Deron Williams’ 18 Points, 16 Assists Lead Jazz Over Raptors


March 24, 2010

TORONTO — One by one, the Toronto
Raptors silently funneled out of the locker room following their second
straight blowout loss at home.

They had gone just as quietly against
the Utah Jazz.

Deron Williams had 18 points, 16
assists and eight rebounds, leading the Jazz to a 113-87 victory on
Wednesday night.

"[The Jazz are] good, they're one of
the best teams in the West," Raptors forward Chris Bosh said. "But
that's still no excuse. We didn't come to play.

"Yeah, they're good, but we have to
[say], 'Who cares? We're still going to win this game.' And I don't
think we have that fire right now."

Carlos Boozer added 18 points and 11
rebounds, while Mehmet Okur and rookie Wesley Matthews had 16 points
apiece for the Jazz, who won their third straight and improved to 28-8
in their past 36 games. Seven Jazz players finished with at least 12

"Great game for us, man. It was fun,"
Boozer said.

Bosh celebrated his 26th birthday with
a 20-point performance for the Raptors (35-35), who fell 1 1/2 games
behind Charlotte and Miami in the race for sixth place in the Eastern

Bosh said it wasn't his job to
motivate his teammates.

"I can't instill it in guys," Bosh
said. "You have to have it on your own. As much as I would like to do
everything, I can't do everything. Personally, you have to bring
something to the plate. Whatever gets guys going, we have to find it."

Antoine Wright had 10 of his 15
points in the second quarter for the Raptors, while Andrea Bargnani
added 12 and Jose Calderon 10.

On a night where both teams donned
retro jerseys, Williams and Boozer channeled their inner John Stockton
and Karl Malone to make easy work of the Raptors, beating them for the
10th straight time.

Williams used his deft court vision
to find teammates for uncontested layups or open 3-pointers, or to slash
to the hoop himself. Boozer excelled down low using an array of layups,
put-backs and short hook shots. And like Stockton and Malone, Utah's
current dynamic duo didn't hesitate to use the occasional pick-and-roll
to befuddle the Raptors, who looked mostly flat in front of a testy Air
Canada Centre crowd.

"We could not contain Deron Williams
from the start of the game," Raptors coach Jay Triano said. "He goes out
and we get it to 14 [points], he comes back in and it's 20. He just
goes where he wants to go and does what he wants to do.

"His line is deceiving … 18 [points] and 16 [assists], he was better than that."

Up 18 entering the second half, the
Jazz were content to trade baskets with the Raptors for the majority of
the third quarter. Utah was up 87-67 after three.

Toronto closed within 13 early in the
fourth quarter, but Boozer's basket — on Williams' 14th assist of the
game — ignited a 7-0 Utah run that put the game out of reach, sending
fans scurrying for the exits.

Triano said he thought his team's
effort was "good." Point guard Jarrett Jack disagreed.

"We got our butts kicked, bottom
line," Jack said. "I don't think anybody in here is into moral
victories. We fought hard and got blown out. That's just the way I feel
about it."

Boozer's 10 points helped Utah take a
33-17 advantage after one. The Jazz led 61-43 at halftime.

The Raptors donned their
blue-and-white Huskies jerseys for Wednesday's game, while the Jazz went
with green-and-gold road uniforms they wore for two seasons in the
early 1980s. … Raptors G Marco Belinelli missed his second straight
game with a sore lower back, while F Hedo Turkoglu sat out the second
half with a stomach virus. Jazz F Andrei Kirilenko was out with a
strained calf muscle. … Utah is assured a winning record for the 23rd
time in the last 24 years. … There have been 236 NBA coaching changes
since Jerry Sloan first took over as Utah's coach in December 1988.
Denver, New York and the Clippers have all switched coaches 12 times in
that span. The Raptors are on their seventh head coach.

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