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Fred VanVleet is first bench player in Raptors history to make 7 or more 3-pointers in a playoff game

Fred VanVleet

Toronto Raptors backup point guard Fred VanVleet made franchise history on Thursday night.

VanVleet is the first Raptors bench player to make seven 3-pointers in an NBA playoff game, per the NBA Stats official Twitter account. He accomplished the feat in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Milwaukee Bucks on May 23.

The last NBA player to make seven threes off the bench was Channing Frye. He did it during the Cleveland Cavaliers’ historic title run three years ago.

All of VanVleet’s seven field goals were from 3-point range. He missed just two attempts from that distance. VanVleet’s 21 points complemented Kawhi Leonard’s 35 points for the Raptors.

VanVleet’s explosion couldn’t have come at a better time for Toronto. With the Raptors’ 105-99 win in Game 5, they took a 3-2 series lead. They’re now one win away from their first NBA Finals appearance.

VanVleet is coming off a 13-point effort in the Raptors’ 120-102 win over the Bucks in Game 4. He made all three of his 3-point attempts in that game.

VanVleet’s performance in the Eastern Conference is a vast improvement from his showing against the Philadelphia 76ers in the second round. He had several zero-point outings in that series.

VanVleet even had a one-point performance in Game 3 against Philadelphia, when he missed all seven of his field goal attempts. The Raptors lost to the Sixers, 116-95.

The inspiration behind Fred VanVleet’s hot shooting in Game 5: his son. VanVleet became a new father on May 20.

An inspired Fred VanVleet spells trouble for the Milwaukee Bucks. Expect him to come out with all guns blazing in Game 6 on Saturday.