The Utah Jazz didn’t just work overtime to earn their first road win of the season. They worked three of them.
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Paul Millsap scored seven of his 34 points in the third overtime, Al Jefferson had 24 points and 17 rebounds, and the Jazz beat the Toronto Raptors 140-133 Monday night.
”I can’t say enough about how our team hung in there,” Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said. ”We kept fighting, we understood the importance of trying to get off the schneid and get a road win. It took us long enough tonight but we finally got it going.”
Utah rallied after trailing by 11 with seven minutes left in the fourth quarter, and no basket was bigger than Jefferson’s 3-pointer with two seconds left in regulation, a shot that bounced around the rim before falling through.
”I knew we needed a 3,” Jefferson said. ”I just set my feet a let it go. The ball wanted to tease me for a while but it finally dropped. I knew then that if I hit a 3 to send us to overtime, we’ve got to go win it.”
It was just the second 3-pointer of Jefferson’s nine-year career. He came in 1 for 25 from 3-point range.
”Now he’s talking about moving to the three spot,” Corbin joked. ”We’ve got to talk about that.”
Jefferson said it had been a long time since his last late-game 3.
”I haven’t done that since AAU days,” he said.
Mo Williams had 17 points and 14 assists, Randy Foye scored 20 points and Marvin Williams had 17 as the Jazz opened a four-game trip by avoiding their first 0-5 start away from home since 1987. Derrick Favors scored 15 and Gordon Hayward added 12.
”We didn’t want to lose,” Foye said. ”No matter if it took six overtimes, we wanted this game.”
Millsap said the Jazz will be able to use this victory as inspiration in future road games.
”It feels good to get the monkey off our back,” he said. ”The first one seems like it’s the toughest one but I’m glad the first one was as tough as it was today because we can learn from this.”
DeMar DeRozan matched his career high with 37 points, Jose Calderon had 20 points and 17 assists, and Amir Johnson fouled out with 11 points and 14 rebounds for the Raptors, who lost their fourth straight.
DeRozan, who played a career-high 59 minutes, had a message for Jefferson as the teams headed out to start the third overtime.
”I went up and told him it was his fault we were still playing,” DeRozan said.
Linas Kleiza fouled out with 20 points and Andrea Bargnani scored 19 for the Raptors, who lost their eighth straight home game against Utah.
”It didn’t go our way but our guys fought,” Toronto coach Dwane Casey said. ”Anyone who says we didn’t fight did not see that basketball game. It just did not go our way.”
The Raptors won’t have long to dwell on the defeat with a game looming at Indiana on Tuesday.
Utah trailed 97-86 with 7:02 to go before rallying. Johnson tipped in DeRozan’s miss to give Toronto a 104-101 lead with 16 seconds left before Jefferson’s rare 3-pointer sent the game to overtime.
”That was a huge 3,” Foye said.
A driving dunk by DeRozan gave the Raptors a 115-113 edge with 23 seconds left in the first overtime but Jefferson tied it again, making a jump hook with 19 seconds to go. Toronto let the clock run down before DeRozan missed a jumper, sending it to a second extra session.
The Jazz led 125-122 with seven seconds left in the second overtime but backup guard John Lucas drained a 3 from the wing. Mo Williams drove for the winning basket but couldn’t get his shot off as a trio of Toronto defenders closed in on him, setting up a third overtime.
A 3 by Calderon gave the Raptors a 130-129 lead at 3:19 of the third OT, but Favors made a layup and Millsap hit a 3 of his own, giving the Jazz a 134-130 lead with 2:16 left.
Jazz guard Mo Williams returned after sitting out Sunday’s home win over Phoenix with a strained right adductor muscle.
”I did a great job of cutting his minutes by only playing him 50 minutes,” Corbin joked.
Toronto guard Kyle Lowry (right ankle) missed his third straight game and swingman Landry Fields (right wrist) sat for the second straight game. Dominic McGuire made his first start of the season in place of swingman Alan Anderson, who left Saturday’s loss to Philadelphia with a sprained left foot.
NOTES: Toronto’s last home win over Utah was a 98-86 win on Dec. 22, 2004. … Utah did not play in Toronto during the lockout shortened 2011-12 season. … The Jazz are 24-8 all-time against the Raptors, including 12-4 on the road. … It was Toronto’s first triple OT game since Feb 23, 2001 against Sacramento. … Utah will also visit Boston, Philadelphia and Washington on this trip.