SPORTS

Raptors get back on track with win, face Jazz

12/03/2014 01:20 EST | Updated 02/02/2015 05:59 EST
Tuesday night, the Toronto Raptors found a way to win without the injured DeMarDeRozan. They defeated the Kings in Sacramento, 117-109, thanks to the balanced scoring of Kyle Lowry, with 27 points, Terrence Ross with 20 and 19 from James Johnson. The win snapped a two-game losing streak after DeRozan injured his leg.

The first-place Raptors (14-4) saw DeRozan go down with a torn adductor tendon in Friday's defeat to Dallas, then fell 129-122 in overtime to the Lakers on Sunday.

Kyle Lowry led the way with 27 points and 13 assists and Terrence Ross scored 20 for the second consecutive game. The Raptors scored 56 points in the paint, two off their season high set against Los Angeles.

"DeMar is our best defensive player so Kyle has a little more responsibilities as well as T-Ross, me and everybody else," said Greivis Vasquez, who had 12 points and seven assists. "We are winning for DeMar, too. We want him back because he's a big part of our team."

Lowry is averaging 27.0 points over the last three games - 8.9 better than he averaged in his first 15 contests. He had 19 points against the Jazz last month.

Jazz out of tune against Raptors

The Jazz try to avoid a seventh consecutive loss and fourth in a row to the visiting Raptors.

A lack of consistency continues to plague the slumping Utah Jazz, who are coming off another tough defeat.

Utah (5-13) has been limited to an average of 92.7 points during its skid after falling 103-101 to Denver on Monday. Gordon Hayward scored 25 points, Alec Burks added 22 and Enes Kanter posted 17 and 15 rebounds as the Jazz stormed back from 22 down to tie the game in the final minutes.

"There's a lot to learn from this game, a lot to take away," Hayward said. "There are times where we play extremely well and then there are times where we play extremely terrible. So we have to find a way to play more consistently. We show so much fight when we get down, maybe we need to show some more fight to get ourselves up so we don't have to constantly battle."

The Jazz outscored the Nuggets 15-3 in transition but allowed them to shoot 47.1 percent. Utah's opponent field-goal percentage of 47.3 ranks fourth-worst in the NBA.

"I think when we defend, the game is just easier - the basket is bigger, you shoot better and play better, and you're more connected," coach Quin Snyder said. "The habits are coming. Sometimes you wish there would be more consistency."

The Jazz had taken 14 of 15 from the Raptors before losing the last three meetings by an average of 19.0 points. Toronto, which cruised to a 111-93 home victory Nov. 15 behind 27 points from DeRozan, has never won four straight in the series.

Toronto has held Hayward to a combined 20 points on 6-of-21 shooting in the last two meetings. Hayward is averaging 26.3 points on 51.0 percent shooting over a three-game stretch overall.

Jazz center Derrick Favors is hoping to return after sitting out Monday with the flu. He's averaging 15.9 points and a team-leading 8.6 rebounds.

Utah is looking to avoid a fifth consecutive home loss for the first time since March 24-April 7, 2011.

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