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Utah makes a little magic happen in Orlando

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Jazz bounce back from last night’s loss to the Heat with a 124-109 victory over the Magic

Utah Jazz v Orlando Magic
Joe Ingles was a steadying force for Utah without the contributions of Mike Conley
Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

24 hours removed from a disappointing loss to the Miami Heat, the Utah Jazz turned in a nice outing on both ends over the depleted Orlando Magic; final score 125-109.

Orlando has missed key rotation pieces for large portions of the season, including starters Markelle Fultz and Aaron Gordon. Nonetheless, the Magic kept the game close through the first half.

Nikola Vucevic was the driving force for the Magic, particularly with his stroke from deep. He ended the game with 34 points, going 5-7 from distance. But his production alone wasn’t enough to keep up with 7 Jazz men with double figures, led by Donovan’s 31.

Utah took serious control of the game in the 3rd quarter, behind an incredible 15 point effort by Mitchell on just 8 shots. Revisit some of the highlights below:

Utah’s 7 players with double-digit scoring totals were Mitchell, Clarkson Ingles, Gobert, Niang, Bogdanovic, and Favors.

Favors and Gobert dominated the rim with 9-10 shooting, helping the team to a FG% of 81 in the restricted area (93%tile).

Let’s check in on some key story-telling numbers for the game:

ORTG: 128.1 (93%tile)

DRTG: 113.7 (43%tile)

eFG% Advantage: +9.8%

TOV% Advantage: -8.3%

OREB% Advantage: +14.4%

FTArate Advantage: +12.7%

Utah dominated the 4 factors, generating a decent amount of extra scoring opportunities while having a better shooting efficiency. That’s a stellar recipe for a win.

Other “note”-worthy aspects of the game:

  • Jordan Clarkson dropped Magic guard Michael Carter-Williams with some nifty ball handling and footwork en route to a scoop layup.
  • Utah’s aggressiveness throughout the game paid off to the tune of 16 more FTA than Orlando, a real contributing factor in the final margin of victory.
  • Jazz have a 3P% disadvantage in back-to-back games (despite having a 3P frequency advantage in both); -14.1% in MIA, -3.4% in ORL.
  • Head referee Bill Kennedy exited the game in the first half after a non-contact injury rendered him unable to continue. The game continued with just two officials.

MVP

Joe Ingles

While Donovan Mitchell’s 25 second-half points were the big push to blow the game wide open, Joe Ingles gets the big MVP for this game.

Utah Jazz v Orlando Magic
Joe Ingles had the eye of the tiger against the Magic Saturday night
Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

Joe absolutely had a fantastic stat line: 17 points, 7 assists, and 2 rebounds with only 1 turnover whilst chipping in a block and a steal. Despite an uncharacteristic poor shooting game from Joe (just 7-13), he impacted the game much more than the raw box score contributions.

Without Conley (who sat with hamstring management on the second night of a back to back), it was up to Joe to be the steadying force for the Jazz.

Utah was a game-best +25 with Joe on the court. Per Inpredictable, Joe was 3rd for the Jazz in Win Probability Added (WPA).

He kept the Jazz afloat in the first half while Donovan scored just 6 points and the team struggled from deep at 32%. He was, as usually, a calming, yet aggressive presence the team needed as they found their footing throughout the game.