Jefferson's tip-in lifts Jazz over RaptorsMar 10, 2011 - 4:05 AM Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Lucky more than anything else, Al Jefferson tipped-in a missed Devin Harris scoop shot at the buzzer to lift the Utah Jazz to a thrilling 96-94 victory over the Toronto Raptors.
"Honestly, I just got my hand out there on the ball," Jefferson said of the game-winner. "I didn't realize what happened."
Harris was angling for the final shot, leaning forward from the right elbow and tossing up an underhand try that clanked off the rim.
Jefferson and teammate C.J. Miles were both battling Toronto's Sonny Weems for position underneath, but it was Jefferson who got his right hand on the ball, knocking it high into the air and into the basket as time expired.
The play was reviewed and upheld when it was clear that Jefferson tapped the ball well before the red light came on around the backboard.
"Everybody's going for it and everyone's in, he's just bigger," Toronto head coach Jay Triano said of the 6-foot-10 Jefferson.
Hitting 17-of-24 shots, Jefferson led all scorers with 34 points. Harris and Miles added 23 points apiece for the Jazz, who won for just the third time in their last 12 games.
DeMar DeRozan scored 17 points to lead the weary Raptors, who were coming off back-to-back losses to the New Jersey Nets in London. The last game was a triple-overtime defeat on Saturday that lasted 3 1/2 hours.
Sonny Weems added 16 points in the loss, including a jumper that gave Toronto a game-high 14-point lead with 8:21 remaining in the fourth quarter. But the Jazz battled back.
Beginning with back-to-back buckets from Miles, Utah ended the game on a 24-8 run. Miles scored 10 points during the surge. He joined with Earl Watson and Harris to hit four consecutive three-pointers in the middle of it, getting the Jazz within two.
Utah didn't take the lead until Jefferson's soaring putback made it 92-91 with 1:44 remaining.
In fact, Jefferson scored the final six Jazz points in the game. His bucket with 60 ticks left gave them a 94-91 advantage, but Leandro Barbosa tied it for Toronto with a three-pointer at the other end.
That set the stage for Jefferson's final two points of the game.
"We fought hard," he said.
And they needed to. The Jazz were coming off an embarrassing 131-109 loss to the Knicks on Monday to kick off their four-game road trip.
"This win was huge for us after that loss in New York," said Utah head coach Tyrone Corbin. "The guys laid everything out there."
The Jazz improved to 3-8 since Jerry Sloan resigned and Corbin took over as head coach last month. They will finish their road trip with games in Minnesota and Chicago on Friday and Saturday...Toronto started a three-game homestand that also includes visits from the Pacers and Bobcats.
- UTAH: 96
Mar 9 9:20 PM
- UTAH: 70
End of 3rd
Mar 9 8:53 PM
- UTAH: 52
Mar 9 8:10 PM
- UTAH: 31
End of 1st
Mar 9 7:35 PM
- UTAH: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Mar 9 7:12 PM
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