Skip to Content

Sure, Yeah, Malachi Flynn Scored 50

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 03: Malachi Flynn #18 of the Detroit Pistons reacts during a timeout against the Atlanta Hawks inthe second quarter at State Farm Arena on April 03, 2024 in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

As far as fourth-year backup point guard Malachi Flynn is concerned, I figured his biggest splash this NBA season would have been that time New York Knicks broadcaster Clyde Frazier, comparing Flynn's appearance to then-teammate Donte DiVincenzo, described him as "Evil Donte." I was wrong. When the Knicks acquired Bojan Bogdanovic and Alec Burks at the trade deadline, they sent Flynn to the Detroit Pistons, where he was free to build a new legacy among the zoomer ruins. Mostly he just did the same thing he did at all his previous NBA stops: provide 13 or 14 minutes of serviceable PG play each outing. Until last night.

In Wednesday's game against the Atlanta Hawks, the Pistons were without Cade Cunningham, who was a late scratch due to an ongoing left knee injury. The RotoWire injury report intimated that "Malachi Flynn could take on an enlarged role." If only they knew. Flynn came off the bench midway through the first quarter and stayed in for most of the game, because he was carrying the Pistons' offense. He scored a career-high 50 points on 18-of-25 from the field, with six rebounds, five assists, and three steals. According to Flynn, it was the first time he had scored 50 at any level of competition. “I almost did in high school," he said, via The Athletic. "I had 49 and my coach took me out. I still have a grudge."

The 6-foot-1 reserve made all kinds of history. Flynn's 5.2 points-per-game career average heading into Wednesday night was the lowest of any NBA player who went on to score 50. He's also one of four players ever to drop 50 while shooting better than 70 percent from the field, following Luka Doncic, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Jalen Brunson. He's the only one of that bunch to do so while coming off the bench, and is just the third player ever to come off the bench and hit the 50-point mark, following Jamal Crawford for the Suns in 2019 and Nick Anderson for the Magic in 1993.

This is a wonderful occasion for the individual and not the team. Because if you check the rest of the box score, you'll see that the Pistons squandered this instance of peculiar history and lost, 121-113, for their 10th defeat in their last 11 games.

Already a user?Log in

Welcome to Defector!

Sign up to read another couple free blogs.

Or, click here to subscribe!

If you liked this blog, please share it! Your referrals help Defector reach new readers, and those new readers always get a few free blogs before encountering our paywall.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter