Orlando Magic vs Utah Jazz Recap

Orlando Magic vs Utah Jazz Recap

by Alma Bean

Feature Image: Photo by Rob Gray of USA TODAY Sports.

The Utah Jazz (21-23) took on the Orlando Magic (16-26) and looked to extend their home win streak against Orlando to seven straight games.

Little Help from Some Disney Magic

The first quarter was a teaser for the three-point competition for the fans in Salt Lake City. Orlando shot 5/11 (45.5%) from the perimeter and Utah shot slightly better going 7/11 (63.6%). Collin Sexton (18/3/3) came into the game on a minute restriction but still showed his tenacity on both ends of the court. With many unfamiliar lineups for Utah tonight, they continued to leave Wendell Carter Jr. (19/10/3) open on the perimeter. Though the coverage on Carter Jr. was relaxed to start the game, Walker Kessler (13 points, 9 rebounds and 7 blocks) came back very quickly on the defensive end. Kessler was able to record five blocks in the first quarter alone. Kessler’s career-high in block was six blocks going into the game. With Kessler’s defensive eruption, Utah was able to finish the quarter with a 36-27 lead.

Utah must’ve received a visit from the Monstars because they struggled to make a perimeter shot. Utah went 0/10 (0%) from the perimeter while shooting 9/15 (60%) within the perimeter. Though their offense struggled to produce, Utah was able to slow down on turnovers in the half. Though nine turnovers are still a hefty amount, Utah was able to get the advantage on the boards with nine offensive rebounds leading to 13 second chance points. With Orlando’s ability to still shooting perimeter shots going 5/11 (45.5%), they were able to slowly crawl back and trail 61-56 going into the half.

Wishing Upon A Star

Utah’s offense didn’t change much but their ability to go to the free throw line skyrocketed. Utah managed to shoot more free throws in the third quarter than the first half. Lauri Markkanen (28/12/2) alone went 10/13 (76.9%) from the line while Utah as a whole shot 11/15 (73.3%). Utah found themselves in a pickle when their starting point guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker (2 points and 2 rebounds) picked up his fourth foul shortly into the second half. Utah was considered lucky in comparison to Orlando who lost Gary Harris (3 points and 3 rebounds) due to a wrist injury and would not return to the game. Utah was going to start the fourth quarter with a sizable lead, but Franz Wagner (26/5/2) was able to get off a circus shot from three to go in at the buzzer. That brought the score to an 88-83 Utah lead.

In the fourth quarter, both teams were able to hold each other to their lowest scoring quarter of the game. Utah was even able to hold a 12-point lead in the game and found a way to lose it. With help of a 17-4 run by Orlando, they were able to bring this game down to the wire. What helped this run was Utah’s inability to keep the ball, committing 11 turnovers in the fourth quarter and 24 turnovers for the game. The only thing Utah could rely on was the impeccable defense by Kessler and Ochai Agbaji (3/5/2). Markelle Fultz (8/1/6) tried to bring Orlando back with a layup to take the lead in the final minute, but Utah came out victorious 112-108.

What’s Next?

Utah won’t get a break as they go into their eleventh back-to-back game of the season as they take on the visiting Philadelphia 76ers in their final meeting of the season.

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