Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 12/8/12
SALT LAKE CITY -- Playing without Al Jefferson and Derrick Favors didn't prove to be a problem for the Utah Jazz. For that matter, neither did hitting shots from outside. The Jazz overcame a sluggish start and the absence of two key big men and put on an outside shooting clinic in trouncing the Toronto Raptors 131-99 on Friday night at EnergySolutions Arena. Jefferson, the Jazz's starting center, missed the game with back spasms, and Favors, Utah's key big man backup, sat out his fourth consecutive game with a strained right arch. The Jazz (11-10) had eight players in double figures and hit 13 of 23 3-pointers en route to their second victory in a row. "We did a great job of sharing the ball tonight, just swinging it from strong side to weak side and making the extra pass," Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said of his team, which had 31 assists. "We got a lot of good looks as a result of that." Starting power forward Paul Millsap led an offensive onslaught with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Enes Kanter didn't have any of the Jazz's 13 3-pointers, but the second-year Turkish center scored 18 points with eight rebounds in his first career start for the ailing Jefferson. "I was really excited because tonight was the first night I started in my career," Kanter said after tying his season-highs in points and rebounds. "Before the game, I talked to Big Al and he said to just go out and show yourself. He helped me a lot. He's been like a big brother to me." Despite playing a short-handed squad, Toronto (4-16) dropped its third game in a row and its ninth in 10 outings. Forward Andrea Bargnani led the Raptors with 20 points and eight rebounds. The Raptors shot just 40.2 percent and didn't score more than 24 points in a quarter after taking a 29-25 lead into the second quarter. "This kind of performance is not acceptable," Bargnani said. "That's the bottom line." The game began as a one-sided affair, but in Toronto's favor. Guard DeMar DeRozan gave the Raptors a 10-point lead at 27-17 with a thunderous dunk in the first quarter. But the Jazz came roaring back in the second quarter, taking control for good when Utah hit five consecutive 3-pointers, including a 9-0 streak thanks to long shots by Mo Williams, Marvin Williams and DeMarre Carroll. That spurt, capped by a long ball by Gordon Hayward, helped Utah turn a 36-35 lead into a commanding 56-42 advantage. "Well, when you get into the altitude or whatever it was, I thought we split apart and didn't stay together," Raptors coach Dwane Casey said after his team's largest loss of the season. "Whether Al Jefferson is playing or not, it doesn't matter. Tonight is the first time I have seen us give in to whatever it was." Mo Williams finished with 11 points and 10 assists despite missing the morning shootaround with what the team described as "gastric distress." Hayward added 17 points off the bench, while Carroll contributed 11 points and eight rebounds. Carroll was one of three Jazz players with three 3s, along with Marvin Williams and Randy Foye. The Jazz had three quarters of at least 32 points while nearly equaling their 140-point total reached in a triple-overtime win in Toronto last month. NOTES: Utah improved to 8-1 at home, while Toronto fell to 1-12 on the road. ... Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin and Hayward went to the hospital in Murray, Utah, to visit Utah State basketball player Danny Berger, who collapsed at practice earlier this week and required medical attention to be brought back to life. "If I can say anything encouraging to him that helps him fight his way through it, that's what it's all about," Corbin said. "I'm just trying to support the kid." Berger's condition has been upgraded to fair. ... Toronto guard Jose Calderon appeared in his 500th game as a Raptor. He has 42 games to catch the franchise's all-time leader, Morris Peterson (542). ... The previous two games between Utah and Toronto went into overtime sessions (five total). Utah won a triple-OT game, 140-133, last month and the Raptors picked up a double-OT road win last January. ... The Raptors have never won two consecutive games in the Beehive State, falling to 4-13 in Utah.
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