The second-year guard matched the 51 points scored by Vince Carter in a Feb. 27, 2000, game against the Suns. Ross missed a free throw in the game's closing seconds that would have given him the record.
Ross nearly doubled his previous career-high of 26 points, set on Jan. 2, 2013. Saturday marked just the fifth time that Ross, a 2012 lottery pick, has topped 20 points during his career, and he entered the game averaging 9.3 points per game.
Only two other players have topped 50 points during an NBA game this season: Carmelo Anthony, who scored a career-high 62 points against the Bobcats on Friday, and Kevin Durant, who scored a career-high 54 points against the Warriors last week.
Ross, 22, shot 16-for-29 from the field, including a career-high 10 three-pointers on 17 attempts. He also went 9-for-10 from the charity stripe and added nine rebounds and one assist in 44 minutes.
The Toronto Sun reported the post-game reaction from north of the border.
“For the fans it was a great exhibition of basketball,” [Raptors coach Dwane] Casey said. “The young man, Terrence, picked it up. We lose DeMar (DeRozan) and put on a heck of a display. Not only did he have 51 points, he had nine rebounds which was huge too.”
“You don’t think about it. You don’t really realize what you’re doing,” Ross said of entering a zone few athletes ever experience.
Did he know he was approaching Carter’s record? “No idea.” Has he scored 50 before? “Last time I had 50? Never,” Ross said. “This is the first time. It would have been better if we had the win, but I guess I shot well.”
The 2013 Slam Dunk Contest champion did some aerial damage on his career night.
Here's a look at Ross' shot chart.
The Clippers improved to 31-15 with the win. The Raptors dropped to 22-21 with the loss.Video via YouTube user NBA