COACHING CHANGES EXPANDED MATCHUPS DEPTH CHARTS CURRENT ODDS
NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, December 18th (All times Eastern)
Utah Jazz (6-21) at Orlando Magic (8-17), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - Two of the NBA's more struggling franchises hook up Wednesday night when the Utah Jazz visit the Amway Center to take on the Orlando Magic.
The Jazz own the second-worst winning percentage in the NBA, just ahead of the Milwaukee Bucks. Orlando has the sixth-lowest mark in the league.
The Magic return home from a road win in Chicago on Monday night. They play their next six in the Magic Kingdom, a span which will keep them home for the holidays.
"We have to take care of home, but let our family know that we have to go to work every day also," Magic coach Jacque Vaughn told the team's website. "Enjoy the season of giving, but go and do your job also."
Orlando has played eight of its last nine away from home and collected only two wins during that span, including the only home game in the group. But, on Monday, the Magic knocked off the depleted Bulls, 83-82.
Luol Deng of Chicago missed an open layup with 2.9 seconds left.
"I am glad that we pulled it out," said Orlando guard Arron Afflalo. "At the end of the day you get a road win, it's well deserved."
Afflalo led the way with 23 points, followed by 14 apiece from Glen Davis and Jameer Nelson. Davis pulled down 11 rebounds and Nikola Vucevic added 10 points and 11 boards.
The Jazz lost their opener of a five-game eastern trip Monday when they fell to the two-time defending champion Miami Heat, 117-94, in a game where the biggest news came when LeBron James tweaked his left ankle.
However, James still finished with 30 points and was a rebound and an assist away from a triple-double. The Heat shot a blistering 63.4 percent from the field.
"They shot a pretty good percentage in the first half. They shot 63 percent for the game. We didn't match their intensity in the second half. Give them credit," said Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin.
The Jazz starting five struggled for a combined 38 points and 17 of those came from Derrick Favors. Alec Burks carried the load with 31 for the second unit and Enes Kanter, who now comes off the bench, added 14.
Utah will visit Atlanta, Charlotte and Memphis before returning to Salt Lake City.
The Jazz won both of last season's meetings with Orlando and have taken five straight. Utah is only 3-6 in its last nine at Orlando.
12/18 10:24:36 ET