NBA Recap: Toronto Raptors Slay Utah Jazz in 130-110 Defeat

Toronto Raptors v Los Angeles Lakers

An impressive 19 of the Cameroonian forward’s 35 points came in the first quarter as he shot 14-for-22 in total, marking a significant shooting advantage for Toronto overall.

The Raptors hit 52.2% from the field and 52.8% from the three, compared to a mediocre 42.2% and 37.1% from Utah respectively. Siakam complemented his point domination with five rebounds, five assists and one block, whilst team veteran Fred VanVleet added 21 points, five rebounds and a game-high 11 assists. 

Raptors guard Norman Powell has been experiencing the best stretch of his career recently Scoring a career-high 33 points on just 18 shots against Magic on Friday, Sunday night was no exception either as the 26-year-old orchestrated four steals. Notching another 15 points, Powell is now considered a top-50 player over the past two weeks but may still be destined for the bench once teammate Kyle Lowry returns from a thumb injury.

Terence Davis II contributed 13 points and Serge Ibaka, fresh off the bench from a 10-game absence with a sprained ankle, put up 13. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson came in strong with a team-high six rebounds as Marc Gasol scored 11 points and OG Anunoby 10. Prior to November 10, Hollis-Jefferson had played just four minutes for the franchise after they took a chance on him in free agency, however, a 10-point stint in just fifteen minutes in his second appearance of the season against the LA Lakers saw the forward gain minutes. But it’s Hollis-Jefferson’s mettle as a rebounder that has really gained him the notice he deserves. Despite a slightly shaky three-point shot, there is a definite defensive promise. 

Mike Conley hit Utah’s team-high 20 points, a marked difference from Siakam’s performance, whilst Jeff Green added 19 and Donovan Mitchell 16. Although Rudy Gobert did snatch a game-high 11 rebounds, it’s difficult to see past the embarrassing 40-point 77-37 halftime deficit Jazz fell victim to.

Despite returning with a slightly improved performance, outscoring Toronto by 19 points in the third, Utah failed to find the intensity they needed to beat the reigning champions and second-place Eastern Conference holders. The Jazz even went scoreless for a five-minute stretch in the second quarter as Toronto hit 14 straight points, their possessions lacking all urgency.

This marks three out four losses for Jazz on their five-game road trip whilst the Raptors are beginning to look like contenders for the playoffs once more.

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