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Raptors' VanVleet breaks franchise record for most points in a game

Last Updated Feb 2, 2021 at 10:07 pm EDT

Toronto Raptors' Fred VanVleet looks on during a coach's challenge in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Boston Celtics in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., on Aug. 7, 2020. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS/Ashley Landis, Pool

Fred VanVleet set a franchise record with 54 points and hit a career-best 11 3-pointers as the Toronto Raptors beat the short-handed Orlando Magic 123-108 on Tuesday night.

VanVleet made 11 of his first 12 attempts from 3-point range. He finished 17 of 23 from the field and 9 for 9 at the free throw line to surpass the previous Raptors record of 52 points scored by DeMar DeRozan on Jan. 1, 2018.

The fifth-year guard out of Wichita State easily topped his previous high of 36 points set last season by scoring 17 in the first quarter, 11 in the second, 18 in the third and six more in the fourth before being lifted after the outcome was decided.

VanVleet’s previous best for 3s in a regular-season game was seven. He made eight in a playoff game last October against Brooklyn.

Toronto, which entered second in the NBA in 3s and attempts per game, connected on 20 of 46 shots from beyond the arc. Once 2-8, the Raptors won for the seventh time in the past 11 games. They beat the reeling Magic for a second time in three nights and for the seventh consecutive time over the past three seasons.

Norman Powell had 23 points for Toronto, and Kyle Lowry posted a triple-double with 14 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.

Orlando, which has lost 12 of 14, tried almost every guard on its roster against the 6-foot-1 VanVleet with little to no success. He had three 3-pointers from at least 30 feet and hit a trio of catch-and-shoot 3s in transition.

VanVleet equaled the franchise record of 52 points with a layup with 4:45 to play and then set the new mark on another layup with 3:46 left.

Nikola Vucevic had 21 points and 18 rebounds for the Magic. Evan Fournier scored 12 of Orlando’s first 14 points and finished with 21. Rookie guard Cole Anthony chipped in with 16 points and seven rebounds.

The teams were playing for a second straight game after squaring off Sunday in Tampa _ the Raptors’ temporary home. Toronto won that game, 115-102, behind 30 points from Pascal Siakam to break a three-game losing streak.

VanVleet almost single-handedly gave the Raptors a 64-60 halftime lead with his torrid long-range shooting. He missed his first shot of the night _ a 9-foot jumper _ and then drilled his next four 3-pointers. He added a fifth 3 late in the first quarter and then drilled three more from beyond the arc in the second. He set Raptors season highs for points in a quarter (17 in the first) and a half (28 in the first).