Jazz Have No Problems vs. Raptors
SALT LAKE CITY, Dec. 30 (Ticker) -- Karl Malone
scored 24 points and Andrei Kirilenko
added 20 and five blocks as the Utah Jazz handed the short-handed Toronto Raptors a season-high seventh straight defeat, 107-85.
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added 11 points and 10 rebounds for Utah, which won for the fifth time in six games.
Toronto, which lost for the 11th time in 12 contests and fell to 0-4 on its five-game road trip, led by eight points early in
the first quarter and 26-24 entering the second.
But Utah opened the second quarter on a 16-2 run, taking the lead for good, 28-26, on a dunk by Kirilenko with 9:36
remaining. Kirilenko scored seven points during the burst, including a layup that made it 40-28 with 5:18 left.
"We had a little run that put the game away," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said. "They played us very well in the first quarter,
(but) in the second we came together more defensively. ... Andrei had five blocked shots in the ballgame and he was really
"It doesn't matter how many points I score, 20 or seven or two," Kirilenko said. "It's more important when I'm in the defense, help my teammates, steal the ball, rebound the ball, pass the ball and move around. That's part of success."
Utah took a 53-38 advantage into halftime, an 81-65 edge into the fourth quarter and led by as many as 25 points in the final
"Every night's a lesson," Raptors coach Lenny Wilkens said. "The second quarter, we just ran out of gas. Our bench wasn't
as productive as it has been and that kind of hurt us. The first unit played real well."
Toronto's bench was outscored by Utah's reserves, 55-17.
"The second unit did a great job of coming in and really picking us up," said Jazz backup guard Mark Jackson, who scored seven points and handed out eight assists. "Sometimes it's gonna be us that's struggling and our first unit has done a great job of picking us up. Tonight was one of those nights where we had to do the job -- it was just a great effort."
"You look at a team and you see they have probably their two best players out (Vince Carter and Antonio Davis), and they come out and play a tough game," Sloan said. "Our first group never really did take care of them like our second group was able to."
Voshon Lenard and Morris Peterson scored 18 points apiece and Alvin Williams added 16 for the Raptors, who shot 42 percent (30-of-72) from the field and allowed the Jazz to connect on 54 percent (38-of-70).
"We've had a lot of guys step up," Wilkens said. "Voshon is playing real well, Alvin's playing good, Mo Peterson is ... but
we can't rely strictly on the outside game."
Utah outscored Toronto in the paint, 40-30, and on the break, 13-4.
"It's frustrating, but I can't control the injuries that we've had," Wilkens said. "It's been very difficult, but we just have to learn to play through it and see what kind of team we can become."