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Utah 109, Orlando 96: Fourth-quarter shooting propels Jazz by the Magic

NBA: Utah Jazz at Orlando Magic Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

A 17-5 run to begin the fourth quarter was all the Utah Jazz needed to distance themselves from the Orlando Magic Saturday night. Orlando dropped their second game of a home back-to-back to Utah 109-96 after convincingly defeating the Miami Heat just 24-hours earlier.

Donovan Mitchell led the Jazz with 32 points and 6 assists, and Rudy Gobert dominated the glass - grabbing 17 rebounds in the game (7 offensive rebounds). Utah made eight three-point field goals in the fourth quarter to run away from Orlando on their home floor.

“It wasn’t effort or anything like that tonight. We needed to shoot the ball better,” Magic coach Steve Clifford said after the game. “We lost some energy there at the end, we got a little tired. But the biggest thing was at the beginning of the fourth. You can’t be disorganized in this league and they are so well-coached they took us apart.”

Utah was clicking offensively to begin the contest, knocking down 7 of their first 12 attempts from the field. Mitchell proved to be a difficult defensive assignment for third-year guard Markelle Fultz, scoring six quick points in the game’s opening period.

The Jazz, who rank first in the NBA in three-point shooting percentage (38.8%), made three attempts from beyond the arc within the game’s first five minutes. On the other hand, Orlando missed all eight of their three-point field goal attempts in the first quarter.

Reserve forward Georges Niang drilled another three-point field goal as time expired to end the first quarter, putting the Jazz up by eight points.

Terrence Ross continued his hot shooting for the Magic, burying five of his first six field goal attempts in the first half. Orlando’s sixth-man scored the first six points of second quarter.

Second-year reserve center Mohamed Bamba converted a three-point field goal from the top of the key that gave the Magic their first lead of the game. Bamba’s shot capped-off a 9-0 Magic run to start the second quarter.

However, the Magic only converted one field goal over the last four minutes of the half, allowing the Jazz to finish the quarter on an 11-4 run. Another eight points from Mitchell gave Utah a two-possession lead heading into the half.

The Magic took the lead late in the third quarter after a wild offensive flurry across three offensive possessions that saw D.J. Augustin hit a three-point field goal off a second chance opportunity set-up by a Bamba offensive rebound, followed by two consecutive Ross three-point field goals (he was also fouled on the second).

Mitchell set the tone on the first Utah possession of the fourth quarter, knocking-down one of his four three-point field goals in the game. Niang piled on three more three-point field goals over the next three Jazz possessions to push Utah’s lead back to eight points.

Another three-point field goal (Utah’s fifth three-point field goal within the first four minutes of the fourth quarter), this one coming from Joe Ingles, gave the Jazz a double-digit lead over the Magic with 8:47 remaining in the contest.

Coach Clifford called timeout following a Jordan Clarkson three-point field goal that put Utah ahead by 15 points with 5:25 left in the game, which marked Utah’s largest lead of the contest.

Ross led the Magic with 24 points in 30 minutes. Vucevic recorded his second consecutive 20/10 game in as many nights, scoring 22 points and grabbing 13 rebounds.

Orlando’s starting back-court of Fultz and Evan Fournier combined to go 7 for 24 from the field (1-11 3PTA’s).

The Magic continue their home-stand against the Brooklyn Nets Monday night at 7:00 PM.