The Biggest Fluke Scoring Performances in NBA History (Update)

About six weeks ago I wrote about the biggest fluke scoring performances in NBA history. This past Friday night we had a new name to add to the mix: Corey Brewer, who’s stunning 51-point performance bested his previous career high by 22 points.

Please read the blog post linked above for complete details, but just to summarize a player’s “fluke” score is determined using the following formula:

(Pts – Avg)2 / Avg

where “Avg” is the player’s season scoring average.

Prior to Brewer’s explosion, here were the five biggest fluke 50-point games in the regular season:

Name Date PTS Avg Score
Terrence Ross 2014-01-25 51 11.0 146
Tony Delk 2001-01-02 53 12.3 135
Fred Brown 1974-03-23 58 16.5 105
Andre Miller 2010-01-30 52 14.0 103
Brandon Jennings 2009-11-14 55 15.5 101

Ross’ score has actually come down a bit since the original post, as his season scoring average has risen from 10.6 points per game to 11.0 points per game over that span.

So where does Brewer’s game fit in? Here’s the calculation:

(51 – 12.19)2 / 12.19 = 124

That would put Brewer in third place, behind Ross and Delk but well ahead of Brown:

Name Date PTS Avg Score
Terrence Ross 2014-01-25 51 11.0 146
Tony Delk 2001-01-02 53 12.3 135
Corey Brewer 2014-04-11 51 12.2 124
Fred Brown 1974-03-23 58 16.5 105
Andre Miller 2010-01-30 52 14.0 103

For reasons stated in the prior post, I would still put Delk at the top of my list of biggest fluke scoring performances in NBA history. But Brewer’s effort was a noteworthy one, good enough to make him a starter on the “He Scored 50 Points???” team.

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6 thoughts on “The Biggest Fluke Scoring Performances in NBA History (Update)

  1. When someone would remark that someone had an “out of body” scoring night I always referred to Walt Wesley who once scored 53 in one game with Cleveland.

    1. Agreed. I mentioned Wesley in the original post, although it should be noted that he averaged 17.7 points per game that season.

  2. It would be interesting to see the same calculation done with rebounding totals. I’d be curious to see if Timofey Mozgov’s recent 29-board effort would make the top 5.

    1. After a quick b-r search, I’m also impressed to see that Anthony Tolliver had a game for Golden State in which he grabbed 21 rebounds in 28 minutes!

      1. Going back to 1985-86, here’s what I get for rebounds (minimum 20 rebounds):

        Rk Name Date REB AVG Score
        1. Aaron Gray 2008-04-16 22 2.75 134.5
        2. Mark McNamara 1987-12-02 22 3.74 89.2
        3. John Henson 2013-04-10 25 4.71 87.3
        4. Timofey Mozgov 2014-04-10 29 6.44 79.0
        5. Enes Kanter 2013-03-01 22 4.34 71.8
  3. I understand you are using a formula, but I would argue Fred Brown wasn’t big a fluke if you throw out the math. I believe he also had 45 in a playoff game. When he got it going he was a little like Steph Curry. He would just start dropping them from everywhere. His scoring average would have have been higher had he played his entire career with the 3pt line.

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