Williams’ 18 points, 16 assists lead Jazz
TORONTO (AP)—One by one, the Toronto Raptors silently funneled out of the locker room following their second straight blowout loss at home.
They had gone just as quietly against the Utah Jazz.
“Yeah, they’re good, but we have to (say), ‘Who cares? We’re still going to win this game.’ And I don’t think we have that fire right now.”
Carlos Boozer(notes) added 18 points and 11 rebounds, while Mehmet Okur(notes) and rookie Wesley Matthews(notes) had 16 points apiece for the Jazz, who won their third straight and improved to 28-8 in their past 36 games. Seven Jazz players finished with at least 12 points.
“Great game for us, man. It was fun,” Boozer said.
Bosh celebrated his 26th birthday with a 20-point performance for the Raptors (35-35), who fell 1 1/2 games behind Charlotte and Miami in the race for sixth place in the Eastern Conference.
Bosh said it wasn’t his job to motivate his teammates.
“I can’t instill it in guys,” Bosh said. “You have to have it on your own. As much as I would like to do everything, I can’t do everything. Personally, you have to bring something to the plate. Whatever gets guys going, we have to find it.”
On a night where both teams donned retro jerseys, Williams and Boozer channeled their inner John Stockton and Karl Malone to make easy work of the Raptors, beating them for the 10th straight time.
Williams used his deft court vision to find teammates for uncontested layups or open 3-pointers, or to slash to the hoop himself. Boozer excelled down low using an array of layups, putbacks and short hook shots. And like Stockton and Malone, Utah’s current dynamic duo didn’t hesitate to use the occasional pick-and-roll to befuddle the Raptors, who looked mostly flat in front of a testy Air Canada Centre crowd.
“We could not contain Deron Williams from the start of the game,” Raptors coach Jay Triano said. “He goes out and we get it to 14 (points), he comes back in and it’s 20. He just goes where he wants to go and does what he wants to do.
“His line is deceiving … 18 (points) and 16 (assists), he was better than that.”
Up 18 entering the second half, the Jazz were content to trade baskets with the Raptors for the majority of the third quarter. Utah was up 87-67 after three.
Toronto closed within 13 early in the fourth quarter, but Boozer’s basket— on Williams’ 14th assist of the game—ignited a 7-0 Utah run that put the game out of reach, sending fans scurrying for the exits.
“We got our butts kicked, bottom line,” Jack said. “I don’t think anybody in here is into moral victories. We fought hard and got blown out. That’s just the way I feel about it.”
Boozer’s 10 points helped Utah take a 33-17 advantage after one. The Jazz led 61-43 at halftime.
NOTES: The Raptors donned their blue-and-white Huskies jerseys for Wednesday’s game, while the Jazz went with green-and-gold road uniforms they wore for two seasons in the early-1980s. … Raptors G Marco Belinelli(notes) missed his second straight game with a sore lower back, while F Hedo Turkoglu(notes) sat out the second half with a stomach virus. Jazz F Andrei Kirilenko(notes) was out with a strained calf muscle. … Utah is assured a winning record for the 23rd time in the last 24 years. … There have been 236 NBA coaching changes since Jerry Sloan first took over as Utah’s coach in December 1988. Denver, New York and the Clippers have all switched coaches 12 times in that span. The Raptors are on their seventh head coach.