SALT LAKE CITY -- The Jazz did it without him in the first, and they did it without him in the second. But they couldn't do it without him in the third or the fourth.
After the Jazz all but tossed away a 19-point halftime lead over Toronto in the third quarter, C.J. Miles came off the bench and posted 14 points in the second half to push Utah to a 125-108 win over the Raptors in Salt Lake City Wednesday night.
Miles nailed a three-pointer off the backboard as time expired at the end of the third quarter to put the Jazz on top by seven on the way to a complete spoiling of the Raptors' comeback attempt. Toronto chipped away at its double digit deficit throughout the duration of the third and came within one before Miles and the Jazz put a halt to the EnergySolutions Arena takeover.
The shots are gonna come because I play with one of the best guards in the league...
Feeling the heat from the last-second three, Miles knocked down another five points in the first two minutes of the fourth quarter and continued to take pressure off of Deron Williams, who, since dominating the game and the defense of Toronto's Jarrett Jack in the first half, was surrounded by red.
With just over four minutes to play in the game, Miles again stepped behind the line and drained the long ball on a pass from Williams to restore a 14-point Utah advantage.
"C.J. made those shots that were heartbreakers for the other team and certainly warmed out hearts when they went in. Those were some big shots that C.J. made, big plays," coach Jerry Sloan said. "That's what we need out of him. He is a very talented guy, he's gotten a lot better. He just keeps working at it."
Paul Millsap followed Miles' fifth 3-pointer of the night with a fast break dunk to extend the lead to 19, and the Jazz rolled to their first home win of the regular season.
A guy that can get you 19, 20 points coming off the bench can really help, and C.J.'s the man for that job.
"Jerry preaches sticking together and that's what we did. We weathered the storm. It was dicey there for a while, but we just kept plugging away," Raja Bell said. "It is a game of runs and momentum swings, and so you buy your time until your able to start knocking down some shots and getting stops."
Al Jefferson said Miles was exactly who the Jazz needed to get the job done after losing the momentum of the game after halftime.
"C.J. could start on any team on this league and we got him coming off the bench, so that's a big plus for us. A guy that can get you 19, 20 points coming off the bench can really help, and C.J.'s the man for that job," Jefferson said. "He's a great leader for that second unit...and I'm proud to have him as a teammate."