After winning the first two games of their five-game West Coast road trip, the Orlando Magic were unable to emerge victorious against the Utah Jazz, losing 87-81 on Wednesday night at EnergySolutions Arena.
Utah (10-10) was paced by Al Jefferson's 31 points and 15 rebounds. He left with back spasms with 1:29 remaining in the fourth quarter, but the Jazz held on to win despite blowing an 11-point advantage heading into the final frame. Paul Millsap had 22 points for the hosts, while Mo Williams finished with nine points and game highs in assists (seven) and steals (four).
The Magic (7-11) got 18 points and 12 rebounds from Glen Davis, 17 points to go with five rebounds and five assists from Jameer Nelson, 16 points from Arron Afflalo, and 14 points from J.J. Redick. Nikola Vucevic chipped in with six points and 16 rebounds.
Orlando outshot Utah from the field, knocking down 34 of 77 (44.2%) shots compared to 32 of 77 (41.6%) for the Jazz. Both teams were abysmal from beyond the arc, as Utah hit just 1 of 10 (10.0%) 3-pointers compared to 1 of 15 (6.7%) for the Magic. The hosts forced Orlando into 20 turnovers while committing 13 of their own and they also made 10 more free throws (22 of 27 compared to 12 of 17).
The Jazz won the first and second quarters by 24-15 and 21-19 margins, while the teams tied 23-23 in the third frame. In the fourth period, the Magic beat Utah 24-19.
"Al stays within himself," said Magic coach Jacque Vaughn, who spent the first four years of his playing career in a Jazz uniform. "He knows his game and he makes jump shots, which makes his post game even more difficult to guard. … When you get a guy like him rolling, he is tough to stop."
Orlando is at Sacramento on Friday at 10:00 pm. The contest will be televised on FS Florida.
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