Notebook: Jazz 87, Magic 81



Posted Dec 6, 2012 12:51 AM

By Andrew Aragon, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: Carrying the Utah Jazz may have been too taxing for center Al Jefferson on Wednesday night.

Jefferson had 31 points and 15 rebounds before leaving with a back injury with 1:29 left in Utah's 87-81 win over the Orlando Magic. Jefferson landed awkwardly after grabbing a rebound and had to be helped off the court. He suffered back spasms and was in noticeable pain in the locker room following the contest. His status is listed as day-to-day.

Paul Millsap scored 22 points for the Jazz, who snapped a three-game losing streak. Jefferson and Millsap were the only players to score in double figures on a cold shooting night for Utah.

Glen Davis had 18 points and 12 rebounds and Jameer Nelson had 17 points and five assists for the scrappy Magic.

QUOTABLE: "When he's going like he was going tonight, he's pretty difficult to deal with."
-- Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin on Jefferson.

THE STAT: The Magic have led the NBA in 3-pointers made and attempted the last three seasons. They had the attempted part down pat against the Jazz. The made? Not so much. Orlando was dismal from downtown, shooting 1-for-15 from 3-point range.

TURNING POINT: After Orlando overcame what had been a 14-point deficit and took a 79-78 lead with 3:33 remaining, the Jazz got serious. Randy Foye drained a 3-pointer (his only basket of the night) 22 seconds later, and Utah outscored the Magic 9-2 the rest of the way. Jefferson made back-to-back baskets and Gordon Hayward sank two free throws (his only points of the night) to close the scoring. Two free throws by Nelson is all Orlando produced after taking its 79-78 lead on a basket by Davis.

HOT: Jefferson was at his best when it counted as he made his final five shots and shot 9-for-12 in the second half. Millsap went through a stretch of shooting less than 50 percent in nine of 10 games, but has now shot better than 50 percent in two consecutive games. He was 8-for-14 against Orlando. Nelson and Davis were both solid in the second half after a slow start. Nelson shot 5-for-7 after halftime and scored 12 of his 17 points. Davis scored 14 of his 18 points in the second half.

NOT: Hayward and Foye couldn't buy baskets until they contributed down the stretch. Foye missed his first six shots. Hayward shot for 0-for-6 and embarrassingly missed two dunks. After a couple of games of scoring in double figures, Orlando's Nikola Vucevic shot 3-for-9 and scored six points. Vucevic, however, did collect 16 rebounds.

QUOTABLE II: "It just shows hw important it is to play the whole game and how we can't have little errors like turnovers. I turned the ball over a lot today. We were in the ball game, in spite of 20 turnovers. I commend our team just for fighting and fighting back."
-- Magic forward Davis.

GOOD MOVE: The Jazz nearly blew a double-digit lead at home for the second straight game. Utah, however, perhaps learned something from its loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night. The Jazz kept their poise in the final minutes against the Magic, and got back to executing their offense and getting good shots after Orlando briefly took the lead. Utah also played its best defense of the game in the closing minutes.

BAD MOVE: The Magic were just too sloppy with the ball to earn an upset victory on the road. They committed 20 turnovers, and the team's young roster can't be entirely blamed for the carelessness. Trailing by one with 4:21 left in the game, Orlando blew a chance to take its first lead since 2-1 when Nelson and Arron Afflalo had a two-on-one fast-break, but lost the ball out of bounds, turning it over.

NOTABLE: The Jazz held the Magic to 34 first-half points, a season-low for a Utah opponent this season. Afflalo had 16 points and J.J. Redick had 14 points off the bench for Orlando. Marvin Williams returned to the lineup for Utah after missing three games with concussion-like symptoms. He had eight points and four rebounds in 23 minutes. The Jazz have defeated the Magic four straight times. DeMarre Carroll tied a career-high with three steals.

UP NEXT: For the Magic, Friday @ Sacramento, Sunday @ Phoenix, Wednesday vs. Hawks. For the Jazz, Friday vs. Raptors, Sunday @ L.A. Lakers., Wednesday vs. Spurs.