There is simply no place like home, or so the Utah Jazz are hoping. The team must be extra happy to return to the safe confines of EnergySolutions Arena, as it finished its weeklong road trip with yet another humbling loss, falling to the Toronto Raptors, 115-91.
Toronto sported a 2-4 record entering Saturday’s tilt but looked more like it was 4-2 with its formidable outing. The Raptors dominated from the get-go, darting out to a 30-16 first-quarter advantage. Its combination of athleticism, perimeter marksmanship and scrappy defense carried on throughout the evening, and despite Utah having a seven-point edge in the fourth quarter, Toronto simply blew out its opponents.
The Raptors were fueled by a well-balanced attack, with seven individuals tallying nine or more points. Gordon Hayward paced Utah with 27 points, seven rebounds, four assists and four steals.
Utah stays the NBA’s sole team without a win, dropping to a disappointing 0-7 record. The Jazz hope to notch their first win of the season Monday evening versus the Denver Nuggets.
The bench advantage: While Toronto’s starters set the early tone, credit goes to its bench, which not only maintained the lead, but pushed the game wide open. Led by the ever-hustling Tyler Hansbrough’s 23 points and seven rebounds, the Raptors' reserves outperformed their counterparts, 56-30.
Hansbrough entered the game in the second quarter and immediately put five points on the board. Additionally, swingmen Quincy Acy and Terrance Ross injected a great deal of life and energy into the game. Each posted nine-point games. Point guard Dwight Buycks filled in nicely for the injured Kyle Lowry. His stat line was modest, but he did a fine job orchestrating the Toronto attack in the second half.
Conversely, the Utah bench went nearly two quarters without scoring. It ended up shooting 10 of 25 from the floor. Alec Burks was a bright spot as he managed to eke 17 points out Saturday evening.
Odds and ends:
• Utah’s outside shooting was nowhere to be found, connecting on just three of 18 three-point attempts.
• Toronto donned special camouflage uniforms in commemoration of Remembrance Day. With its strong effort, it may want to petition to wear the special fatigues another game or two going forward.
• The Jazz point guard tandem of Jamaal Tinsley and John Lucas III struggled once again, combining just three points and five assists in 32 minutes.
• Guard Brandon Rush did not play again, but Marvin Williams made his second straight appearance.
David Smith provides instant analysis for Deseret News' Utah Jazz coverage. He works for LDS Philanthropies and also writes for Salt City Hoops, the Jazz's ESPN.com affiliate. He can be found on Twitter at davidjsmith1232.