SALT LAKE CITY – Rudy Gay hit five three-pointers and scored 20 points in his season debut to help the Utah Jazz beat the Toronto Raptors 119-103 on Thursday night.
Gay also had five rebounds while playing just 18 minutes. He missed Utah’s first 14 games while recovering from offseason surgery on his right heel.
Donovan Mitchell also scored 20 points, and Royce O’Neale added a season-high 16. Rudy Gobert chipped in 14 points and 11 rebounds.
Gary Trent Jr. scored a season-high 31 points for Toronto, and Fred VanVleet added 24. Toronto lost for the sixth time in seven games despite scoring 33 points off 21 Jazz turnovers.
Birch gave Toronto an early spark, scoring all 14 of his points before halftime. He made back-to-back baskets to kickstart a 9-2 run that gave the Raptors a 23-17 lead in the first quarter.
Gay gave Utah an immediate lift even while playing on a minutes restriction. He made three three-pointers and assisted another basket to help the Jazz rally and take a 42-31 lead early in the second quarter.
VanVleet made three-pointers on three straight possessions to erase Utah’s lead and put the Raptors ahead 53-51 shortly before halftime.
The Jazz tightened up on defense in the third quarter, allowing them to create some separation. Toronto made only three baskets over the final nine minutes of the quarter. It opened the door for Utah to rebuild a double-digit lead.
Joe Ingles fed Gobert for a pair of dunks and drained a pair of three-pointers to fuel a 15-2 run that put the Jazz up 98-80 early in the fourth quarter.
Raptors: OG Anunoby (left hip) and Precious Achiuwa (right shoulder tendonitis) were inactive for Toronto. … Pascal Siakam scored a season-low four points on 2-of-14 shooting. Siakim also dished out five assists. … Chris Boucher had a team-high eight rebounds.
Jazz: Bojan Bogdanovic had a season-high six assists. … Ingles had a season-high seven rebounds. … Utah outscored Toronto 57-20 in bench points.
Raptors: At Sacramento on Friday night.
Jazz: At Sacramento on Saturday night.
© 2021 The Canadian Press
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