He dropped 53, to be exact. But the half-century mark, long an offensive milestone, is a catchier number that we're more prone to remember. And Delk ? a career 9.1 points per game scorer who was averaging 12.1 points heading into the game ? hitting (and surpassing) that mark was one of the most WTF? NBA moments that year. There have been improbable offensive explosions before Delk, and there sure as hell have been a few since. But somehow, "Tony Delk's 50" has become the most referenced, go-to example of a role player inexplicably hitting a scoring milestone.
What's probably most impressive, looking back at the box score today, is that Delk managed to score 53 without hitting a three. Delk hit 20 of 27 field goals, all contested midrange Js and in-traffic floaters. They're not considered good shots, really. Dude was just absurdly hot.
And so, to celebrate the 14th anniversary of Tony Delk's totally random ass night, here's a look at five other surprising 50 point (or more) outbursts in the last 20 years, and we're going rank them by level of randomness, via the "Delk Scale."
DELK FACE
One head = "whoa, didn't see that coming."
Five heads = "Wait, wait... WTF???"