Jazz beat Raptors for seventh straight home win
Jordan Clarkson scored 21 points and Collin Sexton added 20 for the Jazz. Kelly Olynyk had a team-high 10 rebounds off the bench. Utah won for the 10th time in 12 games and earned its seventh straight win at home to move to .500 overall.
The Jazz outscored the Raptors 58-32 in the paint and made 21 3-pointers. Utah also had a 68-36 advantage in total rebounds.
“The game has just been fun,” Clarkson said. “When the ball is popping and everybody is involved, I think the vibe is really good and it carries over to our defense too.”
Pascal Siakam led Toronto with 27 points. Siakam returned after sitting out Wednesday’s 126-120 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers with back spasms. Scottie Barnes added 19 points and Immanuel Quickly chipped in 15 for the Raptors. Toronto lost a third straight game and finished its six-game road swing with only two victories.
“We did not have energy,” Raptors coach Darko Rajakovic said. “We got to learn how to close road trips, how to play those games away from home. It comes down to that mental toughness and discipline.”
The Jazz built a 56-41 lead late in the second quarter. Markkanen scored back-to-back baskets and sank a pair of free throws to fuel a 14-4 run that put Utah up by double digits. Clarkson punctuated the run with a 3-pointer.
The Raptors struggled to keep pace with Utah despite going 16 of 24 from 3-point range through the first three quarters.
Toronto made only five field goals inside the arc during the first half. Barnes accounted for three of those baskets, the last one coming on a layup that trimmed the deficit to 35-32 early in the second quarter.
The Jazz made a point of collapsing on driving lanes in the paint and forcing the Raptors to play over the top from the perimeter. It led to Toronto scoring just six points in the paint in the first half.
“We did a good job of shifting,” Utah coach Will Hardy said. “The guys on the ball did a good job of containing the initial drive.”
Utah started the third quarter by scoring baskets on six straight possessions, extending its lead to 80-56. Simone Fontecchio ignited the run with back-to-back 3-pointers and added a layup in that opening stretch. The Jazz finished with a season-high 41 points in the third quarter.
Five different players had five or more assists for Utah.
“The ball is really moving around,” Hardy said. "I think everyone feels involved in what we’re doing.”
Toronto: Hosts Boston on Monday night.
Utah: Hosts the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday night.
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