Cavaliers remained tied with the Jazz at halftime, 55-55.

Mitchell took on most of the scoring responsibility for Cleveland in the first half. The Jazz took a different approach, spreading the love a bit more. Six Jazz players finished with 6+ points in the first half. Only three Cavaliers could say the same.

While the Utah Jazz welcome back a familiar face in Donovan Mitchell, they’ll be without several of their own when they host the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Mitchell returns to Utah for the first time since being traded in September of 2022 but will be met by a host of mostly unrecognizable faces.

The suddenly injury-riddled Jazz will be without three rotation regulars when they face the Cavaliers.

Jazz Without Olynyk, Sexton, Horton-Tucker

The Jazz will be without Kelly Olynyk when they take the floor on Tuesday night after the team’s starting center reinjured his left ankle on Sunday in Memphis.

Olynyk originally sprained his ankle in mid-December which caused him to miss four games around the Christmas holiday.

The 31-year-old had been back in the lineup for the Jazz for the last seven games before turning his ankle in the final minutes of the team’s loss to the Grizzlies.

The Jazz will also be without Collin Sexton who will miss his fifth consecutive game and 12th overall due to a hamstring injury.

Talen Horton-Tucker will also miss the game due to an ankle injury. The first-year Jazzman was reinserted into the rotation in the team’s win over the Houston Rockets on January 5 but was sidelined again due to the injury after the team’s loss to the Chicago Bulls.

Jazz Expect Warm Welcome As Mitchell Returns

The Jazz brain trust expects Donovan Mitchell to get a warm welcome when he retakes the Vivint Arena floor for the first time in an opposing team’s uniform.

Team owner Ryan Smith and CEO Danny Ainge both shared their appreciation for Mitchell when asked about the former Jazz great leading up to the game.

“I think everyone should celebrate,” Smith said of Mitchell’s return. “We forget quickly that this is a kid that came out pumped life into this franchise and gave everyone all these memories.”

Unlike many stars across the league, Mitchell never publically requested a trade away from Utah, even after the team moved All-Star teammate Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Mitchell led the Jazz to the playoffs in each of his first five seasons in the NBA, and Ainge said he hopes fans in Utah show their appreciation upon his return.

“It’s a great story, he’s continuing to get better, I remain a great, great fan of Donovan’s,” Ainge said. “I wish him nothing but the best and I hope that people receive him with great enthusiasm and energy and he deserves that.”

Utah Jazz vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Broadcast

The Utah Jazz and Cleveland Cavaliers will tip off at 7 pm MT in Salt Lake City. The game will be televised on AT&T SportsNet and can be heard on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone. It can also be streamed on DirecTV Stream and FuboTV.

Chandler Holt is a Digital Sports Producer for KSLSports.com, specializing in all things basketball and football. Follow Chandler on Twitter at @ChandlerHoltKSL.

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Donovan Mitchell Scores 25 In First Half Against Jazz