Jazz take down Magic 131-124 with late game clutch play

ORLANDO, FL – The Orlando Magic continued their struggle to get wins as they lost the the Utah Jazz 131-124 on Thursday night at the Amway Center.

Orlando, Florida, USA, March 9, 2023, Utah Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen #23 attempt to score in the second half at the Amway Center. (Photo Credit: Marty Jean-Louis)

Lori Markkanen lead all scorers with 31 points, while the Magic managed to waste a 26 point game by rookie phenom Paolo Banchero.

The Jazz managed to get out to good starts early in the first and third quarters of the game, but in the first, Orlando managed to come close to even, ending the first quarter down 29-28.

In the third, the Magic pushed hard on the third quarter, outscoring Utah 41-33 and getting back into the game and bringing the game to a 97-97 tie.

With the Magic still missing Wendell Carter Jr, a defensive presence is missing, and teams have been exploiting it.

Orlando, once again, has given up over 130 points to an opponent, and without strong scoring, though the Magic did make three point shots, it wasn’t enough.

Orlando, Florida, USA, March 9, 2023, Orlando Magic forward Paolo Banchero #5 attempt to make a dunk in the first half at the Amway Center. (Photo Credit: Marty Jean-Louis)

“We made a lot of 3s (16) but we missed a lot of free throws (11),” Bancherso said. “A lot of teams are just trying to stop us from getting into the paint and stop us from driving. So the 3-ball is there a lot of times and you’ve just got to take it with confidence.”

It doesn’t help that they missed 11 free throws, basically throwing away points and making it an even greater Jazz advantage.

The win snapped a 4 game losing streak for the Jazz, but didn’t help Orlando’s case for a spot in the play in tournament this playoff season.

When it came down to the fourth quarter, Banchero came through in the clutch. He scored 13 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter for the Magic, and even with Wagner (24 points) and Fultz (season high 25), it wasn’t enough to keep up with the Jazz.

The Magic next face off against the Miami heat on Saturday March 11th at the Amway Center.


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