Fred VanVleet sets franchise and NBA records with 54 points outburst


TAMPA, FLORIDA – JANUARY 16: Fred VanVleet #23 of the Toronto Raptors brings the ball up during a game against the Charlotte Hornets at Amalie Arena on January 16, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

ORLANDO, FL (WTVO/WQRF) — Fred VanVleet has always been known as a winner on the basketball court, not an explosive scorer. That changed Tuesday night.

The Rockford native erupted for a career-high 54 points leading the Toronto Raptors to a 123-108 victory over the Orlando Magic.

VanVleet made 11 of 14 shots from behind the arc. He made eight of those in the first half. He made 17 of 23 shots from the field overal land he was a perfect 9-9 from the free throw line.

“I knew after my first shot went in that I was going to shoot the ball well,” said VanVleet. “I just tried to keep my foot on the gas and I was able to find spots. My teammates did a great job of finding me and screening for me, so.”

VanVleet had never scored so much as 40 points in a single game in the NBA or in college. His previous NBA career high was 36 points. With his 54 points he not only set a personal best, he set a new Raptors’ franchise record nipping DeMar DeRozan’s old record by two points. VanVleet also set the record for the most points ever scored by an undrafted player in the NBA. The former mark was 53 points held by Moses Malone.

Unbelievable and I’m very humbled,” said VanVleet of being mentioned with those two players. “It’s just a special night obviously on a lot of different levels, so I’m just trying to enjoy it for now, but you know it’s not a championship or anything like that. It was a good game for me and I’ll enjoy all the love for hours, a couple hours and be ready for the next one.”

When VanVleet entered the Raptors’ locker room after the game he was mobbed by his teammates and showered with water from water bottles.

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