The calendar has flipped to April, which means all bets are off for the remainder of the NBA regular season. These are the days of G League call-ups, 10-day contracts and guys most casual fans have probably never heard of putting up big numbers. Even by those standards, though, Malachi Flynn's 50-point game for the Detroit Pistons ranks among the most surprising performances we've ever seen. 

Flynn, who is on his third team of the season, went off for 50 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals on 18-of-25 from the field in the Pistons' 121-113 loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night. Even more impressive, he did so off the bench. 

In the process, Flynn made a few bits of history:

  • He has the lowest career scoring average (5.2 points) of any player with a 50-point game in NBA history. 
  • He is the third player ever, along with Jamal Crawford and Nick Anderson, to score 50 points off the bench.
  • He is the second player ever, along with Crawford, to have at least 50 points, five rebounds and five assists off the bench

Flynn was doing a little bit of everything against the Hawks. He snaked his way into the paint, both for finishes and trips to the line, made them pay for playing drop coverage by hitting mid-range pull-ups and knocked down five 3-pointers. All told, it was a brilliant display of shot-making. 

The No. 29 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, Flynn had some bright moments in his rookie season with the Toronto Raptors, but has struggled to find a consistent role since then. Earlier this season he was traded to the New York Knicks as part of the OG Anunoby-RJ Barrett trade, then later sent to the Pistons as part of the Bojan Bogdanovic and Alec Burks deal. 

After playing sparingly in his first few weeks with the Pistons, he's been getting more regular playing time lately, and has had a few double-digit performances, though nothing even approaching a 50-point night. In fact, in his first 17 games with the team he had 98 total points.