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Poor defensive play dooms Magic as Jazz control game for 101-94 win

Utah controlled the game from the start, cruising to an easy win over the Magic.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

After possibly their worst performance of the season in Boston on Wednesday, the Orlando Magic returned home to begin a four game home stand against the Utah Jazz. The Magic were unable to get their home stand started the right way, as the Jazz controlled the game en route to a 101-94 victory.

The start of the game proved to be a rough one for the Magic, as the Jazz dominated them in seemingly every statistical category, and with their play on the court. Utah attacked the soft spots in the Magic's defense, outscoring them 14-to-4 in the painted area. Orlando also struggled to take care of the ball, turning it over six times, leading to 12 Jazz points. Utah shot a sizzling 14-of-20 in the quarter, including 7-of-8 in the painted area. Derrick Favorsled all scorers with eight, while Tobias Harris five led the way for the Magic after 12 minutes.

Following an uninspired performance in the first quarter, the Magic began turning it around. They took much better care of the ball, turning it over just once in the quarter. Their defense also began playing better, forcing seven Jazz turnovers, leading to 13 points. Utah continued to hold a good advantage on the boards, out rebounding Orlando 23-15 in the half. Favors continued to lead the way for everyone, finishing with 13 in the half. Evan Fournier, who got the Magic going early in the second quarter, scored 10 in the quarter, for an opening half total of 11.

Out of halftime, the Magic began struggling again. Their defense turned back into swiss cheese, and their offense became stagnant, as usual. Utah continued shooting the ball at an extremely high efficiency, making half of their shots in the quarter. If not for the Magic's continued solid three-point shooting -- they made five more in the quarter -- the Jazz would have had the game even more in their control. Favors strong play continued, as he got up to 20 points and seven rebounds through three quarters. Fournier knocked down a pair of three's, to push his total up to 17 on the night.

Going into the fourth quarter, the Magic had shown very few signs of life. They were merely hanging around thanks to their hot shooting from beyond the arc. However, the fourth quarter was much, much different than the previous three. Behind Elfrid Payton's strong play, and continued good shooting from deep, the Magic began to chip away at the Jazz's double digit lead. Despite the strong play from Payton, the Magic weren't able to overcome the Jazz's 15 point led.

Utah had four starters finish in double figures, led by Favors' 23 points and 10 rebounds. Gordon Hayward had a quiet 20 points and six assists. Enes Kanter and Trey Burke rounded out the Jazz in double figures, finishing with 11 each.

Tobias Harris led all scorers, finishing with 24 on the night. Fournier, who knocked down four three's on the night, finished with 21, while Nikola Vucevic notched 16 points and nine rebounds. Elfrid Payton rounded out Magic men in double figures, finishing with his first career double-double with 11 points and 11 assists.