Jay Satur - Raptors.com
It Was Over When....
It was over when the Raptors simply found another gear in the fourth quarter against a Jazz team in on a back-to-back.
With the Raptors down by one and 8:05 to play, they rattled off an impressive 17-3 run over the next 3:41 during which the Jazz didn't make a field goal.
The win makes it 31 straight for the Raptors when they lead after the third quarter, they're now 7-0 in those situations this season and a perfect 24-0 at Air Canada Centre since the start of 2013-14.
The Game Changer
DeMar DeRozan's strong bounce back game deserves consideration, but this was the best game of the season for Jonas Valanciunas.
The big man logged a season-high 34 minutes (the first time he's eclipsed that 30-minute mark this season), saw the floor down the stretch in the fourth (he hadn't seen many minutes in the second half the last two games) and rewarded Dwane Casey's faith in him with a season high in rebounds (14) and matched season highs in points (17) and blocks (2).
It was the centre's ability to do the little things that had Casey pleased post-game.
"This game should help his confidence because he was going against two really good players in (Derek) Favors and (Enes) Kanter, two other young, athletic bigs. He just did a good job. I'm looking at his rebounding and his screening. Everybody's looking at his points, but I'm looking at all the other things he's doing. He should have half of DeMar's buckets because he set such solid screens for him."
That's A Rap...
"When you win, everybody is hugging you, kissing you, and on your shoulders, but when you have a bad game everybody wants to panic. When you’re a scorer for a team like DeMar (DeRozan) is for us you are going to have nights like (Thursday vs. Chicago). I don’t care how many he misses; he’s going to come back and get those same shots and he showed it tonight." - Dwane Casey on the DeMar DeRozan coming back from a poor shooting effort with 27 points vs. Utah
By The Numbers
23 - Free throw attempts from the Raptors, two off their season low set Thursday vs. Chicago
8 - Raptors turnovers, the fourth time this season they've coughed it up in single digits vs. an opponent this season
65-44 - Second-half scoring favouring the Raptors
13:56 - Minutes for James Johnson, who was on track to log more time until an ankle sprain in the fourth quarter sidelined him
113 - Raptors coaching wins for Dwane Casey, which puts him in a tie with Lenny Wilkens for second on the franchise's all-time list
They Said It
"I don't know how many times Babe Ruth struck out, but I guarantee you he struck out more than he hit home runs." - Dwane Casey, on DeRozan bouncing back
"We had a tough team coming here and they played last night. They played well and we tip our hats to them but we needed this bounce back game."- Kyle Lowry, on a needed win
"I think he established that on his own. He was down there calling for it and when the shots went up he went after them and went back up strong. A lot of it was on him. "- DeMar DeRozan, on the performance from Jonas Valanciunas
The Raptors put their Eastern Conference-leading record up against one of the best in the West on Wednesday when the Memphis Grizzlies make their only appearance of the season in Toronto (7:30 PM ET, TSN, FAN590).