UTAH JAZZ

Walker Kessler Puts On Dunking Exhibition Against Toronto

Feb 1, 2023, 7:37 PM | Updated: Feb 2, 2023, 11:55 am

SALT LAKE CITY – In the first quarter against the Raptors on Wednesday, Walker Kessler protected the rim on defense and put on a dunking clinic on offense.

Kessler put up 6 points, 4 rebounds and 4 blocks in the first 8 minutes of the game.

It wasn’t just Walker Kessler, the Jazz as a whole played terrific defense early on. The Raptors were held to 4/24 shooting in the first.

Kessler out-blocked the entire Toronto roster in the first quarter, 4 to 0.

Kessler also recorded his 100th career block in the first quarter.

The Raptors come into Utah after falling to the Phoenix Suns on Monday night, with next weeks trade deadline at front of mind.

Jazz Look To Stay Competitive In West

Despite three days off the Jazz actually climbed in the Western Conference Standings since their last win, moving from 10th to ninth due to owning the tiebreaker with the New Orleans Pelicans.

The Jazz sit a half game behind the Minnesota Timberwolves for eighth in the West and are just one game behind the fifth-seeded Golden State Warriors.

On the flip side, the Jazz can ill afford a long string of losses. Both the Oklahoma City Thunder and Portland Trail Blazers sit one game back of the Jazz, while the Los Angeles Lakers are two games back in the 13th seed.

Toronto marks the second game in a five-game homestand which concludes next Wednesday against the Timberwolves.

Raptors Steeped In Trade Rumors

Like the Jazz the Raptors find themselves in an awkward space trying to compete to qualify for the playoffs, while also being heavily discussed in trade rumors.

Toronto is one game back of the 10th-seeded Indiana Pacers in the East and is very much in the hunt to make the postseason play-in tournament.

However, it’s no secret that All-Stars Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam have been shopped around, as well as dynamic wing OG Anunoby.

Anunoby will not be in uniform against the Jazz as he misses his third consecutive game with a wrist injury.

The Raptors would face long odds of making a deep playoff run, even if they made the play-in tournament. The top-heavy balance of teams in the Eastern Conference makes it tough.

Both the Jazz and Raptors are expected to be active ahead of the February 9 trade deadline.

Utah Jazz vs. Toronto Raptors Broadcast

The Utah Jazz and Toronto Raptors will tip off at 7 pm MT in Salt Lake City. The game will be televised on AT&T SportsNet and can be heard on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone. It can also be streamed on DirecTV Stream and FuboTV.

Chandler Holt is a Digital Sports Producer for KSLSports.com, specializing in all things basketball and football. Follow Chandler on Twitter at @ChandlerHoltKSL.

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Walker Kessler Puts On Dunking Exhibition Against Toronto