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3 stats facts to know from Fred VanVleet's 54-point game

Take a closer look at some of the stats accomplishments Fred VanVleet piled up Tuesday against the Magic.

From News Services

Relive the best moments from Fred VanVleet’s 54-point night.

Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet has been associated over the years with the mantra of “bet on yourself.” That belief was shown on the court Tuesday as he piled up several personal, team and NBA-best numbers en route to a 54-point showing in Toronto’s 123-108 win against the Orlando Magic.

Here’s a closer look at the stats to know from his 54-point barrage:

1. Most points in a single game by an undrafted player

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, VanVleet’s 54 points were the most points in an NBA game for an undrafted player — eclipsing the 53 scored by Hall of Fame big man Moses Malone on the exact same date 39 years earlier.

Via Elias Sports, these are the top five highest-scoring games by an undrafted player in the modern Draft era (since 1966):

Most points scored by undrafted player in single game since 1966
Player (Team) Points scored Opponent Date Result
Fred VanVleet (Raptors) 54 Magic Feb. 2, 2021 123-108 W
Moses Malone (Rockets) 53 Clippers Feb. 2, 1982 122-106 W
Moses Malone (76ers) 51 Pistons Nov. 14, 1984 137-133 L
Moses Malone (Rockets) 51 Warriors March 11, 1981 109-92 W
Moses Malone (Bullets) 50 Nets April 8, 1987 118-109 W
Moses Malone (Rockets) 49 Blazers March 13, 1982 112-107 W

Editor’s note: Malone’s professional career began in the ABA with the Utah Stars. He was then brought into the NBA through the ABA Dispersal Draft in 1976 when he was taken fifth overall by the Portland Trail Blazers. He never played for Portland and was later sent to the Buffalo Braves for a 1978 first-round pick. He played two games with Buffalo before being dealt to the Houston Rockets for two future Draft picks.

2. Most points in a single game in Raptors history

Toronto has not been short on its share of great players, with Vince Carter, Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Kawhi Leonard and Chris Bosh holding down places on the franchise’s all-time leaderboard.

However, none of them can claim the No. 1 scoring game in Toronto history as that honor is now solely VanVleet’s. He eclipsed the previous mark, a 52-point showing by DeRozan against the Milwaukee Bucks back on Jan. 1, 2018.

Here are the four highest-scoring games in Raptors history:

Most points scored in single regular-season game in Raptors history
Player Points scored Opponent Date Result
Fred VanVleet 54 Magic Feb. 2, 2021 123-108 W
DeMar DeRozan 52 Bucks Jan. 1, 2018 131-127 W
Vince Carter 51 Suns Feb. 27, 2000 103-102 W
Terrance Ross 51 Clippers Jan. 25, 2014 126-118 L

3. A trio of records from 3-point land

VanVleet entered Tuesday’s game shooting 35.1% on 3-pointers in 2020-21, well below the 39% he posted in 2019-20 and off from his career 39.1% mark. That was atoned for against the Magic thanks to an 11-for-14 showing (78.6%) that helped him make some additional history as well. (For the record, VanVleet’s outburst helped boost his 3-point percentage this season to 38.3%.)

He made eight of those 11 3-pointers in the first half, which set a Raptors franchise record for most 3-pointers made in any half. The mark had previously been held by Danny Green (set on Jan. 19, 2019 vs. Memphis) and Terrance Ross (set on Jan. 25, 2014 vs. the LA Clippers), when both players hit seven 3-pointers.

Additionally, those 11 3-pointers VanVleet made came on 78.6% shooting, allowing him to become the third player in NBA history to make 11 or more 3-pointers in a game while shooting 75% or better. The other players on that list? Stephen Curry and Zach LaVine.

Lastly, another bit of undrafted player history belongs solely to VanVleet now, too. His 11 made 3-pointers are the most in a single game by an undrafted player, surpassing the previous mark of 10 held by Miami’s Duncan Robinson (set on Dec. 10, 2019 against Atlanta) and the Lakers’ Wesley Matthews (set on Dec. 6, 2015 when he played for Dallas).

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.