Harris, Oladipo lead Magic over Jazz 98-93
Dec. 06, 2014
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Each time they step on the court school is in session for the young Orlando Magic.
"The team is continuing to get better each game. You see the performances our young guys are putting on. They're carrying us and it's a great sight to see," said Ben Gordon, one of the few veterans in the rotation.
The lesson Friday night was how to win on the road.
Tobias Harris scored 22 points and Victor Oladipo had 20 to help the Orlando Magic outlast Utah 98-93 Friday night and send the Jazz to their eighth loss in a row.
"We're learning - me, everybody. We're learning about each other, learning how to build chemistry and staying positive," Oladipo said. "Closing out road games in the NBA is very tough, something you have to learn and we're learning every game."
Oladipo's quickness and Orlando's spacing gave the team options when the game got tight in the fourth quarter. He often got to the rim or found shooters on the wings.
"We are gaining confidence and we're getting better. We're all buying in," Harris said.
Harris made a 3-pointer from the corner and then converted a three-point play on a drive to give the Magic an 88-78 lead with 4:04 to play.
"When you're up in a game, it's one of the hardest things to do in the NBA is keep that lead because every team's going to make a run. But we endured that and showed we're learning," Harris said.
Kyle O'Quinn scored 13 points, Gordon had 12, and Channing Frye added 11 points for the Magic, who will close their six-game road swing at Sacramento on Saturday with a chance to go 3-3 on the trip.
"Progress is winning on the road. Last year we took these guys to the wire and Trey Burke hit a big one that killed us. This time, we really wanted to close it out," O'Quinn said.
Derrick Favors led the Jazz with 21 points, 13 rebounds and a season-high five blocked shots. Enes Kanter had 16 points and Rodney Hood scored 15, but defense was again the problem for the reeling Jazz.
The Magic shot 50 percent against Utah as the Jazz dropped their sixth straight at home.
The Magic posted their largest lead, 65-48, on O'Quinn's 3-point play early in the third quarter.
The Jazz responded with a 10-0 run that included a hard foul on Burke that sparked the Jazz. O'Quinn hit the Jazz point guard in the head during a drive to the basket and was given a flagrant-1 foul after a video review by the officials. Hood made a 3-pointer to cap the surge and bring Utah within 65-58 midway through the period.
"We've just got to find that juice we need for 48 minutes," said Hood, who set a season-high in points. "We've got to stay with it and not get down because we are losing."
Magic: Nikola Vucevic, who averages nearly 19 points and 12 rebounds, missed the game due to a back sprain, his third straight DNP. ... The Magic had lost six consecutive and 27 of 32 games when Vucevic doesn't play since the start of 2012-13. ... O'Quinn had a season-high 21 points earlier in the long road trip against Golden State and then was ejected for his flagrant-2 foul on Blake Griffin against the Clippers and assessed a $15,000 fine on Thursday by the NBA.
Jazz: Guard Alec Burks missed his second game because of left shoulder inflammation. ... The Jazz had won seven games in a row against the Magic, dating back to Nov. 10, 2010. ... Steve Novak hit a challenged 3-pointer to draw the Jazz with 95-91 in the final 14 seconds but then missed two free throws two seconds later.
Orlando: Magic at Sacramento on Saturday night
Utah: Jazz at Sacramento on Monday night
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
Asked about O'Quinn's two flagrant fouls in two games, Vaughn said, "If I had a daughter, I'd let (O'Quinn) date her. He's a good dude, so I know there's no intent behind it, but he's trying to be aggressive and protect our paint. I don't have a daughter, though, good thing!"