Utah (11-15) at Toronto (9-18)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Toronto, ON
Temp: 37° F
  • Game info: 7:00 pm EST Wed Dec 22, 2004
  • TV: FSRM
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Fresh off their first road victory in a month, the Utah Jazz will try to take advantage of Vince Carter’s departure and avoid getting swept for the first time by the Toronto Raptors.

The Jazz had lost seven straight on the road before edging Philadelphia 103-101 on Monday. They overcame a 51-point performance by Allen Iverson in winning away from the Delta Center for the first time since Nov. 20, when they routed Atlanta 92-79.

“It’s big time for us,” said Carlos Boozer, who led the Jazz with 28 points and 10 rebounds. “We withstood an incredible run by A.I. Hopefully we can build on this and use this to boost us for the rest of the season.”

Utah needs to avenge a 104-95 home loss on Nov. 10 to avoid losing both meetings to the Raptors for the first time.

Not facing Carter, who was traded to New Jersey on Friday, might help. Carter has averaged nearly 30 points in seven career games against Utah, though he had just 16 in the earlier meeting.

Reserve Mehmet Okur, who had a career-high 27 points against Toronto on Jan. 14, 2004, is shooting 52 percent (16-for-31) in his last three games. The Turkish forward is averaging 18 points and 10.6 rebounds over that span, including 20 points and 10 rebounds in the win over the Sixers on Monday. His season average is 12.5 points, fourth-best on the team.

“I think that he’s learning more about what we’re trying to,” Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said. “He can really shoot the ball. He’s one of our better shooters and he’s very efficient in what he is trying to do.”

The Raptors are 1-1 since sending Carter to the Nets in exchange for center Alonzo Mourning, forwards Eric Williams, Aaron Williams and two first-round draft picks. They beat New Jersey 110-99 at the Air Canada Centre on Sunday, but fell 114-102 at Houston on Monday.

Toronto got double-digit scoring from seven players, including a team-high 16 from Chris Bosh, but lost for the ninth time in 11 games.

Eric Williams had eight points and five rebounds in 23 minutes, while Aaron Williams was scoreless in four as both made their Toronto debuts.

Mourning, out with right knee tendinitis, has yet to play for his new team.

The Raptors have lost four of the last six meetings with the Jazz.

Related Articles