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."
One head = "whoa, didn't see that coming."
Five heads = "Wait, wait... WTF???"