As mentioned in our Raptors/Jazz game preview, DeMar DeRozan tends not to produce low scoring outputs in consecutive games. He proved that once again, scoring a season-high 37 points in the Raptors 109-100 win in Salt Lake City.
DeRozan needed just 20 shots to reach the 37-point mark, which shows how efficient a game he had. The reigning third-team All-NBA forward knocked down 10 of his 20 field goals, including three of seven from long range.
DeRozan’s backcourt mate Kyle Lowry also had an excellent showing. He finished with a double-double (15 points, 10 assists) and converted more than 50 percent of his field goals for the third time this season (and first time since the team faced the Philadelphia 76ers back in October). Hopefully for Raptors fans, Lowry’s performance against the Jazz becomes more of the norm going forward. When the Raptors backcourt produces like it did on Friday night, it becomes that much more challenging for opponents to contain the team on the offensive end.
Even without the sharpshooting C.J. Miles, Toronto grinded out a tough win and handed Utah its first home loss of the season. Against a tough defensive team, and on the final game of a six-game road trip, this win really showed the strong resolve and character of this year’s Raptors team.
Jonas Valanciunas and Serge Ibaka each received an uptick in minutes in their second game back from injury. Valanciunas played 20 minutes and finished with 6 points, 8 boards, and 2 blocks. Ibaka added 10 points in 26 minutes.
Also, Pascal Siakam deserves a shout out; he had yet another impressive performance with 8 points and 3 steals in limited minutes.
Donovan Mitchell led the way for Utah with 25 points off the bench.
After finishing .500 on their West Coast road trip (3-3), the Raptors return to the Air Canada Centre for the first time since October 21. They’ll play three games in Toronto against the Wizards, Bulls, and Pelicans, then head on the road once again.