Fred VanVleet, already cemented in the hearts of Toronto Raptors fans as an absolute legend after his performance in the 2019 NBA Finals and postseason, just immortalized himself once again.
VanVleet put back his 54th point of the night with just under four minutes remaining in Tuesday’s contest versus Orlando, setting the Raptors single-game points record in the process.
The all-time franchise mark in a single contest was previously held by DeMar DeRozan, who scored 52 in a 2018 meeting with the Milwaukee Bucks. The beloved DeRozan, who was teammates with VanVleet in Toronto for two seasons, reached out to his friend on Twitter after he beat his record, simultaneously working in a customary not-so-subtle jab on his good buddy Kyle Lowry — who had a triple-double of his own in Toronto’s win on Tuesday.
Congrats to my brotha Freddy V! Kyle old ass couldn’t do it. Glad you did champ! Been telling you!
— DeMar DeRozan (@DeMar_DeRozan) February 3, 2021
The white-hot VanVleet was also real close to knocking down Klay Thompson’s NBA record for three-pointers in a game (14), but finished three shy after posting an absurd 11-for-14 mark from downtown in 37 minutes. His 11 triples on just 14 attempts was the seventh-best performance in NBA history from beyond the arc.
VanVleet collected a few prestigious marks on his way to the Raptors single-game points record, including one FVV will likely take immense pride in. No undrafted player in modern league history (since 1966) has scored more points in a single game than Fred “bet on yourself” VanVleet.
This is also a new NBA record for most points scored by an undrafted player
— Blake Murphy (@BlakeMurphyODC) February 3, 2021
Raptors head coach Nick Nurse, of course, was almost at a loss for words with Fred after the game, but he was able to find some pretty good ones in breaking down VanVleet’s game and journey.
“I think it's an incredible statement. It's incredible. To be an undrafted guy and to do that. He's got a pedigree of winning with every team he's ever been on in his life... Tremendous competitor, worker, thinker, all that stuff,” Nurse said.
VanVleet — on top of his still hard to fathom 54 points — added three rebounds, two assists, three steals and three blocks to the statline of his ridiculous outing.
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