SALT LAKE CITY — The NBA’s most diverse teams will square off tonight at Vivint Arena when the Utah Jazz host the Toronto Raptors.
A league-high seven international players are listed on the rosters of each team.
To what effect that fun fact will have on the actual game remains to be seen, but Switzerland-born Jazz forward Thabo Sefolosha certainly thinks it’s a cool side note.
“I think the league has evolved a lot and just to see so many international players speaks on where the game is nowadays in the world space,” Sefolosha said during Friday’s shootaround.
Utah (5-3) is undefeated at home, riding a three-game win streak and currently tied with Minnesota for first place in the Northwest Division.
During the stretch, Utah is putting up 104 points with star guard Ricky Rubio scoring 23.6 points per game, but he has a tough matchup against Toronto’s All-Star guard Kyle Lowry.
The Jazz topped Portland 112-103 in an overtime thriller on Wednesday night behind a season-high 30-points from Rubio.
“This is one of the wins we’re going to remember at the end of the season if we want to make the playoffs,” Rubio said after posting 11 overtime points in the Portland win.
The Raptors (4-3) suffered a tough 129-111 loss to Denver on Wednesday, but are looking to bounce back.
During the 2016-17 season, Toronto won the series against Utah, 2-0, with Lowry going off for 16 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter to help the Raptors win 101-93 in their last meeting on Jan. 5 in Canada.
Both have emerged as key contributors for Toronto coach Dwane Casey, but Jazz coach Quin Snyder is solely focused on making the right adjustments for his own squad.
Nothing else matters.
“We’re going to try and play the guys that are more effective for us at a given time,” Snyder said. “The other night, that happened to be Thabo (Sefolosha), and Joe (Ingles) and Rodney (Hood) didn’t finish.”