SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- After struggling from the floor for the
first 46 minutes, Toronto's Rafer Alston was perfect when the
Raptors needed him most.
Alston's 3-pointer gave Toronto a seven-point lead with 2
minutes remaining Wednesday night and the Raptors held on for a
104-95 victory over the Jazz, Utah's first loss of the season.
"That hurt 'em. That was a real big shot right there," said
Chris Bosh, who led the Raptors with 20 points.
Bosh scored eight in the final quarter as Toronto rallied from a
six-point deficit. The Raptors were blown out the night before
108-92 at Sacramento, but made sure they got their first road win
of the season with a strong start and an even stronger finish.
The Raptors were playing so well in the final period, Vince
Carter only played three minutes. Toronto was just fine without
"It wasn't my idea, but those guys were playing well. They were
moving the ball. They were getting good shots," Toronto coach Sam
Mitchell said. "I just felt like they earned the right to be on
After the Jazz blew the six-point lead, Carlos Boozer got the
home crowd back into it on a dunk that cut Toronto's lead to 95-91.
But the Raptors didn't get rattled and, at the other end, Alston
calmly hit a 25-footer from the top of the key to put the lead back
Toronto hadn't won at Utah since November 2001.
"I had a tough time getting into the game. I had some bad
shots, which is unlike me," said Alston, who was 3-for-11 from the
floor and 2-of-6 from 3-point range.
Vince Carter had 16 points and Alston added seven rebounds for
Toronto, which outscored Utah 56-38 inside and took advantage of
the Jazz's worst shooting night of the season.
Utah (4-1) failed to score 100 points and shoot better than 50
percent for the first time this season. The Jazz were 33-of-80 (41
percent) from the field and made 27 of 35 free throws.
"They played awfully well. They played hard. They played
intelligent. They got the baskets right where they wanted them,"
Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said. "Any time a team can march inside and
be able to score ... well, it's pretty tough to win."
Raja Bell led Utah with 20 points and Boozer added 19. Andrei
Kirilenko and Mehmet Okur each had 10 rebounds for Utah.
Loren Woods had 14 points and nine rebounds for the Raptors, who
were called for 32 fouls to Utah's 21 and only had 15 free-throw
attempts, but made 14. They went 7-for-7 from the line in the
A night after falling behind 9-0 and losing badly, Toronto
scored the first seven points Wednesday to improve to 4-1.
"We've seen what happens when we don't play as a team," Carter
said. "I'm not saying that we didn't support each other in
Sacramento, but we didn't play as a team."
The Raptors forced the Jazz to rush shots as they tried to rally
after Toronto's big run in the fourth. Bosh scored four points and
Lamond Murray had five as Toronto turned an 84-78 deficit into an
"We need to realize how important defense is, not just try to
outscore the other team," Sloan said.
Utah point guard Keith McLeod finished with 16 points, but had
just one assist.
In observance of Veterans Day, veterans in the crowd were
asked to stand and they received a lengthy ovation during a timeout
in the second quarter. ... Former BYU center Rafael Araujo of the
Raptors received a mix of cheers and boos when he entered late in
the second quarter. ... Woods was called for a foul in a collision
with McLeod, then got a technical for shoving him after the whistle
in the first quarter. ... Toronto's Donyell Marshall, who played
two seasons with the Jazz, left with a strained hamstring in the