Harris, Magic win season-high 5th straight, beat Jazz 103-94
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) The Orlando Magic seem to have Utah's number this season - two wins, both by nine points.
Tobias Harris scored 17 points and the Magic beat the Jazz 103-94 Thursday for their fifth straight win, Orlando's best streak since January 2012.
On Nov. 13, the Magic topped Utah at home 102-93 in a game that looked a lot more lopsided than the final score indicated. This time, it was much closer throughout the night.
''First half, we didn't play as well as we had been playing and we were still right there,'' Magic coach Scott Skiles said. ''The guys felt like they could turn it up in the second half and maybe get one.''
''We think Utah is a good team. So it's a really good win for us,'' he said.
The Magic went into the fourth quarter trailing by a point, then quickly took control. Evan Fournier's 3-pointer put Orlando ahead 92-84.
The Jazz cut it to four, but Nikola Vucevic hit a jumper and Elfrid Payton scored on a transition layup with 1:42 remaining to push the lead back to eight.
Harris finished with seven rebounds and Vucevic added 16 points and eight rebounds. Six different Magic players reached double figures.
''That's the name of the game,'' Harris said. ''That is how our team is kind of built, everyone chipping in and really playing their part, playing their role.''
Gordon Hayward led the Jazz with 24 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals. Derrick Favors had 12 points and 10 rebounds while Alec Burks chipped in with 21 off the bench.
''I think they're a good team and that's what they do,'' Hayward said. ''Defensively they're physical and they try to muck it up on you and take away things you want to do.''
''First half we handled it pretty well. Second half, we didn't. ... It's a game of runs and we couldn't match theirs in the second half,'' he said.
Magic: Orlando scored 44 points in the paint and allowed just 22. ... Payton scored 14 and had seven assists. ... Orlando forced 19 turnovers.
Jazz: Utah allowed 29-plus points in the first quarter for the third time this year. The Magic also did it in the first meeting in Orlando. ... Rookie Trey Lyles played 10 minutes. He's now reached double-digit minutes for the fourth time this season. ... Rodney Hood was 0 for 7 through three quarters before finishing 1 for 8.
The Jazz played their first game since center Rudy Gobert went down with a MCL sprain Wednesday. He's out indefinitely. The Jazz started Favors at center and Trevor Booker at power forward. Lyles was the first big man off the bench. Gobert missed the first game against Orlando, also, with an ankle injury.
''We played small a lot and we had some success in the first half,'' Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. ''We weren't getting stops early in the game and then we went small and were better offensively. We just spaced the floor and played a different style because of our personnel. Wasn't the kind of effort we need to win a game like this.''
Skiles has carved himself a reputation throughout the league as a defensive coach during his stops at Phoenix, Chicago and Milwaukee. He said it's tedious and repetitive, but necessary for player to buy in. Orlando entered the game ranked 11th in opponents' points per game and No. 5 in opponents' field goal percentage.
''In the past 20 years, if you're a top five defensive field goal percentage team, then 90-plus percent of the time you're going to be a playoff team,'' Skiles said. That is the only statistic that you can point to that has that type of percentage.
''That's a pretty big selling point to a team at the beginning of the season when you lay that out there,'' he said.
The Magic travel to face the Clippers on Saturday.
The Jazz host the Pacers on Saturday.