Title: Fred VanVleet has a record, but was it the best performance in Raptors history?
Date: February 4, 2021
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I ranked some of the best individual nights in Raptors history to contextualize Fred VanVleet’s 54-point outburst.
As Fred VanVleet piled basket on top of basket Tuesday in a record-setting 54-point performance, the names of more and more NBA players fell.
There was DeMar DeRozan, the previous Toronto Raptors record-holder for points in a game with 52. There was Terrence Ross, the unofficial title-holder for the most unexpected 50-point outburst with the team. There was Moses Malone, who prior to Tuesday held the record for most points in a game (53) as an undrafted NBA player. Malone’s status is debatable since he was initially drafted into the ABA out of high school and then entered the NBA via the dispersal draft when the two leagues later merged.
VanVleet’s 54 points will stand as the benchmark for Raptors players and undrafted players alike for the foreseeable future. It represents a beacon of what is possible even up against the longest odds. It’s an affirmation of the role our decisions have over our own destinies. It was a joyous – and much-needed – reprieve from a rough start to the Raptors season amid difficult circumstances.
But was it the best individual performance in Raptors history? That remains open to some debate.