Samuel Dalembert was at such a low point he didn't know how to react.
In his basketball life, it was an unexpected drop into the depths of despair.
But the 31-year-old veteran tried not to show it while still being a positive example for his younger Milwaukee Bucks teammates.
He wasn't playing and felt he had no meaningful role with the Bucks, who acquired him in a June trade with Houston.
But slowly he has begun to gain playing time under interim coach Jim Boylan.
And Tuesday night in Denver, a strange set of forces collided. He scored 21 points in 9-plus minutes in the first half and finished with 35 points, his career high and the most by a bench player in the NBA this season.
He made 17 field goals, tying LeBron James for the most in the league this season.
He notched 35 points and 12 rebounds in just 27 minutes, the first NBA player to do that, according to Elias Sports Bureau.
And he shot 81% by hitting 17 of 21 shots, the highest percentage in the league this season by any player attempting at least 20 shots.
What a sudden transformation it was for the 6-foot-11 Haitian center. And his teammates loved it.
"I feel like everything is a matrix, slow-motion," Dalembert said of his sensational night at the Pepsi Center. "You can see the action happen before it happens; you can see where the ball is falling before it happens.
"It was effortless for me, to tell the truth. It was a beauty. I was just striving. My teammates kept cheering on the bench and I didn't understand it."
Samuel Dalembert happy to get off Bucks' bench
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | Feb 9