Fred VanVleet made his most emphatic argument yet in his quest to become an All-Star. During Friday night’s game against the Utah Jazz, VanVleet caught fire and helped rally the Toronto Raptors from down double digits to a position where they held a lead against one of the best teams in the NBA.
In all, VanVleet scored 24 points in the quarter, going a perfect 8-for-8 from the field and knocking down all five of his attempts from the free throw line. Embedded in that was a 15-0 stretch in which he was literally the only player in the entire basketball game who scored a point, all while pitching in three assists, three rebounds, and a pair of steals. And for good measure, VanVleet did not turn the ball over at all.
Fred VanVleet dropped 2⃣0⃣ points in just over FOUR MINUTES pic.twitter.com/3v9Fd1gUG2
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 8, 2022
Personal 15-0 run for VanVleeet. pic.twitter.com/QUtnhgZLrz
— Blake Murphy (@BlakeMurphyODC) January 8, 2022
While VanVleet is in the midst of a very good season in which he’s been the lynchpin for Toronto, this was him taking things to another level, submitting a huge performance in the midst of waves of support for him to make the NBA All-Star game for the first time in his career. It happened in a crucial game for the Raptors in their chase to get out of the play-in tournament and earn a playoff spot — Toronto went on to win, 122-108, for its fifth win in a row.
Entering Friday night’s game, VanVleet is averaging a career-best 21.3 points, 6.7 assists, and 4.9 rebounds per game.