Sunday, December 1st, 2019 10:03 PM
By IAN HARRISON - Associated Press
Siakam has 35, Raptors use big 1st half to rout Jazz 130-110
TORONTO (AP) Fred VanVleet and the Toronto Raptors hardly anticipated an easy night against the Utah Jazz.
''I don't think any of us expected to be up 40 against that team,'' VanVleet said.
Pascal Siakam scored 35 points, VanVleet had 21 points and 11 assists, and the Raptors used a record-setting first half to rout the Jazz 130-110 Sunday.
Toronto led 77-37 at the intermission, the biggest halftime lead in franchise history, the biggest in the NBA this season, and tied for the eighth largest in league history. It also marked the biggest halftime deficit in Jazz history.
''We were awful,'' Utah coach Quin Snyder said.
Siakam (26 points) and Gasol (11) combined for as many first-half points as the entire Jazz roster, helping Toronto win its franchise-record ninth straight home game to open the season.
The Jazz rallied in the second half but still suffered their biggest defeat of the season. Utah lost by 19 at Indiana last Wednesday.
''Obviously, our focus to begin the game has to be better,'' Snyder said.
Siakam shot 4 for 22 and scored a season-low 10 points in Friday's win at Orlando but bounced back against by making eight of his first 10 field goal attempts. He shot 14 for 22 overall, matching his career high with five 3-pointers. He also had five against New York last Wednesday.
''He's got a lot of pride in his game,'' Raptors coach Nick Nurse said. ''When he has an off game, I just think he comes out mentally ready to roll. You could just see him with aggressiveness and confidence.''
Serge Ibaka returned after missing 10 games because of a sprained right ankle and scored 13 points in 21 minutes as Toronto won its seventh straight overall and improved to 5-2 against Western Conference opponents.
Mike Conley scored 20 points and Rudy Gobert had 12 points and 11 rebounds as the Jazz lost for the third time in four games on their five-game trip, which ends at Philadelphia on Monday night.
''We didn't match their energy at all,'' Conley said. ''We knew it was going to be physical, we didn't handle the ball well. We didn't get back on defense, we didn't do little things that good teams do.''
Utah's Jeff Green scored a season-high 19 points and Donovan Mitchell added 16.
Utah took an early lead before Siakam scored 10 points and Gasol added eight during a 23-2 run, giving Toronto a 28-11 lead with 3:24 left in the opening quarter.
Mitchell stopped the Raptors surge with a 3, but Siakam scored 19 points in the first as Toronto led 37-20 after one.
After making just 5 of 27 field goals in the second quarter, the Jazz connected on 16 of their first 19 attempts in the third. Conley scored 13 points in the third and Mitchell had 11 as the Jazz outscored the Raptors 49-30 to cut the gap to 107-86.
Jazz: Gobert missed a wide-open dunk in the first. ... Utah made seven turnovers in the opening quarter, leading to 13 points for the Raptors. The Jazz finished with 18 turnovers. . Conley reached 12,000 career points in the opening quarter.
Raptors: Eight Toronto players scored at least 10 points. ... G Kyle Lowry (left thumb) sat for the 11th straight game. ... Gasol scored all 11 of his points in the first quarter, one shy of his season-high for a full game. ... Toronto had 12 assists on 15 baskets in the first. ... C Dewan Hernandez returned after missing the previous four games because of a sprained right thumb. . Toronto has won 11 of 13 meetings with the Jazz. ... Toronto is 10-0 when OG Anunoby scores at least 10 points. He had 10 Sunday.
The Raptors' 77 points in the first half was a season high. Their previous best was 66 in the first half at Milwaukee on Nov. 2, a game Toronto lost 115-105.
Toronto's record for points in a half is 79, reached twice. The Raptors lost the most recent game in which they had a 79-point half, 132-129 at Cleveland on March 21, 2018.
Toronto allowed 36 points in the first half in Friday's road win over Orlando, the lowest-scoring half by a Raptors opponent this season.
Utah's 49-point quarter matched the biggest ever against the Raptors. Toronto also allowed 49 points in the fourth quarter against Chicago on Dec. 22, 2014.
''That's the point of getting up big, is to give yourself a cushion to finish out the game,'' VanVleet said.
Jazz: Visit Philadelphia on Monday night.
Raptors: Host Miami on Tuesday night.
More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports