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EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Utah Jazz defense meets its match in Toronto Raptors offense

SUMMARY: For the first time this season, the Utah Jazz’s defense was unable to impact an opponent and the Jazz fell 109-100 to the Toronto Raptors.

  • The Jazz defense has been dominant all season. They have held every opponent below their season average, but couldn’t tonight. The Jazz were never able to put the clamps down on the Raptors whose offense made a ton of shots.


  • The Raptors’ offensive rating was 117.5 and their effective field goal percentage was 61.3%. This is an unreal offensive night against an elite defense. The Jazz have played great offensive teams this year and this is the first one that was able to shred the Jazz defense.


  • DeMar DeRozan was the main star for the Raptors tonight; He had 37 points including 17 in the third quarter. He went 14 of 14 from the line. He has added the 3-point shot to his game and hit 3 of 7; Eight attempts is his career high.


  • The Raptors have an awesome rotation. They start with DeRozan and Lowry — two of the best scorers in the league — then they play DeRozan with four bench guys for a period of time and let him carry the game. An athletic group of long, athletic athletes take over for a period of time before Lowry returns and carries the game for a few minutes before closing the half with both of their All-Stars.


  • The Raptors’ second unit is made up of players with two or fewer years’ experience who play hard and fast.


  • Donovan Mitchell led the Jazz in scoring with 25 points. He was the one guy who was able to go get a bucket on the Jazz roster. The highlight of the night was a nifty spin move to the basket for a layup. Mitchell was 9 of 20 from the field and 3 of 7 from 3, and perhaps the most significant, he didn’t have a turnover.

  • Mitchell really struggled at the rim the first few games, but since then has figured out how to navigate in the trees to get shots off at the basket. He will be moving to the top of the scouting report and it will be interesting to see what happens when the league digs into his tendencies.


  • Ricky Rubio’s shooting lost its shine for a night; He was 3 for 12.


  • Rodney Hood looked like he was bouncing back from his 0 for 11 night, but an 0 for 6 fourth quarter pushed his shooting numbers the wrong direction for 6 of 19. He is now 6 for his last 30.


  • Joe Ingles put up another elegant box score: 11 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals.


  • The Jazz have done a better job controlling the turnovers in the last three games.


  • The Jazz’s offensive rating tonight was a 107.5. They will win most games with this type of offensive performance. They won’t win games with a defensive rating of 117.5.

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David Locke enters his ninth year as the radio play-by-play voice of the Utah Jazz, having spent the majority of his career in radio in Salt Lake City and Seattle. In the summer of 2016, Locke created the Locked on Podcast Network which has podcast daily bite sized podcasts for every NBA and NFL team. A native of Palo Alto, Calif., Locke graduated from Occidental College in Los Angeles with a degree in Political Science and Sociology. Locke and his wife have a son and a daughter.

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