Last summer, management decided the team had maxed out its potential with Mitchell and fellow All-Star Rudy Gobert, and it responded by trading Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves and Mitchell to Cleveland.
On Tuesday, the explosive guard made his first return to Utah since being traded, and the partisan crowd there gave him lots of love before the game even started.
— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) January 11, 2023
It was a very classy gesture by a Jazz fan base that has made Utah one of the toughest places to win a road game for decades.
After that love fest, Mitchell got onto the court and dropped 46 points while hitting 7-of-18 from 3-point range and dishing off six assists.
— NBA (@NBA) January 11, 2023
Unfortunately, the Cavs ended up losing 116-114, as they continued their problems winning games away from Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse.
The big bugaboo for Cleveland was the boards, as it got outrebounded 54-37, and it also had trouble keeping the Jazz off the free throw line, committing eight more fouls than them.
Center Jarrett Allen was able to stay on the court for just seven minutes before sitting out the rest of the contest with an illness, which was a significant factor in the team having such a deficit in the rebounding department.
Still, Mitchell reminded Utah fans of the excitement he gave them on a nightly basis and how he has made the Cavs into a prime-time team this year.