The Utah Jazz can't seem to find any relief for their recent road struggles.
After losing to one of the Eastern Conference's worst teams, Utah (14-13) will visit the Orlando Magic on Friday night trying to snap a seven-game road skid.
This is the longest road losing streak for the Jazz since dropping eight in a row from March 4-April 6, 2005. All of their losses during the current skid, though, have been by 10 points or less including a 98-92 defeat at Charlotte on Wednesday.
The Jazz led by as many as 12, but Charlotte finished on a game-closing 24-6 run. Utah also committed 20 turnovers, leading to 19 Bobcats points.
"The turnovers we had and the shot selection we had were just like we had never played with each other," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said. "We go to the basket a little bit, we can't get to the free throw line. That's really amazing to me."
Sloan and reserve Gordon Giricek got into a heated exchange on the bench in the second quarter. Giricek was sent to the locker room having scored two points in five minutes and didn't return in the second half.
"I don't have any comment on that right now," said Sloan when asked if Giricek would stay with the team on their road swing, which concludes Saturday in Miami. Giricek is averaging a career-low 4.3 points this season.
Carlos Boozer had 21 points and 15 rebounds Wednesday while Deron Williams scored 20. The Jazz, who are averaging 104.7 points, have been held below 99 in five of their last six games.
The Magic (18-9) are hoping to rebound from their own slump as they try to build off a 97-92 win over Houston on Wednesday. It was just their second victory in seven games.
Dwight Howard had 21 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks for NBA-leading 23rd double-double of the year - two more than Boozer. Keyon Dooling sank a pair of late free-throws that gave Orlando a three-point lead with 12.3 seconds to play and finished with 15. Hedo Turkoglu added two more free-throws with less than a second remaining and added 13 points.
"That might've been my favorite game of the year," Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said. "They defended us well, we turned it over, we had trouble making decisions. We just played extremely hard."
The Magic have won three straight and six of seven against the Jazz, including four straight in Orlando. Howard had 31 points and 15 rebounds in Orlando's 101-90 win over Utah on March 14. Overall he is averaging 18.0 points and 12.8 rebounds in six career games against the Jazz.
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