On February 27, 2000, Vince Carter put on a show at Air Canada Center.
In what was the Toronto Raptors' first nationally televised game in their five-year existence, Carter seized the moment to announce himself to the American television audience in a 103-102 win over the Phoenix Suns in front of a 19,800 sellout crowd.
Fresh off his all-time performance in the 2000 Slam Dunk Contest at All-Star Weekend in Oakland two weeks prior, Carter went off for a career-high 51 points, becoming the first Raptor to hit the 50-point mark.
In a game featuring, Jason Kidd, Penny Hardaway, Clifford Robinson, and youngsters Tracy McGrady and Shawn Marion, Carter was the star of the show, adding nine rebounds, three steals, and shooting 17-of-32 from the field, 4-of-8 from three and 13-for-13 from the free-throw line.
Carter was in his bag wire-to-wire, with a dizzying array of drives, long jumpers, and highlight-reel jams and with his final points of the night, he put the Raptors up 103-99, driving through a double team with 47.5 seconds left.
"I wanted the ball in my hands where I could make a decision," Carter said. "I was hitting shots, but if I wasn't I wanted to get the double team and find the open man.
"Everything else is going to go unnoticed because of the 51; we did it as a team today."
Watch the game below:
Carter held the franchise record of 51 points for 14 years, until Terrence Ross matched his feat in 2014. DeMar DeRozan went on to claim the record after scoring 52 points in an overtime win against the Milwaukee Buks in 2018.
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