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Tonight's Orlando Magic Game: at Utah Jazz

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Mired in a three-game losing streak, the Orlando Magic face the Utah Jazz tonight on the second night of a taxing back-to-back set. Orlando's offense has died during the streak and its defense hasn't been much better. Meanwhile, Utah's enjoying a solid start despite having to integrate offseason acquisition Al Jefferson into its motion offense. Deron Williams again ranks among the league's top point guards, and Magic-killer extraordinaire Paul Millsap is putting up 17.9 points and 8.2 boards, shooting 55.9 percent from the floor, in his first season as a full-time starter.

But the Magic have a huge advantage tonight on the wings; with Jazz guard Raja Bell sidelined with a strained right abductor, rookie Gordon Hayward will get the start, leaving Utah with only Earl Watson, Ronnie Price, and C.J. Miles available off the bench to relieve him. The 20-year-old rookie is among a number of first-year players having problems adjusting to the NBA, as Kevin Pelton documented yesterday, and Vince Carter ought to exploit him easily. In his last three visits to Utah, Carter's averaged 29.7 points on 65.7 percent True Shooting.

Utah's among the hardest teams to defend in the league, and Williams is almost impossible to cover. You almost have to assume he's going to go off, and just hope his teammates miss shots, or something. 21.8 points, 4.2 boards, 10 assists for the sixth-year player, which is just... I don't know. Silly?

The Magic held a team meeting last night, so they ought to be fired up for this one. Frankly, if a three-game losing streak capped with a 14-point road loss, on national TV, to a .500 team won't motivate them, I don't know what will.

The game tips at 9.

2010/2011 NBA Season
@
Utah Jazz alternate logo
15-7 (6-4 road)
Lost 3
16-7 (9-5 home)
Lost 1
December 10th, 2010
EnergySolutions Arena
9:00 PM
Fox Sports Florida
Probable Starters
Jameer Nelson PG Deron Williams
Vince Carter SG Gordon Hayward
Rashard Lewis SF Andrei Kirilenko
Brandon Bass PF Paul Millsap
Dwight Howard C Al Jefferson
Season Series
November 10th: Jazz 104, Magic 94
2010/11 Advanced Stats
91.1 (19th) Pace 90.8 (23rd)
106.3 (16th) ORtg 109.3 (8th)
100.0 (2nd) DRtg 105.3 (10th)
Game Officials
Greg Willard
Mark Ayotte
Leroy Richardson