The Jazz used wide-eyed rookies and severely banged-up veterans. Grit, heart and fight. And more than a little tape and glue. But when it counted, all it took was an old-fashioned push from Al Jefferson. The Utah center saved his team Wednesday night and downed the Toronto Raptors, tipping in a Devin Harris layup attempt with no time left on the game clock to give Utah a much-needed 96-94 victory at the Air Canada Centre. Jefferson did his usual work throughout the contest, pouring in a game-high 34 points on 17-of-24 shooting and collecting a team-high eight rebounds. But after Harris broke free and released a four-foot driving layup that rimmed out with 0.6 seconds remaining, Jefferson suddenly put on a cape and leapt over a building. "Big Al came out of nowhere like Superman," Harris said. "Took to the air and gave us a big win." More like incredibly huge. Utah (34-31) was coming off one of its worst and most disappointing losses of the season — a 22-point road blowout Monday to the New York Knicks that left coach Tyrone Corbin embarrassed and his team directionless and ashamed. The Jazz then took the court against Toronto (17-47) without injured starters Paul Millsap and Andrei Kirilenko, while five Utah players spent the game sitting on the bench in dress clothes. Rookie Jeremy Evans made his first career start replacing Millsap; recent NBA Development League call-up Marcus Cousin saw action; and the Jazz ran three rookies — Evans, Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors — on the court at once.
Al Jefferson sinks last-second tip in to beat Raptors
Salt Lake Tribune | Mar 10