TORONTO, ON - JANUARY 7: Eric Paschall #0 and Elijah Hughes #33 of the Utah Jazz celebrate against the Toronto Raptors during the first half of their basketball game at the Scotiabank Arena on January 7, 2022 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images)
Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images

"Pleased and Proud" | Jazz Have Night Of Career-Highs

With Utah missing its top eight players in minutes played this season, Eric Paschall and Elijah Hughes rose to the occasion despite Utah falling to Toronto 122-108 on Friday night

It's been an exciting start to 2022 for Eric Paschall.

Three days in, he welcomed a beautiful baby boy to the world. Four days after that, Paschall was starting for Utah against Toronto.

Despite being tired from his new daddy duties, Paschall dropped a season-high 29 points as a feisty Jazz squad gave the Raptors all they could handle before eventually falling 122-108 on Friday night. 

"I've been tired all week. … This little kid has kept me up all week," he said with a laugh. 

With Utah missing its top eight players in minutes played this season, it meant that someone would have to step up as the leader.

Ironically, it came from the player who was arguably the most tired from traveling and becoming a dad.

Paschall was sensational on the night, shooting 10-for-21 from the floor and 2-for-7 from three-point territory. His ability to thrive in the lane with either his athleticism or strength propelled Utah throughout the game. Showing an array of moves, Paschall had no problem being the primary scorer, dropping 17 points in the first quarter.

With Paschall doing a lot of damage in the paint, Elijah Hughes rose to the occasion with a career night.

Shooting an absurd 7-of-12 from beyond the arc, Hughes finished with a career-high 26 points, adding eight rebounds, four assists, and two steals. His ability to catch and shoot allowed the Jazz to space the floor and run their offense efficiently. 

As far as debuts go, Danuel House Jr. provided the entertainment. 

He scored 13 points on 3-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc, adding four rebounds and four assists in 26 minutes of action.

Utah started the game on fire, dropping 40 points in the opening 12 minutes for a 15-point lead. 

The Jazz jumped out an 8-2 lead as Hughes and Paschall hit back-to-back threes. The team knocked down six in the first quarter alone, with the final one coming on a half-court heave by Malik Fitts as time expired. 

Despite the offense cooling off considerably, Utah's defense picked up its intensity. Between a combination of ball pressure and physicality at the rim, the Jazz went into the half up 62-49. 

The third quarter is where the more-veteran Raptors squad made their move. Fred VanVleet dropped 24 points in the quarter as the Jazz trailed 94-92 entering the final 12 minutes.

With so many players playing significantly more minutes than they're used to, Utah couldn't find enough legs and fell in the end. 

"I was really pleased and really proud tonight," head coach Quin Snyder said.

Jared Butler finished with 17 points, four rebounds, and three assists, while Hassan Whiteside added seven points and seven rebounds. 

Utah returns to the court in less than 24 hours when it faces Indiana, its third straight road game. Tipoff is set for 5 p.m. MST.

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