Game Rap: Raptors 101, Jazz 93

Holly MacKenzie - Raptors.com

IT WAS OVER WHEN

DeMar DeRozan drilled a pair of free throws with 27.2 seconds remaining to put Toronto ahead by eight. The Raptors outscored Utah 30-20 in the fourth, once again led by Kyle Lowry, to get a 101-93 victory against the Jazz.

ANOTHER SUB-OPTIMAL START

After Toronto’s loss in San Antonio against the Spurs, Dwane Casey and his players both talked about the need for better starts. In the first game back on their home floor following a six-game road trip, the Raptors didn’t get one Shooting just 35 percent while giving up 63 percent shooting to the Jazz, the Raptors trailed 27-18 after the opening 12 minutes.

WINNING THE SECOND QUARTER

Toronto bounced back in the second quarter, stepping up efforts on the defensive end of the floor and holding Utah to 48 percent shooting as some of their own shots started to fall. The Raptors also shot 48 percent and won the quarter 30-25 to cut into the deficit from the first quarter and go into the half down four. DeMar DeRozan and Jonas Valanciunas each scored 12 points to lead the Raptors.

THIRD-QUARTER LOWRY

Despite the Raptors shooting just 26 percent in the third (making 6-of-23 shots), they won the quarter by two points to trim their deficit to two points going into the fourth. After picking up in the second quarter, the defence continued to come through as Toronto held Utah to 37 percent shooting in the third. Kyle Lowry had a 12-point quarter, playing all 12 minutes and making 3-of-5 field goals and 5-of-6 free throws.

FOURTH-QUARTER LOWRY, TOO

Kyle Lowry likes fourth quarters. Two weeks ago, he scored 19 points in the fourth quarter in a comeback win against the Jazz in Utah. This past Sunday, he had a 20-point fourth in a win against the Lakers. On Thursday, with his team in need of a takeover, he pulled through once again. Toronto outscored Utah 30-20 in the fourth, shooting 50 percent, thanks to another near perfect fourth quarter effort from Lowry. The point guard scored 16 points in the quarter, making 5-of-6 field goals, including both of his three-point attempts and 4-of-5 free threes. He had three rebounds, two assists and three steals without a turnover in the quarter as well.

RAPTORS PLAYER OF THE GAME

Another game, another huge fourth quarter from Kyle Lowry to propel his team to a win. Lowry scored a game-high 33 points in 41 minutes against the Jazz. He scored five points in the first half, exploding for 28 second-half points, including 16 in the fourth quarter. Lowry shot 10-for-17 from the floor for the game, 4-for-8 from beyond the arc and 9-for-11 from the free throw line. He added six rebounds, five assists and three steals.

An All-Star performance from Kyle Lowry. He is your @biosteelsports Performer of the Game. #WeTheNorth

A photo posted by Toronto Raptors (@raptors) on

UNDERRATED RAPTORS PLAYER OF THE GAME

DeMar DeRozan scored 23 points and grabbed five rebounds to go with two assists, two steals and a block, but the play of DeMarre Carroll also needs to be mentioned. Carroll played 39 minutes against the Jazz, scoring eight points (3-for-6 field goals, 2-for-4 three-point field goals), to go with four rebounds and two steals. Most important, he played solid defence as the Raptors upped the defensive intensity and pulled away late. The team was a +18 when Carroll was on the floor.

THAT'S A RAP…

“There’s going to be games he just doesn’t have it in the tank or situations he may not overcome but my money would be on him if I was a betting man. I don’t gamble but if I did, I’d bet on him.”
- Dwane Casey when asked if he’s confident Kyle Lowry will make plays down the stretch

BY THE #’S

40…Percent shooting for Toronto, 47 percent shooting for the Jazz.

19…Turnovers for Utah, leading to 27 Raptors points. Toronto was fantastic at taking care of the ball, turning it over just four times, leading to five points for the Jazz.

45…Rebounds for Toronto, 46 for Utah. Despite Utah winning the total rebounds battle, the Raptors held a 21-12 edge on the offensive glass.

42…Points in the paint scored by the Raptors, 32 by the Jazz.

THEY SAID IT…

“We picked it up, both ends. Tonight was a fight, it was a big test for us, fighting all game, fighting all game. We just picked it up and took it to the next level when we needed to.”
- DeMar DeRozan on how the team turned the game around after a lacklustre first half

"We just kept consistent, tried to do it defensively. We still weren't hitting our shots like we normally do. We just kept trying to be aggressive. Our fans really helped us get that win. I don't think without them and them cheering and being loud — it gave us that extra energy to finish the game."
- DeMarre Carroll on the importance of the team’s defensive effort as well as the energy the team felt from the fans

“I tell you what, if it’s a loose ball down there, he’s like a little pitbull on it. That’s why he’s who he is, he’s been that way since high school and it’s not going to change. He took over the game down the stretch.”
- Dwane Casey on Kyle Lowry

“That's a tough matchup for us, we know that. I don't want to get into analyzing how we could guard Kyle Lowry differently. We have to do a better job on him. Same thing happened to us at home. He's good, he took advantage of us, and it hurt us. They pressured us, and we weren’t physical enough, and it hurt us, and we turned it over. It's not a real complicated game. We just got beat.”
- Jazz head coach Quin Snyder on Kyle Lowry’s game

UP NEXT:

Up next: The Raptors head to Chicago to take on the Bulls on Saturday at 8 P.M. ET.

Game Highlights: Jazz at Raptors - January 5, 2017

Watch highlights from Toronto's 101-93 home win over Utah on Thursday night.

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Game Highlights: Jazz at Raptors - January 5, 2017

Watch highlights from Toronto's 101-93 home win over Utah on Thursday night.
Jan 5, 2017  |  04:07

Raptors Post-Game: Dwane Casey - January 5, 2017

Head coach Dwane Casey addresses the media following Toronto's 101-93 home win over Utah on Thursday night.
Jan 5, 2017  |  03:25

Raptors Post-Game: DeMar DeRozan - January 5, 2017

DeMar DeRozan addresses the media following Toronto's 101-93 home win over Utah on Thursday night.
Jan 5, 2017  |  01:28

Raptors Post-Game: Jonas Valanciunas - January 5, 2017

Jonas Valanciunas addresses the media following Toronto's 101-93 home win over Utah on Thursday night.
Jan 5, 2017  |  01:53

Raptors Post-Game: DeMarre Carroll - January 5, 2017

DeMarre Carroll addresses the media following Toronto's 101-93 home win over Utah on Thursday night.
Jan 5, 2017  |  02:20

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