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Raptors’ Gary Trent Jr. turns into the human torch with en fuego performance vs. Cavs

Raptors, Gary Trent Jr.

Gary Trent Jr. has been balling out of his mind since being traded by the Portland Trail Blazers to the Toronto Raptors over the deadline. Sure, some Raps fans are missing the two-way services of Norman Powell, but Trent Jr.’s amazing display as of late has them forgetting all about him.

After setting a career-high 31 points at the beginning of the month, the 22-year-old shooter did it again, going ballistic in the Raptors’ 135-115 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse on Saturday. The former second-round pick was simply unconscious, uncorking 44 points on a ridiculous 80 percent shooting clip from the field (17-for-19 FG) and the 3-point area (7-for-9). He also scattered seven rebounds, four assists and one steal in 33 minutes of action.

Trent Jr. was locked in from the get-go, scoring 25 points in the first 24 minutes of the game. He was unstoppable in the mid-way part of the second quarter, making it rain from downtown over the helpless Cavs defense.

It’s not like he was taking wide-open shots, either. The Duke alum was firing away from long range usually with a defender’s hand covering his face. While Trent’s glow-up is indeed surprising for a lot of pundits, Blazers fans already knew they gave up a good one when they sent him away to the Raptors.

Gary Trent Jr., after all, was initially deemed as a defensive specialist when he first entered the league and eventually developed into a lethal 3-and-D guy. Given a larger role in Toronto’s roster, Trent has no doubt made the most of the opportunity and showing the fruits of his hard work.

While it remains unclear if he’ll re-sign with the Raptors after the season, not doubt Trent Jr. deserves the big bucks surely coming his way.