Preview: Jazz at Raptors
The Toronto Raptors watched helplessly as the Utah Jazz scored in waves last season. Minus two of their top players from last year, the Jazz have a far different look as they seek their first win of the campaign Saturday night in Toronto. Utah dropped to 0-6 with an uninspiring 97-73 loss to the Chicago Bulls on Friday night, while the Raptors were outclassed in the third quarter of their 91-84 defeat at the hands of the undefeated Indiana Pacers.
Utah is the NBA's lone winless team - in fact, all but two other clubs in the league have already recorded at least two victories. The Jazz can only hope to reclaim some of the offensive explosiveness they showed against Toronto last season, when they racked up 271 points in a pair of entertaining victories less than a month apart. The Raptors managed to hang around for a half against the Pacers, but were outscored 17-13 by Indiana star Paul George in the fateful third quarter.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, RTRM+ (Utah), TSN2 (Toronto)
ABOUT THE JAZZ (0-6): Replacing the offensive production vacated by the departure of big men Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap hasn't been easy. The Jazz have yet to break the 100-point plateau - peaking with 98 in a season-opening loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder - and are coming off their worst showing of the season in Chicago. The starting lineup managed just 43 points on 16-of-51 shooting, with team scoring leader Gordon Hayward limited to 15 points on 5-of-15 from the field.
ABOUT THE RAPTORS (2-4): Toronto has yet to get a good game from both Rudy Gay and DeMar DeRozan. Gay finally shook his early season struggles in the loss the Pacers - erupting for 30 points on a variety of tough shots - but got no help from his streaky teammate, who finished with just six points on 2-of-15 shooting. Versatile forward Amir Johnson was the other bright spot for the Raptors, scoring 12 points and adding a team-best 10 rebounds for his first double-double of the campaign.
1. Utah has won nine of the last 10 meetings with the Raptors.
2. Hayward is a career 29.7-percent shooter in five games versus Toronto.
3. Gay has reached the 30-point plateau three times in 39 games with the Raptors.
PREDICTION: Raptors 97, Jazz 90
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