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Terrence Ross scores 51 points, making Raptors and NBA history

Jan 26, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

Jonas Valanciunas; DeAndre Jordan; Jamal Crawford

Terrence Ross tied Vince Carter’s single-game Toronto Raptors scoring record with 51 points against the Los Angeles Clippers last night.

Wait.

Terrence Ross?

  • The same Terrence Ross who went more than three weeks earlier this season without scoring 51 combined points?
  • The same Terrence Ross who had scored fewer points than J.J. Redick this season entering Saturday despite playing 18 more games than Redick?
  • The same Terrence Ross who began the night averaging 9.3 points per game?

That’s the one.

Ross’ career game boosted his season scoring average to 10.2, but that’s still historically low for a 50-point scorer.

There have been 307 50-point games since 1963-64, as far back as Basketball-Reference’s records go. Nobody – not Tony Delk, not Willie Burton – had a lower season average the year of a 50-point game than Ross.

To see how big an outlier Ross is, here are the other 306 50-point games, sorted by the season scoring average of each player. Ross’ points per game are represented by the horizontal red bar – the bar that every vertical line representing a previous 50-point game clears.

image

Since the Raptors traded Rudy Gay, Ross has started, and his role within the offense has expanded. He’s not a lock to remain the 50-point scorer with the lowest season average.

Ross could definitely catch at least Delk, who averaged 12.3 points per game in 2000-01, when he dropped 53 on the Sacramento Kings.

But it’s hardly a given Ross will get there.

How far back is he? He could score 51 in each of his next two games, and he would still trail Delk.

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