The Jazz regain lead in the West to the rhythm of Bogdanovic

The Croatian forward Bojan Bogdanovic scored 34 points, including six triples, to carry Utah Jazz to 106-102 win over Toronto Raptors and they regained the leadership of the Western Conference and the best record in the league.

Alternate Jordan Clarkson added 15 points with the Jazz, the Australian forward Joe Ingles contributed another 15 and nine assists, while French pivot Rudy Gobert was once again the best in the inside game and had a double-double of 13 points and 16 rebounds. The victory was the second for the Jazz in the last five games played.

The escort Fred Van Vleet had 30 points, seven assists and six rebounds as Toronto’s leader.. The Canadian power forward Khem Birch added a double-double of 17 points and 10 rebounds, which left him as the best in the interior team of the Toronto team.

While the English forward OG Anunoby also scored 17 points and Cameroonian power forward Pascal Siakam added 15 points., which in the end could not be a winning factor. The raptors they lost their third game in a row after scoring just 13 points in the fourth quarter.

After going behind by up to 10 points, Utah led 101-96 with 5:16 left on an 11-3 streak. Power forward Royce O’Neale hit a 3-pointer from the lead and Bogdanovic scored the streak with another outside basket.

Toronto was almost four minutes without a shot to the basket until Van Vleet and Anunoby scored them in a row to reduce the score to 105-102 with 20.2 seconds left.

Bogdanovic and Clarkson scored back-to-back baskets as part of a 9-0 run which gave Utah a 20-16 lead midway through the first quarter.

He highlighted a productive opening quarter for Bogdanovic. He scored 17 points on 7 of 10 shots from the field in the first 12 minutes, a career-high for a first quarter.

Toronto responded with three consecutive triples to prevent the Jazz from building a bigger lead. The Raptors led 33-41 early in the second quarter after Birch scored three baskets and helped another in a two-minute stretch.

Van Vleet had the biggest offensive impact before halftime for Toronto. Scored 21 points on 7 of 11 field goals. His last half basket gave the Raptors a partial 53-62 lead.

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