NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, December 7th (All times Eastern)
Toronto Raptors (4-15) at Utah Jazz (10-10), 9 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Some people sleep in bunk beds and others shaped like a race car. Utah Jazz power forward Al Jefferson's custom bed cost him $25,000 and is 12-feet long and 10-feet wide.
Jefferson has been experiencing back spasms lately and needed to accommodate his needs with a bed that costs more than the average salary these days. Jefferson and the Jazz will try to close out a three-game homestand on a winning note Friday night versus the Toronto Raptors.
In an 87-81 win over the Orlando Magic Wednesday night, Jefferson showed no signs of back issues in the early going and pumped in a season-high 31 points to go along with 15 rebounds. It was Jefferson's 11th double-double of the season.
"That's why I get paid the big bucks," Jefferson said. "They expect me to go out there and lead the team, nothing less."
Jefferson was shut down for the night late in the fourth quarter, while Paul Millsap scored 22 points for Utah, which ended a three-game slide and improved to 7-1 as the host. The Jazz also got back to the .500 mark at 10-10 and held the Magic to 34 points in the first half, the lowest amount scored in the first half against them all season.
Jefferson is questionable Friday night and forward Derrick Favors is doubtful due to a case of plantar fasciitis in his right foot. Jazz forward Marvin Williams returned to action after missing three games with concussion-like symptoms. He had eight points and four rebounds in 23 minutes.
Utah will visit the Los Angeles Lakers Sunday night.
The Raptors will continue their five-game western road trip and have lost the first two tests on the swing. In a 107-100 setback to the Sacramento Kings, Kyle Lowry scored 15 of his game-high 34 points in the third quarter and handed out 11 assists.
Mickael Pietrus finished with 21 points in the loss, Toronto's eighth in the previous nine games. The Raptors are also winless in eight straight away from Canada. Kings guard Tyreke Evans sealed Toronto's fate with two late 3- pointers and finished with 23 points. Evans put the Kings on top for good with a long shot to break a 95-95 tie.
"They had their way with us in the paint," Toronto head coach Dwane Casey said of Sacramento's 56 points inside. "Everybody's going to look at Tyreke Evans. He hit two threes and he hit six all season."
The Raptors have not won in Sacramento since Dec. 26, 2008. They still have the Clippers and Trail Blazers to play on this road trip.
Guard Jose Calderon is expected to play his 500th game in a Toronto uniform Friday and will become the third player in team history to reach the mark. He is the team's all-time leader in assists (3,572).
Toronto lost to the Jazz 140-133 in triple overtime on Nov. 12 at Air Canada Centre and has dropped 13 of the past 14 meetings between the teams. The Raptors have lost eight of 10 visits to Salt Lake City.
12/07 10:43:25 ET