The game wasn't barely six minutes old when Triano called two timeouts, which is all one needs to know on how poorly the Raptors came out of the gate.
Utah scored the game's first eight points, made 10 of its first 14 shots from the field and was poised to bury the Raptors.
After the opening quarter, Utah led 33-17.
The Raptors then began to feed Bosh and play decent defence.
It also helped when the Jazz forgot all the ball movement and movement off the ball that allowed them to stake their lead.
By the break, the Raptors managed to cut the deficit to a manageable number, trailing 61-52.
In the wake of Toronto's 130-112 loss in Denver on Tuesday night, Wright is concerned at how the Raptors are scheming to stop the opposition.
"We got to get better schemes,'' Wright said. "We got to buy into the schemes.
"We got to figure out a way to not let a guy beat us just by isolating him and getting other people shots. If that's the case, we're going to struggle with all the teams that have all-stars."
Wright wasn't around for last year's disappointing season, in which the Raptors missed the playoffs. Virtually every team with a perimeter presence, and in today's NBA there are plenty, feasted on Toronto's porous defence.
And I think they’re probably right where they should be, record-wise and the way they play.
It was never going to be a seamless transition from what they looked like on paper to how they performed on the court and we’ve seen all kinds of blips in the first dozen games. The interior defence, which is as much about slow rotations by wings as it is the bigs, is scary bad at times, and passable at others. Perimeter defence? Same thing. Horrible and passable, passable and horrible. Sometimes within the same game.
But, really, 5-7 isn’t that bad. It’s about what I expected and it suggests they’ve survived this stretch without fracturing.
I mentioned when the season began that something like a 3-9 or 2-10 start would be disastrous to the psyche of a team still trying to find itself and the feeling I’m getting being around these guys is that they really think the pieces are there and the consistency that’s been sorely lacking will come.
"I had to probably play the starters a lot more early in the game to get back into the game," said coach Jay Triano, whose team trailed by 16 at the end of one quarter and had to fight just to make things interesting. "Late in the game, we just had nothing left. We just counted seven wide-open, uncontested shots in the fourth quarter and we didn't make one of them.
"(Jose) Calderon, (Hedo) Turkoglu, (Marco) Belinelli, (Andrea) Bargnani, those are the guys we expect to shoot the basketball and they had nothing left in their legs, whether it's because of four games on the road or because we had to use them so much early in this game to climb back into it.
"We didn't have anything left."
This is the issue with Pops. There is no organization more attuned to productivity and efficiency than the Houston Rockets. This is a team that can see through the fact that Chuck Hayes is tubby and short and can’t score but recognize he’s a defensive whiz and screen-setting expert.
Amir Johnson started a late rally with a block on Maynor to start a break for the Raptors, which Bosh finished with a two-handed dunk off a no-look pass from Belinelli to cut Utah's lead to 76-72. Maynor scored on a layup for the Jazz, but the Raptors pushed for the final shot of the period and Belinelli hit a 3-pointer that made it 78-75 Utah entering the fourth quarter.
Belinelli added a layup to start the fourth and get the Raptors to 78-77, then the Jazz took over the game with a 17-2 run.
Boozer leads Jazz to win
Deron Williams talks after Utah's 104-91 win over Toronto. Williams scored 20 points in his return to the Jazz after missing two games.
The Raptors narrowed an 18-point deficit to one with 11 minutes to play before Maynor, playing alongside Deron Williams in the backcourt, helped restore order.
His 11 points highlighted a 19-5 explosion by the Jazz, who suddenly seem to have two point guards who are capable of altering the outcome of a game.
Referring to Maynor and Williams, coach Jerry Sloan said, "I like the way they played. They can keep the pressure on a defense. Those two guys have that ability and you have to take advantage of it."
The most notable difference in this one was the point guard play. Jose Calderon wasn’t himself of late, going 4-of-14 and finishing with two assists and two turnovers. His counterpart, Deron Williams, ran all over him, scoring 22 and adding nine dimes. Carlos Boozer added 22 and 18 boards for the Jazz and Andrei Kirilenko had 20 points off the bench while sporting a fresh “new lesbian” hairstyle, as my man Sully Sullivan would say.
Another loss, but at least one that signals the end of hellish trip out west. After playing seven of the last eight on the road, the Raptors are home to face Miami Friday in the first of three at the ACC.
The Jazz won despite missing 7 of 22 free throws in the second half. They benefited from being able to play from ahead all night after an incredible first quarter in which they shot 61.5 percent and built an 18-point lead.
It seemed like everything the Jazz touched was going in the basket that quarter. Even when Williams forced up a jumper to beat the shot clock, Boozer came up with an easy putback. Boozer also beat the shot clock himself with a baseline jumper.
Fast forward to the fourth quarter and Sloan was happy that the Jazz didn’t panic after watching their big lead trimmed to one. In fact, he praised Eric Maynor and Williams with getting the Jazz in their offense.
“If you’re running haywire all over the place, then you don’t have anything,” Sloan said.
"The bottom line is we got stops in the fourth quarter," said Boozer, who finished with a team-high 22 points and season-high 18 rebounds.
"You know, that's the NBA, man: a game of runs," Maynor added. "Like Coach Sloan told us, they were gonna make a run. But it's our home; we've got to withstand that run. And then we came back at 'em."
The 5-6 Jazz buried the Raptors with a 17-2 run following Belinelli's bucket, a stretch that included Hedo Turkoglu's turnover trying to drive on Paul Millsap and Kirilenko's tie-up of center Andrea Bargnani.
"That's what it's gonna take to win," said Maynor, who played all 12 fourth-quarter minutes at the point with Williams next to him at shooting guard.
"If we keep defending like that, offense is gonna take care of itself," he said. "You defend so good, and then you get out in transition and you get easy points — and I think that's what we did."
The game stayed close over the next two minutes before Maynor began making a pest of himself.
The first-round draft pick scored scored eight straight points and 10 total during a decisive 14-3 run midway through the fourth.
"That was a terrific win for us," Sloan said.
The fact that Sloan called it a "terrific win" speaks to where the Jazz are at this point in the season.
Still below .500 and saddled with numerous injuries, they feel they have not yet reached their full potential.
On Wednesday, they suited up just nine players.
But the Londoner failed to make an impact for the Texas side, averaging just 1.3 points per game in the opening weeks of the season and featuring for just 12 minutes.
He has been swiftly snapped up by his former employees however, having averaged more than five points with the Raptors in his 19 games.
Mensah-Bonsu opted for a return to Toronto despite interest from the New Jersey Nets but the Raptors must decide by December 20 if they want to keep him until the end of the season.
Maynor finished 5-11 and had six assists. Andrei Kirilenko had 20 points, seven rebounds three steals and two blocks, and Paul Millsap added 10 points and six rebounds for Utah.
Marco Belinelli scored 19 and Hedo Torkoglu returned for Toronto after missing a loss at Denver the night before with a sore left hip and finished with 11 points and six rebounds.
The Raptors cut Utah's lead to nine at halftime, then Toronto took advantage of Utah's poor shooting as the Jazz went 4-14 in the third period.
Amir Johnson started a late rally with a block on Maynor to start a break for the Raptors, which Bosh finished with a two-handed dunk off a no-look pass from Belinelli to cut Utah's lead to 76-72. Maynor scored on a layup for the Jazz, but the Raptors pushed for the final shot of the period and Belinelli hit a three-pointer that made it 78-75 Utah entering the fourth quarter.
If you're into NBA podcasts, you probably already know about The NBA Breakdown with Dave and Audley. And if you haven't checked these guys out, start now. The podcast is into its second season and these guys have interviewed an all-star calibre list of guests. From Maurizio Gherardini to Tom Chambers to Montell Jordan, they've had guests from all aspects of hoops on their show. I caught up with Audley from The NBA Breakdown and asked him about this year's Toronto Raptors, Steve Nash's Suns and the greatest NBA player/rapper.
Chris Bosh is going to be taking the Raptors to the playoffs if he keeps this up. Bosh is playing the best basketball he has EVER played throughout his time in Toronto. I am already excited just thinking about it…the Raptors deserve this, and yes I am still hoping that it would keep Bosh around since, well let’s face it, he is the face of the Raptors.
THE FAN presents all of the highlights (1) and Eric Smith's game recap (2) from Wednesday's 104-91 Jazz win, in which the Raptors came nearly all the way back from an 18-point deficit before Utah took back over.
This season is really honestly all about 1 thing and 1 thing only. KEEP CHRIS BOSH. That is why I was angry with how this team played in L.A and it is why this entire season I have taken the attitude that what was good enough in the past isn't anymore. This team is not going to be better without Chris Bosh anymore than it was better without Vince Carter. So they need to find a way to be a winner and convince Bosh of that fact. That is the mission. That will take getting to the playoffs and once there having a chance to win if not winning a round at least.
- No quit in the Raps (not that any pro team should “quit”) … they fight back from down 18 to cut it to 2 early in the 4th … before the wheels fell off.
-That first quarter sank the Raptors. 33-17 after one (down by as many as 18). Dig a hole that early and it’s VERY hard to climb out of.
They start the 3rd with some momentum and the Jazz was in a lull. The Jazz is an excellent rebounding team, but not in the 2nd half, the Raptors got to all the loose ball, and hung around despite shooting a pretty bad percentage.
They actually got within two, and they have many chances to make another run. They got to so many offensive rebounds, the problem? They can’t make a shot. You are not going to win if you can’t make wide open shots.
Of course, it would be good for the Raptors to actually compete from the start, that way maybe they can still win a game despite poor shooting.
Check out the Raptors vs. Jazz, all in just six minutes!
Watch Amir Johnson's defence trigger a great Raptors fast break finish!
Matt Devlin and Jack Armstrong check in from Utah on the latest episode of Life On The Second Bus.
Toronto, which drops to 5-7, lost its final three road games in a row.
The Raptors trailed by as many as 18 points Wednesday, cut the deficit to one in the final quarter and then had no answer to a Jazz team that took over with a decisive 14-0 run.
Toronto couldn’t match Utah’s energy at EnergySolutions Arena when the game began and had no solution when the Jazz took over late.
In between, the Raptors played well, but it wasn’t good enough.