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NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, December 23rd (All times Eastern)
Utah Jazz (14-14) at Orlando Magic (12-14), 6 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Utah Jazz will try to end their four-game swing with a .500 record when they visit the Orlando Magic for Sunday's clash at the Amway Center.
The Jazz are 14-14 on the season and they've posted a 1-2 mark on a road trip that began with a win in Brooklyn before giving way to consecutive blowout losses in Indiana and Miami.
After dropping a 104-84 decision to the Pacers on Wednesday, the Jazz were handed a 105-89 setback by LeBron James and the Heat on Saturday. James poured in 30 points to go with nine rebounds and seven assists as Miami breezed to the victory at American Airlines Arena.
Marvin Williams netted a team-high 16 points for the Jazz, while Gordon Hayward finished with 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting. Paul Millsap and Derrick Favors chipped in 11 and 10 points, respectively, for Utah, which has dropped four of its last five.
"They came out with a nice run in the third quarter. It was a close game until then," Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said. "We had to fight our way back in it. We didn't have out pace and as a result we turned the ball over."
Utah is 5-12 on the road this year compared to a 9-2 mark at home. Following Sunday's contest the Jazz will return to Salt Lake City and prepare for a two- game homestand against Golden State and the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Magic had a four-game winning streak halted Friday in Toronto, dropping a 93-90 decision to the Raptors. DeMar DeRozan led six Toronto players in double figures with 17 points.
Arron Afflalo scored a game-high 26 points and added five assists for the Magic, while Nikola Vucevic donated 16 points and 12 boards in the loss. Gustavo Ayon posted a double-double with 12 points and 13 boards and E'Twuan Moore chipped in with 12 points in the setback.
Trailing 91-80 with 4:13 to play, the Magic ripped off 10 straight points, capped by a deep trey by Jameer Nelson, to pull within 91-90 with 55.9 seconds remaining.
DeRozan missed a jumper on the next Toronto possession, but Amir Johnson grabbed the rebound and was fouled with 42.6 ticks left. Johnson calmly sank both free throws to make it 93-90 and after another DeRozan miss, Afflalo grabbed the long rebound with 10.7 seconds remaining and called for a timeout.
J.J. Redick caught the ensuing inbound pass at the top of the arc and fired the potential game-tying 3-ball up but missed. Moore came up with the rebound for Orlando with 6.9 ticks left, but the Magic could not get another shot off.
"I think we did a lot of good things, but we couldn't put the ball in the basket early," Magic coach Jacque Vaughn said. "We persevered and gave ourselves a chance to win."
Sunday's tilt marks the first of two in a row at home for the Magic, who are 7-6 in Orlando this season.
Utah has won four straight, five of six and seven of the last 10 meetings against the Magic. However, the Jazz have dropped six of their last eight contests in Orlando.
12/23 10:31:06 ET
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