No player has ever hit more threes in a game against the Orlando Magic than Fred VanVleet did on Tuesday.
It was a historic scoring night for VanVleet, who drained 11 threes and dropped 54 points to lead the Raptors to a 123-108 win over the Magic.
“Shot making. Range. Off the dribble. Spot ups. I mean, he’s a terrific player and he obviously shot the ball phenomenally well,” Steve Clifford said of VanVleet after the game.
It was the Magic who came out firing early on, shooting 54% from the field in the first quarter. That was led by Evan Fournier, who scored 12 of the Magic’s first 14 points as Orlando jumped out to leads of 11-0 and 14-3. Normal Powell then scored 8 points during a 20-4 run to give the Raptors a 23-18 lead.
VanVleet caught fire during that stretch and went on to score 17 first quarter points, hitting five of six three-point attempts in the quarter, the last of which came with 4.7 seconds remaining to send the Raptors into the second quarter with a 33-31 lead.
Chuma Okeke checked in with 2:37 remaining in the first quarter, ending what had been a 16-game absence. Shortly after, he hit his first shot attempt, a 19-foot jumper. It was a sign of things to come as Okeke went on to add eight points in the second. The rookie hit a pair of threes, and then in transition hit a pull-up from just inside the three-point line to give the Magic a 42-40 lead with 8:30 left in the half. He then commit his fourth personal foul in just six minutes of playing time, and went to the bench for the remainder of the half with a new career high of 10 points.
The Magic took a 54-47 lead on a bucket by Cole Anthony with 4:13 left.
But then the VanVleet show continued as he hit three after three. He finished with 28 points at the half, hitting 8 of 9 attempts from deep, the last being a 30-plus footer than gave the Raptors a 62-57 lead with just over a minute left in the half. That helped the Raptors go 11-for-20 from three in the half, as they shot 48 percent from the field overall and took a 64-60 lead into the locker room.
The Magic kept pace by shooting 47 percent from the field, making 8 of their 20 three-point attempts. Fournier had 18 points at the half, shooting 6-for-11 from the field. Fournier also did have four of the Magic’s six turnovers that led to some fast break points for the Raptors, who would capitalize on Orlando turnovers all night.
The Magic opened the third quarter on an 8-0 run, bookended on threes by Anthony and Gary Clark to take a 68-64 lead.
Anthony had one of his top highlights of the season, throwing down a one-handed putback jam with authority....
The Magic couldn’t contain the Raptors three-point shooting as Kyle Lowry and VanVleet answered with back-to-back threes that sparked a 15-0 run, giving the Raptors an 89-77 lead with 3:37 left in the third.
VanVleet soon added a pair of layups, scoring 18 points in the third to finish with 46 points through three quarters, including an NBA season-high 11 three-pointers, the most ever in a single game by a Magic opponent. The Raptors led 96-82 heading into the fourth.
The Magic didn’t get within single digits in the fourth. Only reason to continue watching at that stage was to see if VanVleet would hit the 50-point mark and/or break the NBA single-game three-point record of 14 set by Klay Thompson. VanVleet hit 50 on a layup with five minutes remaining, and then was gifted another two points after a Magic turnover.
VanVleet , whose previous single-game highs were 36 points and 7 made threes, finished with a Raptors franchise record 54 points, the most ever by an undrafted player (surpassing Moses Malone’s 53 points), on 17-for-23 shooting, including 11 of 14 from three.
VanVleet made all nine of his free throw attempts, helping the Raptors take a big advantage over the Magic in the category (23-for-25 for the Raptors, 12-for-14 for the Magic). Toronto scored 36 points off 17 Magic turnovers.
Fournier and Vucevic finished with 21 each to lead the Magic. Anthony finished with 16 points and 7 rebounds. Dwayne Bacon added 15 points off the bench for the Magic, who shot 46% and hit 14 of 38 three-point attempts. Okeke was held scoreless in the second half, finishing with 10 points on 4-for-5 shooting in 18 minutes. Jordan Bone had 3 points and 4 assists in 17 minutes as he took on more ball-handling responsibility in the absence of Aaron Gordon.
The loss was the fourth straight for the Magic, who have now dropped 12 of their last 14 games to fall to 8-14. The Magic now welcome the Bulls to town for a back-to-back before heading out on a West Coast trip.