Pistons’ Malachi Flynn makes history with surprising 50-point performance vs Hawks

Going into Wednesday night’s slate of matchups around the NBA, Detroit Pistons point guard Malachi Flynn was probably the most unlikely player anyone would have expected to have the game that he did against the Atlanta Hawks.

Flynn, who averages about 14 minutes per game for his entire NBA career, came off the bench to score 50 points in 34 minutes. He was 18-of-25 from the field and made five 3-pointers.

Malachi Flynn lay up

Detroit Pistons point guard Malachi Flynn goes up for a layup against Hawks forward Bruno Fernando, Wednesday, April 3, 2024, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Jason Allen)

The Hawks won the game 121-113 and clinched a spot in the NBA play-in tournament.

“Right now, it’s tough because at the end of the day you want to win,” Flynn said. “But it does feel good to kind of take in the moment. I’m sure a couple of days from now, it will feel really good.”

Flynn’s 50 points were put in historic context. ESPN’s Tim MacMahon relayed the note from Elias Sports Bureau. Flynn had the lowest scoring average from any player before they dropped 50 points in a game. He was averaging 5.2 points per game before Wednesday night.


Malachi Flynn plays defense

Hawks guard Kobe Bufkin dribbles around Detroit Pistons guard Malachi Flynn, Wednesday, April 3, 2024, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Jason Allen)

“He just works on his game,” Pistons head coach Monty Williams said, via The Detroit News. “He’s in the gym every morning, pretty much an hour before practice, maybe more. He works on his game. All those shots that he made are shots I see him working on every day. It wasn’t just that. He had some timely passes that tell you a lot about him as a player.”

The Pistons are Flynn’s third team this season.

He started with the Toronto Raptors and played 31 games for them. He then moved to the New York Knicks before joining Detroit.

Malachi Flynn looks on

Malachi Flynn of the Detroit Pistons during a timeout in the fourth quarter of the Hawks’ game at State Farm Arena on April 3, 2024, in Atlanta. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The Raptors selected Flynn in the first round of the 2020 draft. He played just over three seasons in Toronto.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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