Donovan Mitchell says his dunk on Brooklyn Nets wing Yuta Watanabe is up there with his best, and that it also sparked the Cleveland Cavaliers in their 115-109 win on Tuesday.
Mitchell, who finished with 31 points on 10-of-22 shooting and five rebounds, slammed over Watanabe early in the fourth quarter as the Cavs looked to repel the Nets' rally.
The Cavs were up 96-80 with 10:55 remaining when Mitchell received the ball on a fast break from Caris LeVert, taking four steps before dunking over Watanabe who contested the attempt.
"Everyone's reaction was like 'that's your best one'," Mitchell told reporters after the game.
"It's up there. I don’t know if it's my best one, but it's definitely up there."
In a moment of celebration, Mitchell was caught out of position, allowing Mikal Bridges to score down the other end, before glancing up to the Barclays Center screens for a replay.
"I was trying to see it but I forgot we're on the road," Mitchell said. "They’re definitely not going to show it.
"First time I saw it was when we went back in the locker room. It was not bad."
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The poster dunk sent social media into a frenzy but it also "sparked" the Cavs according to Mitchell, pulling ahead to a 22-point lead which put the game to bed.
"It really sparked us," he said. "It gave us a little bit of a boost. Those are defining plays. Different plays for different moments to continue to push us going forward.
"It's not like I go into a game thinking 'alright, I'm going to try get a dunk on somebody', but sometimes that's what's needed.
"I felt good enough to try get up there and dunk it. I figured I'd try use my body and finish. It worked out."
The result saw the Cavs firm up their grip on the four seed in the East with a 46-28 record ahead of the 42-31 New York Knicks, while the Nets are sixth at 39-33.
March 22, 2023