Siakam finished with a career-high 52 points, adding nine rebounds, seven assists, and a steal.
According to Sportsnet’s Michael Grange, only LeBron James has had such a game at the new MSG since it opened back in 1968.
Siakam admitted to reporters after the game that he wasn’t a “super basketball historian” but understood the significance of his performance and where it occurred.
“I didn’t start basketball until a little late, so I don’t know about all these things. But I know how special this building is,” Siakam told reporters. “For me, the more important thing is that my team needed every bucket for us to win. That’s the most important thing for me. Wanting to get a win, making sure we get back on the right track.”
Raptors guard Fred VanVleet, who finished with 28 points in the win over the Knicks, said Siakam is “unbelievable” when “he’s got it going,” as he did on Wednesday night.
“Special players rise to the occasion in the biggest moments,” VanVleet told reporters. “A stage like Madison Square Garden where there’s been so many historic performances, he just put his name in the books as one of those guys.”
Ever the competitor, VanVleet couldn’t help but joke that Siakam finished two points shy of tying the Raptors’ single-season mark for points in a game, which he still holds at 54.
“He knows what’s up with me,” VanVleet said. “He knows he’s got some work to do if he’s going to break my record.”
Siakam may have fallen short of breaking the Raptors’ franchise record, but he has some bragging rights to hold over VanVleet.
The seventh-year pro leads the Raptors this season in points per game (25.0), assists (6.8), and rebounds (8.6).