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Jazz 86, Magic 82: Trey Burke stars as Orlando's offense sputters in loss

The Jazz own the league's worst defense, but you'd never know it guessing by how Orlando played Wednesday.

Trey Burke and Ronnie Price
Trey Burke and Ronnie Price
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Orlando Magic fell to the Utah Jazz on Wednesday, 86-82, in an icy offensive display: the team shot just 32.6 percent from the floor against one of the league's worst overall defensive teams.

Rookie point guard Trey Burke scored a game- and career-high 30 points for Utah, which improved to 4-11 on the road. He also hauled in seven rebounds and dished eight assists. Orlando's own rookie guard, Victor Oladipo, didn't fare nearly as well: in 36 minutes, he shot 1-of-12 from the floor for three points, struggling to finish at the rim against the Jazz burly frontcourt.

Jameer Nelson scored an efficient 17 for Orlando, while Tobias Harris had 14 points and 10 rebounds in his first start of the season. Nik Vučević scored 14 with 14 rebounds, but shot only 5-of-18 from the floor in a remarkably inefficient performance.

Without leading scorer Arron Afflalo, who missed the game due to illness, the Magic got off to a rocky start against the league's worst defense, shooting 37.5 percent in the opening period. The Magic ran several sets to get Vučević going, but the third-year center shot just 2-of-7 in the period, with one of those makes coming on a simple tip-in. Vučević, by and large, got good looks and played within the extent of his capabilities, but still struggled to convert.

Burke competently helmed the Jazz's offense, coaxing 27 points out of it in the first quarter on the road, scoring eight points himself and dishing four of the team's six assists. A big factor in Utah's 27-20 lead after one period--apart from Orlando's own poor shooting--was its ability to get to the foul line: the Jazz shot 5-of-6 from the stripe in the opening stanza, whereas Orlando didn't earn a single trip there.

Orlando briefly took a one-point lead in the second quarter on a pretty turnaround hook by Vučević off a Nelson feed, but Utah answered on its next possession with an Alec Burks three-point play after Oladipo hacked him on a jumper. The visitors pushed the lead to seven points, only for Orlando to make a run, cutting it to two on a Harris transition triple.

But again, the Jazz responded, closing the period on a 12-2 run. In that nine-possession stretch, Orlando missed all 10 of its field-goal attempts. It only scored because Nelson goaded Derrick Favors into leaning in to commit a shooting foul with three seconds remaining in the half.

Not counting Harris, Orlando ended the half shooting a frigid 28.9 percent from the floor despite Utah not doing anything particularly special on defense. Meanwhile, the combination of Burke and Burks accounted for 28 points on 10-of-18 shooting.

The Magic worked their way bac into the game in the third quarter with the most efficient shots in the game: the triple and the free throw. Nelson ignited a 10-2 run with a deep three-pointer at the 9:47 mark of the third, and he drilled another less than two minutes later to bring Orlando within two points for the first time in nearly 12 minutes of game action.

After a Burke free throw off a defensive three-second technical, Vučević and Davis scored inside on consecutive Magic possessions to give them their first lead of the second half.

But the Magic went on another prolonged drought, managing just four points in the final 5:10 of the third to enter the fourth quarter facing a 68-82 deficit. Their lone field goal in that span came out of a time out, a Harris layup off a great Andrew Nicholson feed.

E'Twaun Moore opened the fourth quarter with a three for Orlando, his first of the game, igniting an Amway Center crowd which lacked reasons to cheer for much of the night. Moore drilled another three two minutes later to break a 69-all tie on a brilliant long outlet pass from Nelson. The Magic point guard exhorted Andrew Nicholson, who rebounded Utah's last miss, to get him the ball so he could advance it to Moore on the left wing.

Another Nelson fast-break outlet pass on Orlando's next possession led to Kyle O'Quinn drawing a shooting foul right under the rim. The second-year big man converted both foul shots to put Orlando up five points, its largest lead of the night to that point.

The Jazz went on a run to retake control of the game once Burke got back onto the floor, eventually taking a four-point lead off a Favors tip with 2:41 to go.

Orlando had an opportunity to post up Glen Davis against the much smaller Gordon Hayward on Orlando's next trip, and did indeed get him the ball, but Marvin Williams' hard trap boxed Davis into a corner and burned precious time off the clock. After creating separation from Hayward with a subtle elbow, Davis ultimately found Vučević under the basket, where Favors fouled him. The Magic big man drained both free throws to bring Orlando to within two, but Hayward answered with a jumper off Burke's eighth assist of the night to put Utah up four with 1:09 to go.

A pair of Davis foul shots brought Orlando to within two, and then Burke turned the ball over by losing it out of bounds to give Orlando a chance. But Harris came up well short on a long two-point jumper attempt, and Vučević was unable to corral the board.

Orlando bore down defensively on its last stand, with a strong challenge from Vučević perhaps influencing Favors to miss a layup that would have iced the game. Burks snared the carom, but Utah never got a shot off before the clock expired. The violation gave Orlando possession, down two, with 10 seconds to play.

Nelson got his shoulders past Burke on Orlando's final possession, but his driving layup attempt over Favors' outstretched left hand and off the glass missed the mark.