The Raptors all game long controlled this one. I mean that quite literally as well as the Jazz never led this game in regulation. Even as the Raptors were successfully holding off the Jazz I had a sick feeling in my gut it wasn’t going to last. When Al Jefferson makes only the second three of his NBA Career to tie the game that is likely a sign it just isn’t your night. If the Raptors had just got the defensive rebound prior to that.
When you have a game like this there are a ton of moments where you can look back and say if only this happened or if only that happened. There was lots of complaining about calls and non-calls in this one. As many that read often know I seldom like to use that as an excuse. I won’t simply say the Raptors got screwed by the evil bias officials. I will save that for my WWE viewing.
On a night full of tremendous efforts at the top of the heap is Demar DeRozan. He had a career high 37 and also a career high in minutes played at 60 minutes on the nose. Jose Calderon also deserves some credit for a 20 points and 17 assists night and he logged over 40 minutes. The Raptors entered this game with no Lowry, Fields or Alan Anderson.
Which lead to the most shocking contribution of the night hands down with Linas Kleiza coming off the bench to drop 20 points.
This is the end was a battle of will between a team that was desperate for a win in the Raptors and a team in the Jazz just as determined to get their first road win of the season. It was a great contest that went to triple overtime with Jazz surviving to win it 140-133. Just a fun fact the Raptors have been to Triple OT several times but never got to the fourth overtime. The Raptors have been to triple OT now 5 times and only ever winning once.
In a game like this I feel it is wrong to take to many shots at anyone seeing as the overall effort was so good. But two general things stick out in this one. Raptors play on defense continues to be a concern. Also Andrea Bargnani started like a house of fire and was burnt out long before any overtime was being played. I have never been a Calderon fan as most of you know. I will give him this though the guy does compete. Bargnani does it in fits and spurts and it grows tiresome after seven years.
Raptors are off to face the Pacers. No need to preview this one. It comes down to a few lines. Guts and energy. If the Raptors have the guts and any energy left they may not get blown out by the Pacers. If the Raptors were to win this game after what we witnessed last night you could perhaps look back on it as a turning point for this season.
Casey had been begging his team for 48 minutes of effort he got more than that last night and still ended up on the short end of the stick and sits at 1-6 on the season.