Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet (23) drives past San Antonio Spurs guard Devin Vassell (24) during first half NBA basketball action in Toronto on Tuesday. (Photo by The Canadian Press)

Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet (23) drives past San Antonio Spurs guard Devin Vassell (24) during first half NBA basketball action in Toronto on Tuesday. (Photo by The Canadian Press)

VanVleet has 33 points to lead Toronto Raptors to 129-104 win over San Antonio Spurs

VanVleet has 33 points to lead Toronto Raptors to 129-104 win over San Antonio Spurs

Toronto 129 San Antonio 104

TORONTO — Fred VanVleet continues to make a mid-season push to be named to the NBA all-star game in Cleveland next month.

The Toronto Raptors guard went over the 30-point mark for a third straight outing, this time scoring 33 points in a 129-104 win over the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday.

Toronto (17-17) captured a third consecutive victory to reach the .500 mark for the first time since Nov. 13 when it was 7-7. San Antonio (14-22) lost its fourth straight game.

“I think he’s got to be in the (all-star game) conversation,” Toronto head coach Nick Nurse said. “But I’ll say the same thing; we’ve got to climb the standings.

“I just think that’s part of it.”

VanVleet went 7-for-14 from beyond the three-point arc. He has scored 31, 35 and 33 points in the three wins before a near-empty Scotiabank Arena because of Ontario’s tightened COVID-19 restrictions.

“I think you recognize when you’re in a rhythm, and you just try to hold on as long as possible because it’s not always like that,” VanVleet said. “When you’re hot, I think you’ve just got to be aggressive and ride it out as long as you can.”

Even though Toronto players Yuta Watanabe and Svi Mykhailiuk entered the league’s health-and-safety protocols earlier on Tuesday, VanVleet has benefited recently from a healthy lineup and the return of Pascal Siakam.

All five Toronto starters hit double figures.

Siakam enjoyed a double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds. Guard Gary Trent Jr. added 21 points while OG Anunoby scored 14, and rookie Scottie Barnes chipped in 11 and a career-high nine assists.

Barnes and Siakam also have pitched in carrying the ball up the court, leaving VanVleet free to score off his catch-and-shoot specialty.

“I think just the position we’re in now with having everybody back, I think we can kind of find our own natural roles, which has been a little bit of an issue this year with having guys in and out and guys having to do more than expected,” VanVleet said. “So I think we’re finding our natural rhythm of where our team is going to be for now and obviously feeling pretty good.”

Justin Champagnie, who reports for duty every morning at 8:30 a.m. to work on his jump shot, came off the bench to contribute 14 points for the Raptors, making five-of-six shots, including four three-pointers. Big men like Chris Boucher and Khem Birch were influential despite scoring only four points and three points, respectively.

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