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Malachi Flynn, a Reserve for the Pistons, Scores 50 Points Against the Hawks

In the Detroit Pistons’ 121-113 loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night, backup point guard Malachi Flynn recorded an uncommon 50-point performance.

Since starters were first monitored in 1970–71, this was only the third game in which a guy off the bench scored 50 points or more. In a 1993 victory against the New Jersey Nets, Nick Anderson scored 50 points for the Orlando Magic, while Jamal Crawford scored 51 for the Phoenix Suns in a 2019 defeat to the Dallas Mavericks.

“Right now, it’s tough, because at the end of the day, you want to win,” Flynn stated. “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.”

The 50 points were a career high for Flynn and a club record for the Pistons for a reserve.

Flynn was 18-for-25 from the field and 9-for-12 at the line, matching his career high of 27 points. In 34 minutes, he also recorded season highs in steals, assists, and rebounds with six.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Flynn had the lowest lifetime scoring average at the time of a 50-point game in NBA history with his 5.2 point average as of Wednesday. Since starting to track starters and reserves, he became the only player to score 50 points and shoot 70% in a game while coming off the bench.

The Hawks led the Pistons 50–50 at the half, but each time they attempted to take the lead, Flynn made shots from all over the court.

Hawks coach Quin Snyder stated, “He was making contested shots and he got to the foul line, which got him going.” “We tried to get more aggressive on him and impact him, and he still made plays. He played great.”

Late in the fourth quarter, the Pistons closed the gap to five points, but they were unable to come any closer as Atlanta secured a spot in the Eastern Conference play-in round.

In the last 11 games, the Pistons have suffered 10 losses.

After being previously named in the lineup, starting point guard Cade Cunningham was a late scratch due to a left knee injury. He was replaced among the starters by Jaden Ivey.

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