After losing the first two of their five-game road trip, the Toronto Raptors (4-15) will look to turn things around as they get ready to face the Utah Jazz tonight. Utah’s Al Jefferson scored a season-high 31 points and pulled down 15 rebounds to help the Jazz (10-10) end a three-game losing streak with a 87-81 home win over Orlando on Wednesday. Unfortunately, he had to be helped off the court late in the fourth quarter due to back spasms. Both Jefferson and forward Derrick Favors (plantar fasciitis) are questionable for tonight’s game.
The Raptors are coming off a 107-100 loss to the Sacramento Kings. Kyle Lowry had 34 points, 11 assists, and Mickael Pietrus ended with 21 points. Toronto gave up 56 points in the paint to the Kings, so expect Utah to feast in the lane tonight. Even if Jefferson doesn’t play or plays just limited minutes, it’s the ideal situation for someone like Millsap to get plenty of buckets in the paint.
Toronto lost to the Jazz 140-133 in triple OT on Nov. 12 in Toronto, and has dropped 13 of the past 14 games between the teams. The Raptors have come up short in eight of their last 10 visits to Salt Lake City.
AccuScore simulations project a Utah victory 73.1 percent of the time, with an average score of 102-95. Utah covers the -6.5 spread in 52.6 percent of the simulations. As the home team, Utah got a big win (10 points or more) in 41.2 percent of their simulated victories.
Looking at the projected stats, it’s pretty clear that Utah will win this game down low. Utah is projected to have nearly 4 more offensive rebounds and 9 total rebounds than Toronto, in addition to 2 more blocks. Toronto’s only hope is to consistently make threes throughout the game.
If I were betting on this game, there’s no doubt I would take Utah on the money line and the spread. The Jazz are at home, and Toronto is pretty, pretty bad. Unless Bargnani or DeRozanhave some sort of career night, there’s no way the Raptors win this.
My prediction- Utah wins 101-92.
Who you got?
Utah Jazz Projected Stats
Paul Millsap: 15 points, 51% FG%, 9 rebounds, 1 block, 1 steal
Gordon Hayward: 14 points, 42% FG%, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal
Mo Williams: 13 points, 44% FG%, 6 assists, 3 rebounds, 1 steal
Al Jefferson: 12 points, 49% FG%, 7 rebounds, 1 block
Marvin Williams: 11 points, 45% FG%, 6 rebounds, 1 steal
Randy Foye: 10 points, 41% FG%, 2 3PM, 2 rebounds, 1 steal
Team: 46% FG%, 5/15 3-pointers, 48 rebounds, 7 blocks
Toronto Raptors Projected Stats
Andrea Bargnani: 17 points, 41% FG%, 5 rebounds, 1 block
Kyle Lowry: 17 points, 41% FG%, 8 assists, 5 rebounds, 1 steal
DeMar DeRozan: 16 points, 43% FG%, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal
Jonas Valanciunas: 8 points, 49% FG%, 6 rebounds, 1 block
Mickael Pietrus: 8 points, 40% FG%, 3 rebounds, 1 steal
Ed Davis: 7 points, 54% FG%, 5 rebounds, 1 block
Team: 44% FG%, 7-20 3-pointers, 39 rebounds, 4-5 blocks
All data provided by AccuScore.com