What a night it was for Fred VanVleet.
The Toronto Raptors star guard set a new franchise record with 54 points to defeat the Orlando Magic and sweep the two-game series.
For more on the historic contest, we have you covered with some thoughts below.
1. Fred VanVleet goes Human Torch for career-night
The Raptors got out to a slow start in this contest and it was VanVleet who kept them grounded with three 3s early on in the first quarter to weather the storm.
Turns out VanVleet was doing much more than just weathering the storm, pouring in a career-high eight 3-pointers in the first half alone (!) for 28 points to give Toronto a halftime lead.
28 points.- NBA (@NBA) February 3, 2021
Career-high 8 threes.
IN THE FIRST HALF.
Fred VanVleet is feeling it for the @Raptors! pic.twitter.com/2OiANAMyGu
Halftime couldn't cool off the star guard as VanVleet turned a hot start into a historic performance for the Raptors. VanVleet set a new franchise record with 54 points in the contest, going 11-for-14 from beyond the arc to go with three rebounds, three steals, three blocks and two assists. He fell just one 3-pointer shy of tying Donyell Marshall's franchise record but he did set the record for most points scored by an undrafted player in NBA history, passing Moses Malone (53).
It was a night that will not be forgotten any time soon as the undrafted guard has solidified his place in history.
2. Norman Powell's return
Amidst his best stretch of the season, Powell suffered a quad contusion that forced him to miss two games. In the four games leading up to his absence, Powell had four 20-plus-point games averaging 23.3 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.3 steals while shooting 48.5% from the field and 41.4% from beyond the arc.
He returned to action in this contest and was immediately inserted back into the starting lineup with OG Anunoby out.
As expected when Powell is filling in as a starter, he was solid as ever with 23 points, four steals, two boards and two assists. He shot 7-for-15 from the field and 4-for-9 from 3-point range, picking up right where he left off prior to the injury.
3. Kyle Lowry tallies another triple-double
It wasn't just the VanVleet show in this one - Lowry chipped in 14 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for his first triple-double of the season and his 15th as a Raptor, extending his franchise record.
4. Where is Pascal Siakam's 3-point shot?
It's no secret that Siakam has struggled to shoot the 3-ball this season. Entering this contest, the All-Star forward's 3-point percentage has dipped from 35.9% last season to 24.3% this season. Of the 183 NBA players that have taken at least 50 3-pointers this season, Siakam's 3-point percentage ranks fourth-worst in the entire league.
He has now missed 20 of his last 24 3-point attempts after going 0-for-2 in this contest.
While Siakam had consecutive 30-point games for the first time since last December leading into this matchup, his scoring wasn't there in this one, but it didn't have to be. He still made an impact, dishing out eight assists to go with five rebounds.
5. Evan Fournier stepping up as a scorer
Aaron Gordon will be out for over a month after suffering a severe ankle sprain, leaving the Magic with a void to fill offensively.
Fournier stepped into that role early on in this one, scoring 12 of the team's first 14 points of the game. He maintained a scoring presence throughout the contest with 21 points shooting 7-for-15 from the field but with Nikola Vucevic being the only other player to score over 20 points, the Magic didn't have enough firepower to stay in the game.
.@EvanFourmizz is having a night.- Orlando Magic (@OrlandoMagic) February 3, 2021
He has 𝟭𝟐 of our first 𝟭𝟰 points. pic.twitter.com/zg15pRq07q
6. Who is Chuma Okeke?
The Magic's rookie made an impact in the first half, although he didn't play much in the second half.
Scoring 10 points shooting 4-for-5 from the field and 2-for-2 from 3 in just 18 minutes of playing time, the No. 16 overall pick of the 2019 NBA Draft flashed some potential to fill some of the available minutes left behind while Gordon is sidelined.
We hope you're as excited to watch these @chuma_okeke highlights as we are to post them.#MagicTogether pic.twitter.com/SvVHSktxgT- Orlando Magic (@OrlandoMagic) February 3, 2021
Known more as a defensive specialist, this offensive spark was a plesant surprise for the Magic. After missing his entire first season in the league recovering from a torn ACL, the 22-year-old Auburn product may find some consistent playing time in the coming weeks.
7. What's next?
With the win, the Raptors advance to 9-12 on the season. They will have two days off before a marquee matchup against the new-look Brooklyn Nets on Friday. As for the Magic, they fall to 8-13 on the season. They will also have two days off before taking on the Chicago Bulls on Friday.
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