The Toronto Raptors are still undefeated at home after blowing out the Utah Jazz 130-110 on Sunday night. Toronto is now 9-0 at Scotiabank Arena, the longest home winning streak to start the season.
The Raptors have now beaten the Jazz in 11 of their last 13 contests. After struggling from the field on Friday night in their win over the Magic, everything was clicking two nights later.
Toronto went from shooting just 36.9% in Orlando to 52.2% against the Jazz.
Here are your takeaways from Toronto's 15th victory of the year:
Tempo, Tempo, Tempo
The Jazz ranked towards the bottom half of the league in terms of pace. They average less than 85 shots per game - which is in the bottom three in the league. They don't cut in the halfcourt, ranking in the bottom three in the league in cuts per possession and points off cuts according to NBA Stats. They also give the ball up 15.8 times per game. All of those faults were exploited by the Raptors on Sunday night.
Utah's lack of movement on the offensive end made things easy for the stingy Raptors' defence and Toronto feasted on it, forcing 18 turnovers which turned into 21 fast-break points.
The Raptors pushed the ball at every opportunity, even after made shots. It was clear that the Jazz just didn't have the horses to keep up with the Raptors. The scary thing is with the return of Serge Ibaka Sunday and the impending return of Kyle Lowry in the near future, Toronto will be able to get out and run even more with more depth available to them.
The Raptors' championship-level defence was on full display in the first half of Sunday's win. Toronto held the Jazz to just 37 points and Utah shot just 27.7% from the field.
Toronto's defence allowed them to go into halftime with a franchise-best 40-point lead. According to the AP's Tim Reynolds, Toronto's 40-point halftime lead is the largest in the NBA this season. It was the biggest halftime deficit in Utah Jazz history and was tied for the 8th biggest halftime margin in league history.
Raptors 77, Jazz 37 at the half.- Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) December 2, 2019
- Biggest halftime lead in the NBA this season
- Biggest halftime lead in Raptors history.
- Biggest halftime deficit in Jazz history
- Tied for 8th-biggest halftime margin in NBA history
Utah came back strong in the third period posting 49 points but the damage had already been done.
The Raptors, as they've been doing all year long, rode their defence to another win.
All-Star bounce back
Pascal Siakam struggled on Friday night against the Orlando Magic going just 4-for-22 from the field finishing with a season-low 10 points.
On Sunday, he bounced back in a major way shaking off the bad performance early. Siakam finished with a game-high 35 points, 19 of which came in the first quarter.
Siakam also didn't settle for jumpers against the Jazz. He routinely posted up finding and making looks in the paint even with the intimidating Rudy Gobert lurking around the paint.
Once the inside was established, he made his way outside knocking down 5-for-9 from three-point range. A lot is being made of the evolution of Siakam's game, but on Sunday his mind game was on display. As the team leader and go-to-guy, he knew he'd have to bounce but from a season-worst performance with a big-time game. He did that against a pretty good team and defence in the Utah Jazz.
Hustle-Jefferson back at it again
What more can you say about Rondae Hollis-Jefferson's play? RHJ was terrific once again on Sunday night, as he's found the perfect role as the Raps energy guy off the bench.
Toronto's starters did a great job of setting the tone early, but Hustle-Jefferson did his best to maintain it on both ends of the floor. Most knew that RHJ could defend and slash at a high level, but the little extra on offence he's shown has been a welcome surprise.
In the second quarter, Hollis-Jefferson faced up on Royce O'Neale, swept the basketball through and faded away in his face - knocking down the jumper and getting fouled in the play.
Come for the bucket.- Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) December 1, 2019
Stay for the moves. @IAmCHAP24 pic.twitter.com/Uz6LPto8EO
Later in the game, a cutting RHJ found himself under the rim wide open, Siakam found him and he finished with contact from Donovan Mitchell.
.@IAmCHAP24 ain't worried bout no contact pic.twitter.com/3TInSFcIyI- Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) December 2, 2019
RHJ finished Sunday's game with 10 points, six rebounds and a was plus-11 in 24 minutes.
The Raptors won't ever count on Hollis-Jefferson for his offence, but when they do get it it's a huge plus.
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