The Utah Jazz have found some frustrating ways to lose this season.
On Friday night, they discovered a way to win.
Paul Millsap finished with 20 points — one of eight Jazz players to reach double figures — and Utah overcame a slow start to score a 131-99 victory over Toronto at EnergySolutions Arena.
Playing without injured big men Al Jefferson and Derrick Favors, the Jazz responded with a balanced and spirited effort — especially over the final three quarters.
Utah’s defense limited the Raptors to 40 percent shooting, and the Jazz buried Toronto under a barrage of 3-pointers. They finished 13 for 23 from behind the 3-point line, only two shy of a team record.
“Some really pretty basketball,” said coach Tyrone Corbin. “... I think the guys had a good time playing tonight.”
It’s been more than four years since Utah last had eight players score at least 10 points in a game.
In his first career start, Enes Kanter replaced Jefferson and contributed 18 points and eight rebounds in a season-high 35 minutes.
Seldom-used Jeremy Evans added 10 points and five rebounds in 23 minutes — only 19 less than he played in Utah’s first 20 games.
“These guys have been tremendous all year about being ready to play,” Corbin said. “They work their tails off every day — coming to practice and getting ready for the opportunity. And you saw tonight: guys got extended minutes and they responded well.”
The Jazz struggled through a foul-plagued first quarter, trailing 25-15 at one point.
“It always throws up a red flag when it happens,” said Paul Millsap. “But we were able to stick with it.”Next Page »