If you were asked the question, what players can you name who have had a 50-point performance? You would more than likely have some of the great names pop into your head, such as Jordan, Bird, Bryant, James… and the list goes on. There are however, a few names you may consider surprising to have had a one off 50-point performance.
Here are 5 players who have had 50-point games, that you may consider uncanny:
Andre Miller - 52 points
Over a span of 1,304 NBA games Andre Miller averaged 12.5 points per game, and his career best season for scoring came in 2008, when he averaged 17 points a game for the Philadelphia 76ers. Miller was a fantastic Point Guard and played an ‘Old Man’ style of basketball, where he could go to work in the low-post and was extra crafty around the rim. He’s not a player though that you would necessarily pick to have a 50-point performance. That day would come however, on January 30 2010, playing for the Portland Trail Blazers; he dropped 52 points against the Dallas Mavericks, shooting 22-31 from the field in 42 minutes.
Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf - 51 points
In a short but impactful NBA career of 586 games, Abdul-Rauf had a career average of 14.6 points per game for the Denver Nuggets. His career best seasons for scoring came in 1993 and then in 1996, where he averaged 19.2 points in each. For those fans who followed the formally named ‘Chris Wayne Jackson’ in College, they probably knew he was more than capable of putting up big numbers. The casual NBA fan though, may have been surprised the day he dropped 51 against the Utah Jazz, on December 8, 1995. What makes it most impressive, was he was going against an all time great in John Stockton and man did he put on a show!
Tony Delk - 53 Points
I think most people would agree, that Delk’s 53 point game is well regarded as the most surprising in NBA history. In a short career of 545 games, Delk’s career scoring average was 9.1 points per game. His best scoring season came in 2001, when he averaged 12.3 points a game for the Phoenix Suns. Enter January 2, 2001, Delk exploded for 53 points against the Sacramento Kings. Amazingly Delk did not hit one 3-pointer amidst his 20–27 shooting performance.
Dana Barros - 50 points
A career which saw Barros play 850 games, and a scoring average of 10.5 points per game. Barros is an unlikely candidate to drop 50 points in a game. He was a great 3-point shooter, knocking down a career 1090, 3-pointers at 41.1%. With that kind of 3-point prowess the potential was there to catch fire, and that’s exactly what Barros did playing for the 76ers on March 14, 1995. Barros would drop 50 points on the all-conquering Houston Rockets, shooting 6-8 from 3-point range.
Terrence Ross - 51 points
Still and active player in the NBA today, Ross has a career scoring average of 9.4 points per game for the Toronto Raptors. Known for his 6th man role for the Raptors, Ross certainly has plenty of potentials and has shown glimpses of being able to put up big numbers. One day it all came together for Ross, playing against the Clippers on January 25, 2014, Ross exploded for 51 points hitting an amazing 10-17 from 3-point land.
There we have it, five uncanny 50-point performances from players who averaged below 15 points per game in their NBA careers. It just goes to show, that on any given night the stars can align and a player can catch fire. These performances can never be taken away and are etched into the history of those who have dropped 50 or more in a game. These are the 5 that stick in my mind, however there are multiple other unlikely 50-point performers, who else would you add to your list?