Wrapping up their lone back-to-back on their extended West Coast road trip, the Orlando Magic made their lone visit of the season to Utah to take on the Jazz. The Magic looked poised to take home the victory, but the Jazz finished the game on a 17-5 run to knock the Magic off 114-107.
Despite facing one of the leagues best defenses in the Jazz, the Magic got off to a blazing hot start on the offensive end, scoring a season high 42 points in the opening quarter. After shooting nearly 50 percent from the field on Friday night in Portland, the Magic offense didn’t skip a beat, attacking the Jazz defense at will. Elfrid Payton wrecked havoc defensively, playing passing lanes and getting downhill quickly, leading to easy buckets for the Magic, and consistent clean looks after drawing the defense in. Their hot start gave the Magic another double-digit lead after one, leading the Jazz by 13, 42-29.
After a strong first quarter, things quickly went downhill and fast for the Magic at the start of the second quarter. With their reserves in, the Magic gave up a 17-2 Jazz run to start the quarter, allowing the Jazz to take their first lead of the game. With their starters back in the game, the Magic settled down, moving the ball at a high rate once again, and finding good opportunities thanks to continued strong attacking playing from Payton. Despite giving up their double-digit lead in the blink of an eye, the Magic still led the Jazz by one, 65-64, at the half.
Out of halftime, the Magic were engaged, once again pushing their lead out close to double digits early in the quarter. The Jazz clamped down, however, holding to the Magic to a measly 18 points overall in the quarter. Orlando’s bench once again gave them issues late in the quarter, with the second unit struggling to find any type of consistency on either end of the floor. After three, the Jazz found themselves with a small lead, up one, 84-83.
Now in a back-and-forth contest, both teams began showing signs of fatigue in the fourth quarter. The pace slowed to a crawl, benefitting the Jazz who were tortured early by the frenetic pace the Magic, led by Payton, were playing at. Despite the slower pace, the Magic were able to find some good looks, thanks to Payton’s continued attacking.
After taking a five point lead to go up 102-97, Utah went on a 9-0 run of their own to take a four point lead with two minutes remaining. Out of a timeout, Nikola Vuceivc’s attempt was viciously swatted away by Rudy Gobert. Jodie Meeks missed a three, and Joe Ingles answered with a three of his own, icing the game for the Jazz.
Gordon Hayward led the way for the Jazz, finishing with 23 on the night. Gobert finished with a 19-point, 18-rebound double-double. Derrick Favors added 17, with Rodney Hood finishing with 14 before leaving late with a knee injury. George Hill finished the night with 14 of his own.
Payton’s career night led the way for the Magic, with the Magic’s point guard finishing with 28 points, nine rebounds and nine assists. Aaron Gordon finished with 21, with Vucevic adding 15 on the night. Serge Ibaka scored 13, while Meeks finished with 12 starting in place of the injured Evan Fournier. Jeff Green added 11 on the night.