John Raoux/Associated Press
On Tuesday, he became his franchise’s all-time record holder for points scored in a game, surpassing the 52-point mark previously held by DeMar DeRozan.
The Rockford, Illinois, native poured in 54 points on 17-of-23 shooting from the field with 11 three-pointers in 37 minutes. He went a perfect 9-of-9 at the free-throw line, grabbed three rebounds and dished out two assists.
VanVleet’s outburst also set the NBA record for most points scored in a game by an undrafted player, topping Moses Malone’s 53 points.
It’s unquestionably one of the most amazing performances of the NBA season, and it’ll be extraordinarily difficult to top. VanVleet entered the night averaging 18.8 points per game this season—just his second as a full-time starter.
He hadn’t scored more than 35 points in a single game this year until nearly doubling that total Tuesday. Doing so against an Orlando Magic team allowing 111.1 points per game is even more impressive. As much trouble as the Magic have run into this season, defense hasn’t exactly been their problem.
Kevin O’Connor @KevinOConnorNBA
Incredible. Fred VanVleet averaged only 12.2 points as a college senior! It’s a testament to his drive and work ethic that he’s turned into the player he has with the Raptors. And he’s not only a scorer but a good passer and great defender. #betonyourself https://t.co/JmqIjfaigv
It was against Toronto. Especially VanVleet.
Of the six field-goal attempts VanVleet missed, three came at the rim, one came from just inside the three-point line on the right corner and the final two came from deep behind the arc. He was three layups away from hitting 60.
That said, VanVleet shouldn’t have much trouble celebrating the 54 he got. Not after cementing himself further into Toronto basketball lore.