Jazz 131, Raptors 99
The pregame talk was about 6-foot-11 center Enes Kanter making
his first career start for the Jazz.
But it was Utah’s ”small” lineup that delivered the knockout
blow in the second quarter, with the Jazz hitting five 3-pointers
in a 3 1/2-minute span to set the tone in a 131-99 rout of the
Toronto Raptors on Friday night.
”It’s just like anything, when you see someone else on your
team make the extra pass to the open guy, then you’re going to come
down and make the extra pass to the open guy,” guard Randy Foye
said. ”It’s contagious.”
In the end the Jazz hit 13 of 23 shots from beyond the arc – the
sixth-highest total in team history. Marvin Williams, Foye and
DeMarre Carroll finished with three 3s apiece.
”It felt good to see those guys firing them up and them going
in,” said Paul Millsap, who led the Jazz with 20 points but didn’t
attempt any 3s. ”But we had open shots, the ball movement was
good, all they had to do is shoot it.”
Marvin Williams, Carroll and Gordon Hayward – part of Utah’s
”small” lineup along with Millsap and Mo Williams – hit
3-pointers on three consecutive possessions as Utah built a 56-42
lead after trailing by 10 in the first quarter.
Kanter finished with 18 points and eight rebounds in place of Al
Jefferson, who did not play because of back spasms.
”I was nervous,” Kanter said of being told he was getting the
start. ”But after talking to Big Al, I felt so much better.”
He was almost giddy watching all the 3s drop.
”After a while I’m like, I’m not even going to go in and
rebound,” Kanter said. ”I’m just going to go back to defense.
They played unbelievable today. They played Utah Jazz
Hayward added 17 points off the bench as Utah (11-10) improved
to 8-1 at home.
In all, eight Jazz players scored in double figures for the
first time since 2008, with Mo Williams adding 11 points and 10
”Everybody’s ready,” Foye said of the Jazz playing without not
only Jefferson but leading shot-blocker Derrick Favors (plantar
fasciitis). ”Everybody at one point in time was the man
Kanter certainly was in his native Turkey. Despite being in the
starting lineup for the first time in his NBA career, it was a
familiar foe he faced in Jonas Valanciunas, a rookie from
”Growing up we always went against each other and everybody was
always asking who is better, who is better?” Kanter said. ”He is
a great kid with great skills, but tonight I … was fortunate to
come out on top.”
Valanciunas finished with six points, four rebounds and two
”I think big Turkey did a great job tonight, to be thrown in
that situation,” Foye said.
Toronto coach Dwane Casey had nothing positive to say about his
team, considering the Raptors lost a heartbreaker at home to the
Jazz in triple overtime on Nov. 12.
”We gave in to the altitude or whatever it was,” Casey said.
”I thought we split apart and didn’t stay together. Tonight is the
first time I have seen us give in.”
It was a subject of discussion in the postgame locker room after
Toronto fell to 4-16 overall and 1-12 on the road.
”This kind of performance is not acceptable,” Andrea Bargnani
said of Casey’s message. ”That’s the bottom line.”
Bargnani led Toronto with 20 points and eight rebounds. DeMar
DeRozan added 17 points while Amir Johnson scored 10 off the
The Jazz entered the game averaging 6.6 3-pointers per game but
after hitting five during that short span in the second quarter
they hit seven more in the second half.
The Jazz shot nearly 54 percent in the second quarter. And with
3 minutes left in the third, they already had surpassed the total
they put up in an 87-81 victory over Orlando on Wednesday.
In that game the Jazz had a big lead and nearly blew it. They
made sure this one wouldn’t get away, not with the last two
meetings against Toronto going into overtime.
It helped that the Jazz could shuffle players around, including
6-9 Marvin Williams getting action at power forward.
Now, Utah turns its attention to Sunday’s game against a Lakers
team the Jazz beat by nine points on Nov. 7 – the last game for
coach Mike Brown before he was fired by Los Angeles.
”Obviously, they are a great team and have arguably the best
player of all time, a shot-blocker, a new coach and are playing
different now, so it’s really a new team,” Foye said. ”We’ve just
got to play Utah Jazz basketball and not worry about what the
Lakers are doing and I think we’ll have a great chance.”
NOTES: Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin took time to visit Utah State’s
Danny Berger, who collapsed Tuesday during basketball practice and
had to be revived by a trainer. Berger, 22, is recovering at a Salt
Lake City area hospital and was upgraded to fair condition. ”He’s
part of Utah. We’re Utah,” said Corbin, who also has a son who
plays college basketball. ”He’s a kid that’s had a tough time in
Utah. We feel his pain. If I could say anything encouraging to him
and fight his way through it, that’s what it’s about. I was just
trying to support the kid.” … Nine-year-old Samantha Gordon, who
rushed for more than 2,000 yards and 35 touchdowns in a Utah
Gremlin League to earn her own spot on a Wheaties box recently, was
in attendance with the rest of her Herriman team. … Toronto G
Jose Calderon appeared in his 500th game in a Raptors uniform. …
Jazz F Jeremy Evans had a highlight-reel dunk in the second