SALT LAKE CITY — For a while Friday night it seemed everyone on the Utah Jazz bench was a kid again, playing a kid’s game, carefree and natural, like they were back in the driveway or on the playground.
And as they shared the ball with each other in almost-perfect rhythm, it was if they didn’t want to miss a moment of the action, nor, it seemed, could they miss a shot.
Despite falling behind 25-15 in the first quarter, something clicked late in the quarter and carried over into the second. From then on they made shot after shot, got stop after stop, and routed the visiting Toronto Raptors 131-99 at EnergySolutions Arena.
“The guys just didn’t think about it, it was such instinctive basketball,” coach Tyrone Corbin said. “It was the right play on so many occasions.”
Utah (11-10) won its second straight game, this time by shooting nearly 50 percent from the field and 56 percent from behind the 3-point line. In all, the Jazz hit 13 3s, one short of their season high, which they set Nov. 12 in Toronto.
What’s more, they recorded 31 assists on 45 made baskets, an obvious sign players were making the extra pass, looking primarily to take care of each other.
“It’s really pretty basketball and it’s fun for the guys to play,” Corbin said. “I think they had a good time playing tonight.”
The smiles on their faces as they came off the court showed they did.
Although center Al Jefferson (back spasms) and power forward Derrick Favors (Plantar fasciitis) were out of the lineup, the Jazz put eight players in double figure, led by 20 from Paul Millsap and 18 from fill-in center Enes Kanter.
Gordon Hayward came off the bench to score 17.
Hayward, Randy Foye and DeMarre Carroll had three 3s apiece and combined to go 9-for-14 from behind the arc.
“It was contagious, you know,” Foye said. “You see one guy pass the ball and hit a guy for an open shot, it’s contagious. You know somebody’s coming out on you and you swing it (to the open man). It’s contagious.”
If it was contagious, it was also a lot of fun. As the Raptors (4-16) began to tire while playing their third road game this week, the Jazz never let up. After shooting just 36 percent in the first quarter, they jumped to 54 percent in the second, hitting five of the 10 3-pointers they attempted.
Ten of the 14 field goals they made in the quarter had assists attached to them.
“It’s fun, it’s so much fun when you play that way,” Foye said. “One dribble, pass. Another dribble, pass.”
The Raptors, who lost to the Jazz in triple overtime last month in Toronto, fell to 1-12 on the road this season.
“When you’re getting you butt beat by, whatever, everything spins apart,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey said.
For the Raptors, it became a nightmare. For the Jazz, it became a dream.
Players noted not every game is played at the same pace, with the same unity on defense and the same commitment to sharing on offense. But on Friday, everything fell into place.
“It was easy,” Hayward said, pointing out a basic fundamental of the game. “As a basketball player, if you’re open, shoot it. If you’re not, pass. We made that extra pass when they ran at us.”
The Jazz now will travel to Los Angeles for a game with the Lakers on Sunday.
• INJURY REPORT: Listed as game-time decisions, Jazz big men Al Jefferson (back spasms) and Derrick Favors (Plantar fasciitis) were held out of the game. … Linas Kleiza (left hip) was listed as probable on Toronto’s injury report. He played, but only five minutes after the game had been decided.