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Toronto Raptors Bay Street Journal: Betting on VanVleet Always Pays Off

Usually we have to think long and hard about whose stock rose the most after a game, but tonight? There could only be one.

And no, it isn’t Kyle Lowry for his triple-double.

Stock Up: Fred VanVleet

The Toronto Raptors’ 85-million dollar off-season investment in Fred VanVleet skyrocketed last night after he set a franchise-record with 54 points in a 123-108 win over the Orlando Magic.

According to Shams Charania from The Athletic, VanVleet also set the record for the most points ever scored in a single game by an undrafted player in NBA history, a record previously held by NBA legend Moses Malone (53). VanVleet has been living up to his “bet on yourself” motto since he went undrafted in 2016.

It was an incredibly efficient night for VanVleet, who shot 17-for-23 from the floor, 11-for-14 from three (one shy from tying the franchise record) and nine-for-nine from the free throw line.

The incredible offensive performance overshadowed VanVleet’s feisty defensive effort of three steals and three blocks on the night. VanVleet continues to make his case for an All-Defensive team selection this season.

Getting Back on Track

At times VanVleet has struggled to shoot the ball well this season, shooting just under 40 percent from the field prior to last night’s game. But VanVleet and the Raptors found a good rhythm during their back-to-back wins against the Magic.

Stock Down: No One

Let’s be positive after a historic night and focus on some other performances that stood out tonight!

As I mentioned earlier, Kyle Lowry had a quiet 14 point, ten rebound and ten assist triple-double which will likely go unnoticed, registering his second straight game with double digit assists.

Norman Powell returned from a two-game absence and picked up right where he left off scoring 23 points. He’s had 20 or more points in each of the last five games he has played.

Raptors fans will savour this season highlight win for as long as possible, next up is Kevin Durant and the star-studded Brooklyn Nets on Friday night.

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