The Toronto Raptors have been one of the Eastern Conference's best road teams, and they've shown some fight in the first two games of their longest trip of the season.
That often hasn't been the case when they've had to travel to Salt Lake City.
The Atlantic Division leaders seek their sixth win in eight games while beating the Jazz for the only the second time in eight visits Monday night.
Following a 100-90 win in Denver on Friday in the opener of a season-high five-game swing, the Raptors (25-22) trailed by as many as 19 in the second half at Portland on Saturday before going on a 16-2 run in the fourth quarter.
They went up 103-102 on DeMar DeRozan's two free throws, but the Trail Blazers stepped up with four foul shots over the final 11.8 seconds to pull out a 106-103 win.
In his second game back after missing two because of an ankle injury, DeRozan finished with 36 points and a career-high 12 assists. However, he committed a costly turnover on the last possession as Toronto's win streak ended at three.
The All-Star guard, averaging a team-best 22.0 points, scored 16 in the third quarter and 14 in the fourth. He had a hand in 22 of the team's 26 second-half baskets, with 12 field goals and 10 assists.
"He was voted an All-Star for a reason," Portland coach Terry Stotts said. "He's capable of getting hot and carrying a team."
DeRozan has been particularly productive on the road, averaging 27.5 points over his last six away from home.
He put up 37 points on 16-of-33 shooting in a 140-133 triple-overtime home loss to the Jazz (16-31) on Nov. 12, 2012, but has totaled 35 while shooting 10 for 29 in the last two meetings. DeRozan finished with 18 points and Jonas Valanciunas added 14 in a 115-91 win over visiting Utah on Nov. 9.
Valanciunas has averaged 16.4 points and 10.4 rebounds in his last five games, while Kyle Lowry has scored 25.0 per game and hit 16 of 36 from 3-point range in his last four.
Toronto has a chance to match Central-leading Indiana and Southeast-leading Miami with an East-best 14 road wins.
The Raptors, however, have dropped seven of eight at Utah by an average of 14.9 points. Their only win there since 2006 was a 111-106 double-overtime victory on Jan. 25, 2012.
Enes Kanter had 18 points and eight rebounds, and Gordon Hayward added 17 points as the Jazz routed Toronto 131-99 in the most recent meeting at EnergySolutions Arena on Dec. 7, 2012.
Hayward also finished with 24 points in the first meeting this season, but he's averaged 12.8 while shooting 30.0 percent from the field over his last four overall.
Kanter has been on a roll over that stretch, scoring 19.5 per game on 66.0 percent shooting. He finished with 23 points and 14 boards, while Richard Jefferson scored 19 in a 102-87 loss at the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday.
"The end of the third quarter they did a good job finishing some plays, and we didn't really shoot the ball particularly well over that stretch," Jefferson said after Utah shot 35.8 percent en route to its second straight defeat.
Derrick Favors (hip) and Jeremy Evans (bruised tailbone, elbow) are questionable after missing the contest with injuries. Favors posted 17 points and seven rebounds in the November loss.
The Jazz haven't dropped three in a row since a four-game skid Dec. 4-9.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
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