Terrence Ross, Nikola Vucevic not enough for Magic in home loss to Jazz
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Donovan Mitchell carrying Utah late in a game was no surprise, but having Georges Niang shoulder some of the load certainly was as the Jazz duo combined to take down the Orlando Magic 109-96 on Saturday night.
Mitchell scored 10 of his 32 points in the fourth quarter when Utah broke open a close game with a flurry of 3-pointers, including three straight from Niang that gave the Jazz enough breathing room to coast to their fifth straight win.
“This is a group that enjoys when someone else steps up,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. “That’s unique. Nobody’s thinking about their game, their line — it’s our game. I don’t think there is anybody on our team that doesn’t want someone to shoot as long as they’re good shots. If you’re open – and you can shoot – it’s a good shot, especially if they’re going in.”
Niang’s hot streak actually started at the end of the third quarter when he and Mitchell hit a pair of 3s to hold off a surge by Orlando. However, after Mitchell started the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer, Niang nailed three straight from behind the arc and the Jazz were on their way.
“I was going to my normal spots and once I hit a couple, guys really started looking for me,” Niang said. “Once you’re in a zone, you kind of just stick to it.”
The shots never really fell for the Magic, who scrambled back from an early deficit to take a 75-74 lead late in the third quarter behind 3-point shooting from Terrence Ross, but couldn’t find a hot hand to carry them in the fourth quarter.
“We needed to shoot the ball better,” Magic coach Steve Clifford said. “We got a little tired, but the biggest thing was at the beginning of the fourth. You can’t be disorganized in this league and they are so well-coached they took us apart.”
Utah led 76-75 going into the final period and then hit eight of 13 shots from behind the arc, including its first five field goals of the quarter to break open a close game.
The teams combined to shoot just 22.8% (8 of 35) from behind the 3-point line in the first half, but players on both sides began hitting late in the third quarter.
D.J. Augustin started a rapid-fire sequence of 3s with a shot from the corner that tied it at 68 with 2:20 left in the third. Ross followed with a four-point play, but Utah was just getting warmed up.
Jazz: Mitchell had 30 points the first time the teams met this season. … C Rudy Gobert is shooting 66.7% (37 of 54) in his last six games. … G Jordan Clarkson, who averaged 15 points in his first four games with the Jazz after being traded from Cleveland, had seven against Orlando. Utah is 5-0 in those games.
Magic: Orlando missed its first eight 3-point attempts. The Magic missed their first 10 the last time they played Utah. … C Nikola Vucevic has 300 career double-doubles, 298 of them in seven seasons with Orlando.
Jazz: End a three-game road trip Monday at New Orleans.
Magic: Home against Brooklyn on Monday.
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- Nikola Vucevic
- Orlando Magic
- Terrence Ross
- Utah Jazz