Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell tried to remain humble when asked about his poster dunk over Brooklyn Nets forward Yuta Watanabe after a 115-109 win over Brooklyn on Tuesday.
“Everybody’s reaction, they came right in timeout and said, ‘that was your best one,'” Mitchell said in a postgame press conference. “I saw it, and… it’s up there. I don’t know if it’s my best one, but it’s definitely up there.
“I’ll have to go look at it and check it out.”
A momentary lapse from the 2018 Slam Dunk Contest champion on an earlier fast break led to a lost pass from Cavs guard Darius Garland. The ball entered the stands as Cleveland was up by eight points on Brooklyn’s home floor, leading to Mitchell’s second of three turnovers.
“Remember when I went and lost the ball on the fast break the first time?” Donovan Mitchell asked. “This time, I made sure I caught the ball. I looked at (Cavs guard Caris LeVert), he just kept backing up. I just felt good enough to try and get up there and dunk it. Figured I would just use my body and just finish.
“It worked out.”
The dunk gave Cleveland a spark on the night head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said the team was playing “Cavaliers basketball” in the inter-conference win.
“Outside of me letting Mikal Bridges get downhill instead of being in help because I was still thinking about the dunk, that really sparked us,” said Donovan Mitchell. “It gave us a little bit of a boost.
“Those are defining plays. Different plays or different moments. That’s one of those things that continue to push us to get forward. It’s not like I go into a game thinking, ‘I’m going to try to get a dunk on somebody and try and get us going.’ Sometimes, it’s just what’s needed. It worked out.”