Jazz 120, Magic 111

BY foxsports • December 16, 2009

Still riding the low of an embarrassing loss the night before, the Utah Jazz stumbled back home to face the streaking Orlando Magic.

The Jazz plodded through the first quarter, woke up a little in the second and then took over in the third period and beat Orlando 120-111 on Thursday night, ending the Magic's winning streak at six games.

Utah played well enough to almost overshadow a six-point fourth quarter on Wednesday in a loss to the Lakers.

``We all were disappointed with our loss yesterday in L.A. That fourth quarter we kind of continued in the first quarter,'' said Deron Williams, who scored 21 of his 32 points in the second half and had 15 assists and eight rebounds. ``We just had to get out of that funk.''

The Jazz did that in the third quarter, outscoring the Magic 38-21 and then holding on in the fourth.

Carlos Boozer had 20 points and 14 rebounds, and C.J. Miles added a season-high 22 points for the Jazz, who avoided another loss before a rematch with the Lakers on Saturday in Salt Lake City.

The Jazz finished with just six turnovers in the game and only two in the second half, when they outscored the Magic 68-51.

``We just kept grinding. We made plays. We got stops we capitalized on our stops by getting some transition buckets,'' Boozer said. ``All those things just kind of culminated at the same time for us and it got us the lead. once we got the lead, we held on tight to that thing.''

Vince Carter had 34 points to lead the Magic, who had won eight straight road games.

Mehmet Okur added 14 points and 11 rebounds for Utah despite getting into early foul trouble by blanketing Orlando's Dwight Howard.

Okur's defense flustered Howard, who finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds - just an average night after opening the game with 10 points and seven rebounds in the first half.

Matt Barnes added 17 points, and Ryan Anderson had 16, making four 3-pointers while leading the Magic to an 18-point lead in the first half.

``Once we gave them confidence, gave them an opportunity to really get rolling, it was tough to stop that machine,'' Carter said.

Utah helped Orlando pull ahead by making just 10 of 22 foul shots in the first half. Having little to fear by sending the Jazz to the line, the Magic racked up 13 fouls in the first half.

But the Jazz got within eight at halftime, then opened the third quarter on a 14-3 run and the Magic never recovered.

The Jazz came out with a bit of a mean streak after halftime, shutting down the freewheeling fun the Magic enjoyed in the first half with a physical game that was much more Utah's style. Williams had 11 points and eight assists in the period and ended it on a 3-pointer with a second left that gave the Jazz a 90-81 lead.

``We played last night and got embarrassed a little bit the way we finished the fourth quarter,'' Utah coach Jerry Sloan said. ``But tonight we fought back. Going down 18 points against this team is a pretty big hill to climb.''

Howard had opened the third with two foul shots to put the Magic up 62-52, then Utah scored the next 10 points. Okur started it with a hook, Wesley Matthews broke for a layup off a pass from Williams, then Boozer and Ronnie Brewer closed the game with back-to-back dunks that got the crowd in a frenzy. Williams assisted on both dunks and Brewer had a steal during the string of 10 straight points.

Okur made two foul shots to tie it at 62 with 8:35 left in the third. It was the first time in the game the Jazz went 2 for 2 from the line.

The Magic continued to struggle in the fourth and went without a field goal until Rashard Lewis hit a 3-pointer with 7:41 left in the game. That got Orlando to 97-89, but the Jazz scored with the next eight points.

Williams took a forearm to the back of the head from Howard during the run and gave the Jazz a scare when he stayed on the court for a few moments before getting helped up, then making both foul shots.

Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy said the Magic have had a habit lately of pulling out to a big lead, letting it get close again and then holding on for the win.

``We jump out well, then relax and let everybody back in the game,'' Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy said. ``The difference is Utah is a better team.''

NOTES: It was the most points of the season for Miles, who missed the first 17 games with a torn ligament in his left thumb. ... The Jazz finished with 28 assists to Orlando's 18. ... Anderson hit his first four 3-point attempts for the Magic. ... Utah's Andrei Kirilenko missed the game because of a strained lower back. ... The Jazz made 9 of 10 free throws in the third quarter.

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