TORONTO — The Utah Jazz have the distinction of making the biggest comeback in NBA history, which they accomplished back in the Stockton-and-Malone days of 1996, overcoming a 36-point deficit to defeat Denver.

The Jazz gave themselves a chance to eclipse their own record Sunday against the Toronto Raptors, but a 40-point deficit proved to be way too much to overcome.

That’s right, a 40-point deficit. 

The Jazz fell behind by 40 points, 77-37 at halftime, the biggest first-half deficit in franchise history, and though they played much better in the second half, they left Scotiabank Arena with their tail between their legs, suffering an embarrassing 130-110 loss to the reigning NBA champions.

Utah took no solace in outscoring the Raptors by 20 points in the second half, not after their abysmal effort in the first half. The Jazz knew full-well they were playing the defending NBA champs, who came in with the second-best record in the Eastern Conference, but they showed little emotion or intensity early on and were promptly run out of the gym.

“You can’t just start a game like we did and think that we are going to just come out in the third and win the game like we did in Memphis. We have got to have a chip on our shoulder and it’s got to start the first minute.” — Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert

Jazz coach Quin Snyder, who will often see the positive aspects of his team’s performance even after losses, was blunt in his assessment of his team’s play Sunday.

“We were awful,” he said. “There were too many breakdowns in too many possessions where we lacked the urgency we needed.”

Two nights earlier in Memphis, the Jazz had fallen behind by 15 at halftime to a lesser opponent and were able to come back to win by nine with a strong second half. That was next-to-impossible to do this time.

“We were so far down in the first half that it was difficult no matter how well we played in the second half to come back and win tonight’s game,” said Snyder. “Obviously our focus to begin the game has to be better.”

The Jazz players were in a hurry to forget about this one and move on to Philadelphia, where they play the Sixers Monday night (5 p.m. MT).

“We just didn’t come ready to play,” said Donovan Mitchell, who didn’t offer a reason why. 

Of the second half, he said, “That’s the way we have to play the whole game. We’ve just got to come out aggressive and can’t expect it to come to us.”

Mitchell finished with 16 points, his lowest output of the season, as he made 6 of 16 shots. 

“You can’t just start a game like we did and think that we are going to just come out in the third and win the game like we did in Memphis,” said Rudy Gobert, who had another double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds. “We have got to have a chip on our shoulder and it’s got to start the first minute.”

Sure the Jazz were tired, playing the fourth game of a five-game road trip. However, Snyder had basically given his players two days off, not holding a Saturday practice or the usual shootaround on Sunday morning.

The Jazz were down just 13-11 midway through the first quarter when the dam broke. The Raptors scored 15 straight points as the Jazz committed four of their seven first-quarter turnovers on consecutive possessions and trailed by 17 at the quarter break.

Then the Jazz went scoreless for a five-minute stretch in the second quarter as Toronto scored 14 straight points and the lead ballooned to 37 points before settling at 40 by halftime.

In the third quarter, the Jazz looked like a completely different team, while the Raptors perhaps pulled their foot off the gas a bit, and scored 49 points, one off the franchise record for points in a quarter.

Utah actually pulled within 16 late in the quarter, but the hole was too deep, and both teams cleared their benches for the final five minutes. 

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Snyder took longer than usual after the game while he talked to his team. Both he and his team were quite somber afterwards.

Mike Conley, who led the Jazz with 20 points, said Snyder challenged the team after the game, asking them how bad do they want to win and be a good team.

“There’s no excuses,” Conley said. “We’ve got to get to work, and luckily we have another game tomorrow.”

NOTES: After Monday’s game, the Jazz return home to play five of their next six games, beginning with the L.A. Lakers Wednesday night . . . Pascal Siakam, who is having an all-star season, led the Raptors with 35 points on 14-of-22 shooting. Fred VanVleet added 21 points and 11 assists as eight Toronto players finished in double-figure scoring . . . Toronto, now 15-4, has won seven in a row and is a perfect 9-0 at home this season . . . Each team was assessed a rare delay-of-game technical foul . . . The Jazz and Raptors will play in Salt Lake on March 9.

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