Jazz rally to beat Raptors 122-116, snap 3-game skid
TORONTO (AP) — Lauri Markkanen and Walker Kessler each scored 23 points, Collin Sexton had 22 and the Utah Jazz overcame a 12-point deficit in the final five minutes to beat the Toronto Raptors 122-116 on Friday night and snap a three-game losing streak.
Kelly Olynyk scored 15 points and former Raptor Rudy Gay had 12 for the Jazz, who won despite shooting 6 for 24 from 3-point range, matching a season low. Utah also made six 3-pointers in a Feb. 6 loss to Dallas.
The Jazz lost 143-118 to Minnesota on Wednesday, their worst home defeat of the season — the same day they traded four players, including veteran guard Mike Conley.
“Last game, that’s a hard day,” Jazz coach Will Hardy said. “Today, I just felt like everybody was a little more settled. The nerves of the trade deadline are over, the uncertainty of all that is over, which helps settle everybody’s mind.”
Sexton liked the way the Jazz responded to the emotions from Wednesday.
“Tonight was one of those games where we had to play together,” Sexton said. “It was one of those games where we had to fight to the end and fight for one another, and that’s what we did.”
Pascal Siakam scored 35 points, topping 30 for the second straight game, but Toronto couldn’t extend its three-game winning streak. The Raptors have not won four straight at any point this season.
Gary Trent Jr. scored 19 points, Fred VanVleet had 17 and Precious Achiuwa 16 in a disappointing loss for the Raptors.
“It’s unacceptable by our standards,” VanVleet said.
Toronto led 112-100 with 4:53 remaining in the fourth quarter, but the Jazz tied it with a 12-0 run capped by Sexton’s 3-point play with 2:34 left.
Markkanen’s free throw with 2:07 to go completed a three-point play and gave the Jazz their first lead since the score was 4-3 in the first quarter.
The Raptors led 96-83 through three quarters but shot 8 for 23 in the fourth. Utah outscored Toronto 39-20 in the final period.
“A lot of guys made big plays down the stretch, but I’m most impressed with our defense,” Hardy said. “Fifty-five points (allowed) in the second half, 20 points in the fourth quarter, four points in the last five minutes of the game.”
Hours after being named an injury replacement for the All-Star Game, Siakam shot 12 for 21, making a season-high five of his seven attempts from distance and going 6 for 7 at the free-throw line. Siakam scored 37 points in Wednesday’s 112-98 win over the Spurs.
Center Jakob Poeltl came off the bench for Toronto after being acquired from San Antonio ahead of Thursday’s trade deadline. Poeltl, who began his career with the Raptors, had six points and four rebounds in 17 minutes.
“I thought he played decent for just getting here,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said.
Jazz: G Jordan Clarkson (non-COVID illness) was not available. … Finished with 76 points in the paint. … Markkanen and Kessler each had nine rebounds. … Olynyk had eight assists and seven rebounds. … Talen Horton-Tucker had nine points, eight assists and seven rebounds.
Raptors: F O.G. Anunoby (sprained left wrist) missed his seventh straight game. … Scottie Barnes had 12 points, nine assists and seven rebounds. … Ended a nine-game run against Western Conference opponents.
FINDING THEIR RANGE
Utah finished 6 for 19 from 3-point range after an 0 for 5 start.
“As the game went on, we did a better job of getting to our second and third actions and creating some better looks from 3,” Hardy said.
Toronto had 18 assists on 20 made baskets in the first half. They finished with 28.
Jazz: Visit New York on Saturday.
Raptors: Host Detroit on Sunday.
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