Matchup: Toronto Raptors vs. Utah Jazz
Records: Raptors (14-4), Jazz (12-7)
Where to Watch
Date: Dec. 1, 2019
Time: 6:00 p.m. ET
Location: Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, ON
On Sunday, the Raptors and Jazz play each other for the first time this season.
Following their win over the Orlando Magic on Friday, the Raptors are now sole owners of the second-best record in the Eastern Conference, trailing the Milwaukee Bucks at the top of the standings by 1.5 games.
The Jazz, meanwhile, have the sixth-best record in the Western Conference. They snapped a two-game losing streak on Friday, defeating the Memphis Grizzlies behind a season-high 33 points from Bojan Bogdanovic.
Bogdanovic, whom the Jazz signed to a four-year, $73 million contract in the offseason, has stepped up in a big way for Utah in its last eight games. He's averaging 25.0 points per game during that stretch, making him the team's second-leading scorer behind Donovan Mitchell, who is averaging 25.6 points over his last eight games.
Bogdanovic has been far more efficient than Mitchell, however, shooting 51.9 percent from the field and 50.0 percent from 3-point range.
The Jazz are only 4-4 in those games. Two-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert missed two of those games due to an ankle injury. The Jazz also haven't gotten much scoring out of Mike Conley, their other big offseason acquisition. He is averaging 12.9 points on 35.0 percent shooting in his last eight games.
The Jazz now rank 23rd in offensive efficiency on the season, scoring at a rate of 106.0 points per 100 possessions. They still have a positive net rating due to their defence, as they're only giving up 103.2 points per 100 possessions to their opponents.
The Jazz's defence will be tested against a Raptors team that has won six games in a row.
Pascal Siakam is leading the Raptors with 25.1 points, 8.6 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game on the season. He's a candidate to be named the NBA's Most Improved Player again, not only because he's averaging career-highs across the board, but because of how he's doing it . He's gone from being a clear role player to a clear No. 1 option within three years, with him now creating most of his own offence.
Siakam will be looking to bounce back from a rough outing against the Magic, in which he scored a season-low 10 points on 4-for-22 shooting from the field.
As good as Siakam has been this season, the Raptors have been far more than a one-man show. They've received contributions from a number of other players all season long, from Fred VanVleet and OG Anunoby in the starting lineup to the likes of Chris Boucher, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Terence Davis Jr. off the bench.
The Raptors could get an additional boost from Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka against the Jazz, both of whom could make their return after missing nearly three weeks with injuries. They were both playing some of the best basketball of their careers prior to those injuries, with Lowry averaging 21.8 points per game and Ibaka averaging 14.0 points per game, making them the team's second and fourth-leading scorer, respectively.
It'll be interesting to see how the return of Lowry and Ibaka impact everyone on the roster, namely Norman Powell, who has increased his scoring to 15.9 points per game as Lowry's replacement in the starting lineup.
The injury report for Sunday's game has not yet been released.
- Pascal Siakam averaged 22.0 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists in two games against the Jazz last season.
- Donovan Mitchell scored 19 points on 7-for-23 shooting from the field in his only game against the Raptors last season.
- The last time Toronto played Utah, former Raptor Kawhi Leonard scored a career-high 45 points.
- The Raptors are 8-0 at home this season. The Jazz are 4-6 on the road.
- The Raptors enter Sunday's game ranking fifth in offensive efficiency and fourth in defensive efficiency.
Last Time They Played
Date: Jan. 1, 2019
Score: Raptors 122, Jazz 116
Raptors: Kawhi Leonard - 45 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 0 steals
Jazz: Jae Crowder - 30 points, 6 rebounds, 1 turnover, 0 assists
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