TORONTO — It took perhaps the wildest game of the year thus far in the NBA season for the Utah Jazz to finally snap their four-game winless streak on the road Monday night.
Paul Millsap's three-pointer and Gordon Hayward's lay in capped a 7-0 run in triple overtime, giving the Jazz the breathing room they needed to finally put away the Toronto Raptors at the Air Canada Centre, 140-133.
The game was marked with spectacular finishing plays at the end of regulation and overtimes, in a game that the Raptors led virtually wire-to-wire in regulation.
"I can't say enough about how our team hung in there, we kept fighting," said Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin, whose team was in danger of starting the season 0-5 on the road for the first time since 1987. "We understood the importance of getting of this slide and getting that road win. It took us long enough tonight but we finally got it going."
"We made mistakes but we stayed together, kept supporting each other, and that's what we're going to need on the road. Through your mistakes, you have to stay together."
Millsap's 34 points and nine rebounds and Al Jefferson's 24 points and 16 rebounds led seven Utah players who scored in double digits.
It was Jefferson's 3-pointer with 2.2 seconds in regulation that finally drew the Jazz even with the Raptors — who had led all game, and by 11 with less than eight minutes to play in the fourth quarter.
Trailing 104-101 in the dying seconds of regulation, Mo Williams' deep three-point attempt hit back iron. Jefferson secured the rebound, and dished to Randy Foye.
Foye returned the ball the Jefferson, who launched his own three, which rattled around the rim, before softly dropping with 2.2 seconds left to play, sending the game into overtime.
"I just set my feet and let it go," Jefferson said. "Even though the ball wanted to tease me for a while it finally dropped. I knew then, if I hit a three to send us to overtime we had to go win it."
The Jazz finally took their first lead of the game with 4:19 to play in the first overtime, when Millsap hit the first of two free throws. They soon extended it to 108-104, and looked poised to end the game.
But with a 113-109 lead, the Raptors tied it on four free throws, by Andrea Bargnani and Jose Calderon.
Tied at 113, the Raptors took the lead when DeMar DeRozan — en route to a game-high 37 points — drove the lane for an emphatic one handed dunk with 23.3 seconds to play.
But Jefferson drew the teams even again, when he nailed a jump hook.
DeRozan had the ball with a chance to win, but his turnaround jumper rimmed out as time expired in overtime.
In double OT, Millsap staked the Jazz to another lead when he drilled another 3-pointer. The lead was that same margin with less than 10 seconds to play, when John Lucas Jr. drilled a three pointer to tie the game, sending the ACC crowd into a frenzy, forcing a third overtime.
But the Jazz secured control for good after Millsap nailed his third three of the game, giving Utah a 134-130 lead.
On the next possession, Hayward was able to corral a Mo Williams pass that looked headed for the Jazz bench. He proceeded to take the ball to the basket and score to extend the lead to six and put the game away.
"Paul made some big threes, he was the MVP of the game, he played some great D at the end," said Foye, who finished with 20 points before fouling out. "Everybody just played their heart out and we said to each other that we don't want to lose, we want this game even is it takes six overtimes."
As a team, the Jazz hit 14 of 26 from beyond the arc. Millsap and Mo Williams had three apiece, while Foye led the team with four makes.
"It feels good to get this first, get the monkey off our back. We can learn from this," said Millsap, as the team continues its four-game East Coast swing in Boston Wednesday. "I think we know what we need to do on the road, to win games. Tonight was a key example. We stayed together, we stayed with it to the end, and when things weren't going our way we stayed through it."
Marvin Williams had 17 while Derrick Favors added 15 for the Jazz.
For the Raptors, Jose Calderon had 20 points and 17 assists, while Linas Kleiza chipped in with 20.
With the win, the Jazz extended their win streak to seven straight at the Air Canada Centre.