Fred VanVleet Picks Up First Career Triple-Double as Raptors Beat Jazz
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As the Toronto Raptors took on the Utah Jazz on Friday night, looking to extend their win streak to five games, VanVleet took it upon himself to make sure the Raptors would not lose. Taking on a short-handed Jazz squad, the Raptors went down 13-points at halftime and then the undrafted guard went supernova.
VanVleet scored 24 points in the third quarter on 8-for-8 shooting, including a perfect 3-for-3 from long range and 20 points in the span of just under five minutes. The remarkable VanVleet would finish the night with his first career triple-double, putting up 37 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, leading the Raptors to a 122-108 victory.
First Career Triple Double for 23
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“That was an incredible one, all the way through the [third] quarter, all the way leading up to that race-up three at the end. You couldn’t believe that went in as well,” said Raptors head coach Nick Nurse. “It was a spirited effort by him to lead us with the ball in his hands and defensively at the same time. [But] it’s hard to score like that, for sure, especially to string ‘em up like that so, for sure, the offensive part was really special.”
VanVleet has averaged 31 points and 7.2 assists over his last six games as he continues to will the Raptors up the Eastern Conference playoff standings.
“You just gotta learn when to apply it,” said VanVleet. “I’mma be honest, I always think I’m the best player in the gym and sometimes I’m right and sometimes I’m wrong and sometimes you show it and sometimes you don’t. That’s just the way I approach the game and you have to enforce that will and enforce your will on the game. I was more proud of the defensive plays I made in the third to give us that spark and the offence, that is what it is, it’ll come and go. I was just able to find my rhythm, my teammates set good screens and found me in good spots.”
The Raptors will have a day off today before they welcome Jonas Valanciunas and the New Orleans Pelicans to town on Sunday evening.