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Magic 103, Jazz 94: Orlando pushes win streak to five games

The Magic overcame some mental lapses to win their second-straight road game, and push their overall win streak to five games.

Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

The game was ugly, but the result was pretty easy on the eyes.

The Magic overcame some lulls and mental lapses in the middle of the Thursday night's game in Utah to beat the Jazz 103-94.

Orlando came out of the gate looking every bit the better team, putting up 20 points in just the first six minutes of the game.

But Gordon Hayward kept the Jazz afloat, with 16 of his 24 points coming in the first quarter, and then the Magic made his job easier. At times - in the second and third quarters especially - Orlando suffered from Youth Soccer Syndrome. Defenders kept chasing the ball around and leaving their assignments, setting the Jazz up with open looks from deep, which they promptly knocked down.

Offensively, Orlando was able to offset its defensive mistakes by attacking the basket. Perimeter players like Elfrid Payton, Tobias Harris, and Victor Oladipo - in his new role off the bench - were able to brush by Utah defenders.

As the game wore on, Orlando managed to dial back in defensively, and active hands proved crucial in the victory. The Magic had 13 steals and forced 19 turnovers in total. Utah (8-9) killed Orlando (11-8) from beyond the arc for most of the night, but the turnover differential was key. For the most part, aside from a few head-scratching passes, Orlando was able to take care of the ball, and only turned it over 10 times.

The renewed defensive focus kept Orlando in the game until the offense got back on track. After a quiet night, Evan Fournier provided an offensive lift in the fourth quarter, where he delivered eight of his 14 points on the night.

Orlando's bench also played a big role in keeping the game close while the team struggled to stay focused. Oladipo and Andrew Nicholson each gave the magic 14 points.

The game wasn't pretty, but a 2-0 start to Orlando's five-game road trip sure is.

The Magic will go for a third-straight road win Saturday, when the team takes on the Clippers in Los Angeles.