Magic Fight Back From 12 Down in Fourth, But Fall to Jazz

Josh Cohen
Digital News Manager

The Lead

Franz Wagner posted 26 points, Wendell Carter Jr. recorded his 10th double-double of the season with 19 points and 10 rebounds, and Paolo Banchero scored 19 before fouling out late, but the Orlando Magic, despite erasing a 12-point fourth-quarter deficit and having a chance to tie it in the final seconds, fell 112-108 to the Utah Jazz on Friday at Vivint Arena. 

Clutch Moments

The last minute-and-a-half was action-packed. Mo Bamba scored inside with 1:18 left to put the Magic in front after they trailed by 12 just past the halfway point of the fourth. Orlando and Utah would exchange leads on the subsequent few possessions. Collin Sexton drilled a pull-up jumper with 59 seconds remaining; Markelle Fultz connected on a driving layup with 42 ticks on the clock; and Jordan Clarkson connected on a driving layup with 32 seconds left. 

After Sexton missed a pair of free throws, rookie Walker Kessler grabbed an offensive rebound, got fouled, and sank both of his attempts to push Utah’s lead to three. Franz Wagner’s potential game-tying 3-point attempt with around six seconds left was blocked by Lauri Markkanen. 

Key Stats

Free throws and rebounds were the two biggest factors. The Jazz took 40 foul shots, 24 more than the Magic, and they pulled down 60 rebounds, 20 more than Orlando. Markkanen took 21 of those foul shots, while he and Clarkson each grabbed 12 rebounds. Utah also had 11 blocks, seven from Kessler. The Magic did limit the Jazz to just 31.4 percent 3-point shooting and forced them into 24 turnovers.  

Interesting Note

The Magic have now lost seven straight in Utah. Their last win in Salt Lake City was on Dec. 3, 2015. Starting for Orlando that night were Nikola Vucevic, Evan Fournier, Elfrid Payton, Tobias Harris, and Channing Frye. 

Quote of the Day

“I’m super excited. It’s just a blessing with everything he’s been through and all the work that he’s put in – for him to just be able to just go out there and play the game that he loves and do well as well is huge, not only for himself but everyone who’s around him and supporting him. (I) look forward to having him get back with us, but also happy to just see him out there playing basketball and playing stress-free.” – Markelle Fultz on Jonathan Isaac

Injury/Inactive Report

Chuma Okeke (left knee) was out for the Magic. Isaac, R.J. Hampton, and Kevon Harris are with Lakeland. Gary Harris played 11 minutes before leaving the game with a hand injury. Kelly Olynyk (ankle), Udoka Azubuike (health and safety protocols), Mike Conley (rest) and Leandro Bolmaro (illness) were unavailable for the Jazz. 

This Day in History

Making 23 3-pointers in a game is not really a big deal anymore. The NBA record now for most threes made is 29, the Milwaukee Bucks’ total in a December 2020 game against the Miami Heat. Before 2009, though, the thought of any team making 23 or more triples seemed very unrealistic. The Magic changed all that when they knocked down a then NBA-record 23 3-pointers against the Sacramento Kings on Jan. 13, 2009. Jameer Nelson made all five of his attempts from beyond the arc, while J.J. Redick and Keith Bogans each hit four of them and Hedo Turkoglu and Rashard Lewis each connected on three in Orlando’s victory.

Rivals Report

Expect the Jazz to be one of the more active teams at the trade deadline. Everyone figured after they traded Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert over the summer that a full rebuild would be coming. One player that’s almost certainly not going anywhere is Markkanen, however. The 7-footer out of the University of Arizona by way of Finland is one of only two players this season averaging over 20 points while shooting 50-plus percent from the field and 40-plus percent from 3-point range. Steph Curry is the other. The Most Improved Player Award is going to likely come down to Markkanen, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Tyrese Haliburton. 

Up Next

The Magic will wrap up their five-game West Coast road trip in Denver where they will take on the Nuggets on Sunday at 8 p.m. ET. This will be the first of two meetings between the two teams this season, with the other taking place in Orlando on Feb. 9. The Nuggets have been on a roll of late, winning four straight entering Friday’s action and 14 of their last 17. Nikola Jokic, who won’t play in Friday’s game against the Clippers in Los Angeles with wrist soreness, is in the running to become the first player since Larry Bird in the 80s and fourth player ever to win the MVP award in three straight seasons. The other two who did it were Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain.