Wow. Another tough loss to swallow as a Raptors fan.
Sluggish start, third quarter rally – only to crumble when it all really counts…in the fourth quarter.
However, DeMar DeRozan did THIS!
As expected the Toronto Raptors would get off to a sluggish start against the Utah Jazz after losing in a tightly contested matchup against the Golden State Warriors last night. The Raptors eventually got their legs underneath them sparked by veteran Luis Scola who had 18 points in the first half eventually finishing with a team-high 22 points. The Raps went on a 17-4 run to end the first half and take the lead – which they didn’t relinquish until the 5-minute mark of the 4th quarter. Kyle Lowry had another solid performance, but the terrible shot selection by him and DeRozan in the waning minutes of the game eventually sealed the fate for the Raptors.The Raps lose 93-89 to Utah and are now 0-3 for this Western conference road trip.
Next up: Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Raptors slow start continued in Utah as they struggled to simply make their shots. They were getting good looks, but with their tired legs – weren’t able to knock them down. Dwane Casey tried going to his bench unit for a spark but the struggles continue for Patrick Patterson who’s still out there searching for his jump-shot. The Raps were most effective tonight utilizing the drive and kick to find the open man but as mentioned weren’t able to get shots to drop. The Raps offence on the stat sheet was led by Scola and Lowry, but when it came to the fourth quarter it was all DeMar. When the Jazz took the lead, the Raptors seemed to forget everything that allowed them to be in the position they’re in by abandoning team basketball and reverting to iso-ball. The Raptors finished shooting just 42% from the field.
Can’t blame Casey for this one. Terrible, terrible shot selection did them in.
Toronto’s defence was sound against a Utah team that doesnt like to push the pace. The Raptors showed great energy on the other side of the ball, forcing turnovers getting blocks and drawing charges. They held Utah to 48% shooting, at a point getting 10 consecutive stops in the third and holding the Jazz to 28% shooting for that quarter. However, in typical Raptor fashion they were unable to get key stops down the stretch. Defence kept them in the game tonight – it was their offence that ruined a good opportunity to steal a road win. The Raptors look nothing like the team that used to be one of the best fourth quarter – so the manner of their recent collapses is has been incredibly frustrating to witness.
The Jazz are no slouches on the glass with two premier big men in Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors (11 rebounds). The Raptors were out-rebounded 41-37 with Jonas Valanciunas leading the way on the glass for Toronto with 9 rebounds.
Game Ball: Gordon Hayward
Tonight’s game ball goes to Jazz forward, Gordon Hayward. Hayward finished with 17 points and 7 rebounds. He was late to get his shot going, but eventually got into a rhythm which eventually sunk the Raptors. It was only fitting that Hayward would drill the go ahead three-point shot that essentially stole the soul of the Raptors’ tonight.