Donovan Mitchell Sends Heartfelt Message to JR Smith After Record-Setting Cavs Game

Donovan Mitchell Cleveland Cavaliers

Getty Donovan Mitchell of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Year one in a Cleveland Cavaliers jersey has been an unquestionable success for All-Star Donovan Mitchell. After scoring the most points in franchise history back in January (71), Mitchell has provided the offensive spark missing from last season’s excellent defensive squad.

And on Wednesday, Mitchell set another franchise record in Cleveland’s 104-100 victory over the Miami Heat. After drilling a three in the third quarter, Mitchell became the Cavaliers’ franchise leader in three-pointers made in a season, moving ahead of JR Smith.

Smith famously won a ring with the Cavs in 2016, all the while a 19-year-old Mitchell was a self-proclaimed “Cavalier.”

“It’s an honor,” Mitchell said after the game, per Chris Fedor of “The season he did it, I was a Cleveland Cavalier fan. I’m watching the Cavs on TV and screaming. To be able to say I’m part of history in this organization and a guy who lives not too far from me, I’ve worked out with him a thousand times, played pickup with him a thousand times, it’s truly special.”

Mitchell also threw out an apology to Smith.

“Swish, sorry I had to do it to you but it’s a full-circle moment for me and I really appreciate it,” Mitchell said.

Smith was an integral part of that championship winning Cavs squad. He poured in a total of 204 threes that season, hitting 40% of them. Further, he was Cleveland’s starting two-guard, starting all 77 games that he appeared in that season.

Smith Sounds Off on Playing with LeBron James

Smith wasn’t the lone standout on that championship Cavs squad. In fact, he was the team’s fourth option offensively, behind stars LeBron James, Kevin Love, and Kyrie Irving.

Recently, Smith shared his experience of playing alongside LeBron, calling it both a “gift and a curse.”

“… Honestly, it’s a gift and a curse playing with Bron. I love Bron to death, and I love playing on his team because, for me, I feel like I thrive more under the pressure,” Smith said, per Jenna Lemoncelli of the New York Post. “But a lot of guys don’t like it because it can go one of two ways.

While Smith is no longer in the NBA, LeBron still carries the torch, hunting for championships with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Though the Lakers were a mess for most of the season, the purple and gold have won two straight and seven of their last ten, slowly climbing the West’s bottom tier.

Garland Gets Honest About Cavs’ Playoff Hopes

For the second year in a row, the Cavaliers will finish the season with a winning record. It’s a feat unmatched this century for Cleveland, who has yet to play a single postseason game without LeBron James on the roster so far this century.

But the Cavs, who sit fourth in the East, appear primed for a postseason run.

It would be a first for Darius Garland, who’s strong leap last season gave the team hope that it could build a contender.

“Making the playoffs is always something I’ve wanted to have, to be honest with you,” Garland said, per Cavs beat writer Evan Dammarell. “I just want to get there and make some noise and, hopefully, win a championship one day.

The Cavaliers take on the Miami Heat tonight.

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