Preview: Toronto Raptors vs Utah Jazz – May 1st, 2021

Photo Credit: Chris O’Meara/Associated Press

The Raptors are in Salt Lake City tonight as they continue their four-game western road trip against the Utah Jazz. A game high 31 points from Donovan Mitchell last month led Utah to a 115-112 victory over Toronto as the Jazz look for the season sweep tonight.

The Raptors have lost three of their past four amidst a tough schedule and are now three games back of the Washington Wizards for the coveted final play-in spot.

Toronto will be short-handed once again tonight as they’ve decided to rest Kyle Lowry on the first night of a back-to-back. Gary Trent Jr. will also miss tonight’s game, his third consecutive, while Chris Boucher remains sidelined with an injury.

Led by Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, Utah has had a phenomenal season on both sides on the ball. At 45-18, they are tied with Phoenix for the best record in the NBA, while also holding the best home record in the league at 26-4.

The Jazz boast the best offense in the Western Conference, averaging 116.9 points per game, while also being a top-five defensive team, allowing only 107.2 points per game. Donovan Mitchell is ninth in the NBA in scoring (26.4) while Rudy Gobert is second in the league in rebounds (13.4) and first in the league in field goal percentage (67.7%).

Mitchell has not played since April 16th with a right ankle sprain and will be re-evaluated before tonight’s game, while Mike Conley is day-to-day after missing his second in a row last night against the Suns.

The Raptors will need strong performances out of both Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby. While struggling in the last two games, Siakam had a great month of April, shooting efficiently and averaging 23 points per game. Anunoby continues to step up as well, recording his sixth straight game with over 20 points, including a game-high 25 against Denver on Thursday.

Khem Birch will also prove pivotal tonight as he will be matched up with Gobert defensively. Coming off a career-high 20 points on Thursday, Birch will hope to contain Gobert on the glass.

Tip-off is set for 10:00PM EST on Sportsnet.

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