Gordon Hayward and the Utah Jazz were eyeing revenge against the Toronto Raptors, but they came up short once again to the No. 2 team in the Eastern Conference.
G-Time tallied 16 points, four rebounds and two assists, but 18 turnovers doomed the Jazz, gifting the Raptors 27 points in a 101-93 defeat at the Air Canada Centre.
”That was a huge part of the game – that and the offensive glass,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. ”It’s tough to win when you turn the ball over and that’s what happened. We weren’t tough enough with the ball.”
It all started well for the Jazz. Gordon splashed a long 2-pointer midway through the first quarter. Trey Lyles capped that spurt with a 3-pointer to give Utah a 22-13 lead. The Jazz held onto that nine-point advantage, going into the second up 27-18.
The Raptors battled back in the second, trimming the Utah cushion down to just one point. But with 46 seconds to go in the first half, Gordon stepped up and buried a 3, pushing the lead back to four.
It was more back-and-forth in the third. Gordon scored six points in the period and dished to Lyles on a big trifecta. Kyle Lowry had just tied the contest at 66, but the Lyles trey put Utah back on top. The Raptors tied it back up, but a Joe Johnson jumper gave the Jazz a 73-71 lead going into the final quarter.
In the fourth, Lowry was just too much for Utah. A DeMar DeRozan jumper gave the Raptors a lead, and shortly thereafter, a Lowry trey put Toronto up by six. G-Time answered with a triple of his own, and Rudy Gobert cut the lead to one on the next possession, but that’s as close as the Jazz came.
”I don’t want to get into analyzing how we could guard Kyle Lowry differently. We have to do a better job on him,” Snyder said. ”Same thing happened to us at home. He’s good.”