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Raptors continue west swing in Salt Lake City
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Atlantic Division-leading Toronto Raptors will resume their western road trip Monday against the Utah Jazz.
The Raptors are 1-1 so far on the five-game junket after defeating Denver and losing to Portland. In Saturday's 106-103 loss to the Blazers, the home team blew a 16-point advantage and eventually won on Damian Lillard's running bank shot with 11.9 seconds left.
Portland led 31-19 after the first quarter and had three players score at least 20 points.
Toronto was led by DeMar DeRozan's 36 points and 12 assists, while Kyle Lowry and Jonas Valanciunas scored 23 and 18 points, respectively, for the Raptors, who shot 46 percent for the game.
"We understand what we had to do, honestly," DeRozan said. "We understand we were down big and the only way we would get back in this game was to get stops and that's what we started doing. That was the main part. We were missing a lot of easy shots that we normally make, but we don't worry about that. The only thing we worry about is the defensive game and we picked it up in the second half."
DeRozan is averaging 27.8 points in his last five games.
The Raptors, who are four games ahead of Brooklyn in the Atlantic, still have to visit Sacramento and the Los Angeles Clippers on the road trip. Raptors guard Greivis Vasquez is questionable for Monday with an illness.
Utah has dropped two in a row and four of its last six games, including Saturday's 102-87 setback to the Clippers.
Enes Kanter had 23 points and 14 rebounds, and Richard Jefferson scored 19 for the Jazz, who made only 35.8 percent of their shots and got 15 points from Gordon Hayward.
"They showed their experience on us. Jamal Crawford made some big shots," Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said. "They executed in the second half. We just didn't get the stops when we needed to."
Jazz forward Derrick Favors missed the game with a sore right hip and is questionable for Monday's game. He has missed two straight.
Toronto defeated Utah, 115-91, at Air Canada Centre on Nov. 9, but has lost 14 of the previous 16 meetings between the teams. The Raptors have also lost seven of eight and 13 of the 17 all-time matchups in Salt Lake City.
02/03 10:41:06 ET