It’s fair to say not many Minnesota Timberwolves fans expected too much before their team’s clash against the Indiana Pacers.
On the back of a 15-game losing streak, it wasn’t just many of the basketball odds that believed the Pacers would make it 16 games without a win.
But that was before Mo Williams turned into Michael Jordan for the night to help the Timberwolves end their skid with a 110-101 victory.
However, the victory wasn’t enough to convince punters the Timberwolves are back in form.
After a modest first-half haul of 15 points, 2009 All Star Williams helped himself to an incredible 37 second-half points to become the first player in the NBA to pass the 50-point mark this season. Not only that, Williams’ 52 points saw him become the Minnesota Timberwolves record holder for most points scored in a single game. That broke the previous joint record of 51 held by Kevin Love and Corey Brewer.
Williams sank 19 of his 33 shots. Six of these came from the three point line while he also sank eight of nine free throws and seven single pointers. While Williams had scored more than 40 points in a game twice in his career, with a best of 44 coming for the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2009, the 32-year-old guard had started the game with a season average of 12.4 points a game and not many could have foreseen what was to come.
But while there is little doubt Williams’ 52-point haul caught everyone by shock, including a lot of 32Red punters, was it the most unlikely scoring performance from an NBA player in the past few years? Here are a few other displays that could challenge Williams for that title.
Terrence Ross vs. LA Clippers (January 2014)
Terrence Ross started his memorable game against the LA Clippers with a season average of only 9.3 points per game. But the Toronto Raptor swingman ensured that average increased significantly with an incredible 51-point haul that remains the biggest points tally of the youngster’s professional career. Despite only taking 29 shots from the field, Ross sank 10 three-pointers in a mesmerizing display that sees him up there as one of the best records by a player scoring over 50 points in NBA history. Since 1985, from the 20 single game performances in which an NBA player has scored over 10 three-pointers, only Golden State’s Stephen Curry has a better points tally. As well as improving his season-average, Ross proved just why he is so highly thought of in Toronto and put the NBA on alert that he could well be the real deal. While this season might not have been quite as successful for Ross, the forward only has to look back 12 months to remind himself of just what he is capable of.
Brandon Jennings vs. Golden State Warriors (November 2009)
In what was his rookie season in the NBA, Brandon Jennings had done a decent job in establishing himself in the Milwaukee Bucks team. Indeed, he averaged 20.7 points heading into the game against the Golden State Warriors. After a quiet first quarter in which he failed to trouble the scorers, Jennings wasted little time in booking his place in the franchise’s record books. He racked up the highest score by a first-year player with a cool 55 points as the Bucks clinched a four-point victory over the Warriors. It was the third quarter where it really got silly, with the youngster picking up 29 points in 12 minutes, more points than he scored in all but two of his rookie season appearances. But what made this performance so mind-blowing was the fact it came just seven games into Jennings’ NBA career. Despite a below-par rest of the season, Jennings will always be able to look back on 2009 with fondness, while some Warriors fans are still scratching their heads and wondering what happened.
Corey Brewer vs. Houston Rockets (April 2014)
While Mo Williams’ performance was as sensational as it was surprising, it still might not go down as the most unlikely points haul from a Minnesota Timberwolves player over the past 12 months. Corey Brewer’s 51 points against the Rockets in April last year won’t be forgotten about any time soon as it came from a player who has a career-high average of just 13-points a game. Not in a long while has a player looked more dangerous from in and around the basket. Brewer scored just two efforts from more than three feet from the rim, with 19 scores coming right at the hoop. While Brewer found himself in scoring positions again and again, he had to finish them off. He certainly did that on his way to almost doubling his second-best points haul of the season. And Brewer’s display definitely caught the eye of the Rockets management, who signed the 28-year-old later that year and guaranteed a repeat of that night won’t happen again anytime soon.