50 dots. A mythical threshold. Mark 50 pawns, it slams. It marks the spirits. For players like James Harden Where Kobe Bryant, it was commonplace at one time. But it remains an exceptional performance. Reserved for a very small portion of NBA players. Although… the North American championship is the toughest in the world.
It seems that the pros who populate the different franchises are all able to make cards but that it is ultimately only a question of opportunities. That even the twelfth man on a team is capable of contributing but is simply blocked by other teammates for a whole host of reasons. What if it was – almost – true?
Focus on these players who, for one evening, touched by grace, flirted with the greatest of their sport. On these unlikely, unexpected guys who can claim to have made as many 50-point NBA games as Tim Duncan.
Allen Iverson. Kobe Bryant. Ray Allen. Shareef Abdur-Rahim. Jermaine O’Neal. Stephen Marbury. And… Tony Delk. The list of players drafted in 1996 to have scored 50 or more points in an NBA game. Spot the intruder. Sixteenth choice of one of the most prestigious vintages in history, the combo guard passed through eight franchises in ten years of career did not leave a big mark on the league. He spent most of his time as a substitute, while often proving useful as an attacking joker.
Then suddenly, one evening in January 2001, the explosion. Holder to compensate for the absence of an injured Penny Hardaway, Tony Delk loose 53 points during a defeat of the Phoenix Suns against the Sacramento Kings (117-121). All without the slightest award-winning basket! 20 of 27 on shots. 13 of 15 on free throws. And 17 assists for his partner in the backcourt Jason Kidd. Only penetrations and mid-range shots. Impressive. Completely unlikely.
Double college champion in 2006 and 2007. MOP of the Final Four just before joining the NBA. Seventh pick in the draft. Corey Brewer was expected. But he quickly showed his limits. Complete, good defender, combative, the athletic winger was more of a duty player par excellence than a superstar. Players of this profile are generally driven from one end of the country to the other with incessant transfers. He was no exception to this rule.
But in 2013-14, Brewer was finally able to enjoy some stability. A season at Wolves – the franchise where he started before being sent to Dallas then Denver before returning to Minnesota – as a starter. And a memorable card. 51 dots. He himself did not believe.
” I’m not going to lie to you… 50? You know how many guys have scored 50 points in the NBA? That’s what makes the evening so special. I really didn’t think I would ever score 50 points in the NBA. »
And to tell the truth, his partners didn’t believe it either. ” I’m going to need to watch the game again to check if he really put up 51 points joked Ricky Rubio. The most ironic? He will be transferred to Houston, where he had stuck the 51 points, the following season.
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The teacher. The real one, not that of the “Casa de Papel”. A leader with a very high basketball IQ, as big as his butt every time the season resumes. A man who made no secret of gorging himself on pizzas and desserts during the summer. On the field, he still knew how to make the difference. By passing. Yes, passes. Andre Miller is one of the most prolific giveaway leaders in history (eleventh).
Then, in January 2010, he decided one evening to take his chance. Only 2 assists. But 52 pawns. 22 of 31 on shots and a Portland Trail Blazers win over the Dallas Mavericks in overtime. With precisely 25 points scored in the fourth quarter and in overtime.
Here is one that did not last long in the NBA. Ninth pick in the 1990 draft, the Detroit native played 316 games in eight seasons. Light for a player selected in the top-10. On the other hand, in 1995, Willie Burton made sparks. Signed by the Philadelphia Sixers where he alternates between the bench and the major five, he takes advantage of a duel with the Miami Heat, his former team, to blow up the counters. 53 points on just 19 shots.
This is still a record today. Never has a player scored so many points in so few shots. With 5 three-point baskets to inflate his brand but above all 24 out of 28 in free throws. Despite his feat, Burton will never win in the NBA thereafter. He even played in Italy the following season before timidly returning to the league without winning.
Had he been born twenty years later, Tracy Murray would have been a highly rated player in today’s NBA. A fairly one-dimensional winger but an arguably prized sniper. He was strafing three-pointers before the long shot even became fashionable. And one evening in February 1998, it paid off for him. Author of five torpedoes, the Washington Wizards player slammed 50 points in a success against the Golden State Warriors. The Strongest ? His team scored 99. So he put up more than half of the Wizards’ points.
Replacing almost all of his career, Murray has struggled thereafter. 659 matches and only 80 started in the five major.
Today, Terrence Ross is one of the best sixth men in the league. A scorer who comes in and has carte blanche to light up. It is therefore not so surprising to see him make a cardboard. It was the timing that surprised. Interesting but limited rookie, the winger who was then playing for the Raptors slammed his 51 points in his second season in the NBA. A big boom.
That evening in January 2014, Ross took over for his two All-Stars, Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, each completely off base. He took the opportunity to make a box, including 10 award-winning shots. 51 points, it was at the time a franchise record equaled, that then held by Vince Carter. A performance beaten since with DeRozan’s 52 points in 2018.
Sixth pick in the 1966 draft, Walt Wesley had one or even two good seasons in the NBA. He has long been an unproductive substitute pivot. Until the day when, in 1971, the Cavaliers offered him a starting position. He took his chance. 50 points passed against Cincinnati. The only feat of arms of his career.
A special case in this list. Brandon Jennings was expected as a star in the NBA. And during the first years of his career, he gave the impression that he could develop his potential. In reality, he was quick to show himself to his advantage.
The leader, tenth choice of the 2010 draft, scored 55 points in his seventh game in the league! A surprising performance. Except the immense Wilt Chamberlain, author of 58 points as a rookie, no beginner has done better in the history of the league.
Quite a performance, especially because of Jennings’ background. Unlike almost all of the prospects at that time, the small leader had given up the NCAA to discover the professional world in Italy. A very difficult experience but which formed him for the future. The proof with this thundering career start.
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