With their road losing streak finally snapped, the time may be right for the Utah Jazz to end their recent futility in Miami.
The Jazz seek their first win there in nearly five years on Saturday night when they visit the Heat to conclude a four-game road trip.
Utah (15-13) has lost its annual visit to South Florida each of the last four seasons, although two of those defeats each came by just two points. The Jazz have not won at Miami since an 83-73 victory on March 10, 2003.
They had also dropped seven in a row overall in this interconference series until a 110-101 home victory Dec. 3. Mehmet Okur scored 25 points including four 3-pointers to lead Utah.
On Friday, the Jazz ended another lengthy drought, beating the Magic 113-94 to snap a seven-game road skid and earn their first win away from home since Nov. 28.
Paul Millsap scored a career-high 28 points off the bench as Utah's reserves outscored Orlando's 50-20. Starting forward Carlos Boozer added 24 with nine rebounds and eight assists.
"We executed our offense better than we've done in I don't know how long,'' Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said. "We had good shots, good chances to offensively rebound the ball and kept them from getting every shot they wanted.''
Utah has dropped eight of 10 overall, but can finish its trip with a 2-2 record if it beats the Heat - a task which hasn't been difficult for most of the league this season.
Miami (7-19) has dropped two straight and four of five to fall 12 games below .500 for the first time since the end of the 2002-03 season, when current Heat star Dwyane Wade was playing his final season at Marquette.
Wade has been outstanding in the last two games, both overtime losses. He scored 36 in Wednesday night's 117-111 defeat at Atlanta, then followed that effort by scoring a season-high 41 at home against New Jersey on Thursday, when Miami fell 107-103.
The Heat are an Eastern Conference-worst 3-9 at home, although five of those defeats have been by five points or fewer.
"You've got to keep believing,'' Wade said. "You've got to keep playing until you can't play any more. I hope everyone continues to believe. I know I do.''
Thursday night's game was the first for the Heat since losing veteran center Alonzo Mourning for the season - and possibly his career - after he tore tendons in his right leg during the loss to Atlanta.
Without Mourning, it becomes more important for starter Shaquille O'Neal to stay on the court. After knee injuries limited him to 40 games in 2006-07, O'Neal has played in all 26 contests this season, but has fouled out of a career-high four consecutive games. He had 12 points and seven rebounds in 36 minutes Thursday before being forced to the bench.
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