Utah Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin is unsure if forwards Al Jefferson
and Derrick Favors will be ready to go Friday night, but it might
not matter with the slumping Toronto Raptors in town.
Utah will try to match its best home start in four seasons when
it takes on the Raptors, who are looking to end an eight-game road
Jefferson poured in a season-high 31 points and grabbed 15
rebounds to help the Jazz (10-10) end a three-game skid with
Wednesday’s 87-81 home win over Orlando, but he had to be helped
off the floor in the final minutes due to back spasms.
Jefferson said after the game that he’d be ready for Friday, but
Corbin was unsure of that prior to Thursday’s practice.
Favors, averaging 9.3 points and 7.5 rebounds, is also a
game-time decision after missing the previous three contests with
plantar fasciitis in his right foot.
“It would be interesting (if both can’t play), but we still feel
good about the bigs that we have,” Corbin said. “We’re logjammed
there, so it would be an opportunity to get (others) some minutes
on the floor.”
Corbin mentioned that little-used Jeremy Evans could log some
minutes and Marvin Williams, who returned Wednesday after sitting
out three games with concussion-like symptoms, could spell Paul
Millsap at the power forward spot as the Jazz look to improve to
8-1 at home.
A makeshift frontline would seem to benefit the Raptors (4-15),
who have been outrebounded 100-77 on the first two stops of a
Toronto gave up 56 points in the paint in Wednesday’s 107-100
loss to Sacramento, and the Raptors are allowing an average of
108.0 points in the last six games.
Toronto hasn’t dropped nine in a row on the road since a 14-game
skid Jan. 7-March 16, 2011.
“You can’t explain in words how frustrating it is,” said
swingman DeMar DeRozan, who matched a career high with 37 points in
a 140-133 triple-overtime home loss to Utah on Nov. 12. “We try to
work as hard as we can, but the ball doesn’t bounce our way, the
ball doesn’t go in when you need it to go in. It’s everything you
can think of.”
The Raptors probably thought they were on their way to a victory
over Utah last month as they led by 11 with seven minutes left, but
the Jazz rallied behind 34 points from Millsap and 24 and 17 boards
Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry missed that contest with a
sprained right ankle, but he’ll be ready to go after scoring 29 of
his season-high 34 points in the second half Wednesday.
In its last visit to Salt Lake City, Toronto ended a 12-game
skid in this series with a 111-106 double-OT win Jan. 25. Jefferson
missed that game with an inflamed right ankle.