Raptors’ Fred VanVleet Breaks Multiple Records During 54 Point Performance Against Magic

Published 02/02/2021, 10:06 PM EST
Feb 2, 2021; Orlando, Florida, USA; Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet (23) drives to the basket as Orlando Magic guard Cole Anthony (50) defends during the first quarter at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports


The Toronto Raptors have done an outstanding job with player development in recent years. Late first-round picks, second-round picks, and even undrafted players have improved a lot during their stint with the Raptors. One of the best examples of this is their undrafted guard, Fred VanVleet.

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Tonight, he had the performance of a lifetime, as he scored a record-breaking 54 points against the Orlando Magic. He set the record for the most points scored in a single game in Raptors history, eclipsing DeMar DeRozan’s 52 points. He also had the most points scored by an undrafted player in a single game, beating Moses Malone’s record from 1960.

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If those two records weren’t enough, he also became the first Raptor to score 50 points in a road game. During this outstanding display, VanVleet shot 17-23 from the floor and 11-14 from three. He was also perfect from the charity stripe, going 9-9. Nothing could stop him tonight, as he led the Raptors to a 15 point win.

Fred VanVleet’s journey from an undrafted player to champion with Raptors

After being undrafted in 2016, VanVleet started his journey with the Raptors G-League outfit. Impressive displays with the Raptors 905, including a title, earned him a place in the Raptors rotation.

He played just eight minutes per game in his first season and showed some promising signs with his shooting. He had a minutes boost next season, playing 20 minutes off the bench while shooting 41% from three. The departure of DeRozan freed up the shooting guard spot next season, so he was able to get a few starts under his belt in the regular season.

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During the playoffs, VanVleet was back to his sixth-man role. He contributed with his defense in the earlier rounds, but then during the Conference Finals, he received a major boost. His son was born before Game 4, and after that, VanVleet was on fire.

He had just one double-digit point game in the first 15 playoff games that season. In the last nine games, he had eight, averaging 14.7 points per game, while shooting 51% from the field and 52% from three. This brilliant performance was crucial as the Raptors beat the Warriors to win their first-ever NBA title.

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VanVleet has been a core member of the Raptors since then, and tonight he proved it once again.

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Aaron Mathew

1666 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

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