The Toronto Raptors got a complete team effort with four players scoring in double figures as they downed the Utah Jazz 115-91. Tyler Hansbrough led the Raptors with 23 points, DeMar DeRozan had 18 and Jonas Valanciunas dropped 14.
The Toronto Raptors took out the army green jerseys again in support of the Canadian military and Remembrance Day this coming Monday for all Canadians. Playing against the Utah Jazz with zero wins so far this season, it simply was not enough to beat them. The Raptors needed to dominate the Jazz and make a statement. With home court advantage, the Raptors came out with a decent lead of nine points in the first three minutes but let it slide away quickly as the Utah Jazz returned with a couple of buckets. Going in to this game, the Jazz led the NBA in offensive boards and it showed as most of their points came off second chances.
As per usual, the Raptors were feeding the ball into the hands of Valanciunas early in the first quarter. Kyle Lowry knocked down some nice threes and DeRozan had 8 points early to close the quarter with a 16-4 run. Hansbrough gave the Raptors a great energy boost to start the second quarter. Despite his lackluster play, Gay managed to put nine points on the board. Thanks to the bench, the Raptors found different ways to score to widen the gap and ended the half with a 62-36 lead. Toronto managed to control the ball well with only 5 turnovers in the first half compared to Utah’s 13.
After a promising first half for Lowry, which included a step back three, the Raptors saw him go down with a rolled ankle. The injury didn’t appear too serious as he limped off the court, and it provided a great opportunity for the bench to prove themselves against a weaker team. Four minutes into the third Hansbrough still hadn’t missed a shot and showed great consistency. Gordon Hayward for the Jazz gave his team a little energy with 11 points but it was not enough to truly make an impact on the game.
The Toronto bench played well in the fourth, out scoring the Utah bench with 56 points throughout the game. The Raptors never gave Utah a chance to comeback. It was nice to see them put a game away and allow guys like Quincy Acy to get some action. Hansbrough topped the night with 23 points from the field and 7 rebounds. As well, Julyan Stone came off the bench to finish with 7 points, 2 rebounds and 1 assist in 12 minutes. It is fair to say he won he point guard battle tonight. The game ended with a score of 115-91 for the Raptors. Overall, it was a solid defensive game by the Raptors and should provide a desperately needed confidence boost offensively.
Sarah’s Eye: Even though Steve Novak may have been the only Raptor without a basket, I love the moustache. I am a huge supporter of Movember and I’m looking forward to seeing how nasty his moustache gets this month. All in support of a great cause!