DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry are All-Stars again. The Utah Jazz have no All-Stars this year. Rookie of the Year contender Donovan Mitchell, a poor man’s Dwyane Wade, will play in the Rising Stars game.
The Jazz had an All-Star last year in Gordon Hayward. He left in the summer to sign with the Boston Celtics. Center Rudy Gobert has missed half the season due to injury. He’s been back for about a week. At 20–28, the Jazz are 10th in the West, 5 games out of the playoffs. With Gobert back, they will try to make a run at getting in.
The Raptors are coming off a beatdown of the Atlanta Hawks on the road. They are done playing road games against the Western conference, and sit just 1.5 games behind Boston for the 1st seed in the East. They beat the Jazz 109–100 in Utah early in the season with DeRozan pouring in 37 points. Tonight they go for the series sweep.
End of Q1: Jazz 30, Raps 24
The Jazz have forced some turnovers and got out in transition. Poeltl got abused by Gobert. Ricky Rubio has had a couple of nifty scoring moves and even hit a 3. Raps need to tighten up.
DeRozan and JV lead the comeback. JV leads all scorers with 17 points. He had a great drive from the corner for a dunk, and OG Anunoby gave the Raps the lead with a wicked putback dunk. Joe Ingles and Rudy Gobert both got T’d up complaining to the refs.
JV hits his 2nd 3 of the night and gets a tip-in to put the Raps up 55–45 early in the 3rd. He has 22 points and 11 boards in what’s shaping up to be his best game of the season. Jazz timeout.
Of course JV immediately picks up 3 silly fouls, has to sit, and the Jazz go on a huge run lead by Donovan Mitchell. He’s hitting 3's, throwing down monster dunks and nailing tough mid-rangers. What a player.
End of Q3: Jazz 75, Raps 69
Backup point guards Fred Van Vleet and Delon Wright had zero points after 3 quarters. They each nail a 3 and Wright gets a tough putback over Favors to put the Raps up 81–80. Jazz timeout. Try not to lose all momentum after this one, Raptors.
An extremely suspect offensive foul called on JV gives him 5. The game has bogged down, every basket is tough to come by. The Raptors take a timeout with an 86–85 lead.
JV gets a tip-in then converts a dumpoff from DeMar. The Jazz rally back and pull within 91–90 on an Ingles 3 with 1:20 to play. Raps timeout. Let’s close this out!
Ricky Rubio for 3. Jazz up 95–93 with 4.8 seconds left. Unbelievable.
The Raptors should have won this game. After Rubio’s 3, they set up a DeRozan fadeaway. JV, who had been feasting on the offensive glass and had 28 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Raps, wasn’t even in the game. That’s inexcusable.
Kyle Lowry finished with 5 points and missed a key free throw down the stretch. Horrible game from him.
The Lakers are here on Sunday.