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Magic send Jazz to eighth straight loss

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SALT LAKE CITY — Coming into Friday night’s game, the Orlando Magic hadn’t beaten the Utah Jazz since 2010.

The way the Jazz are playing, it almost seems like that was their last win.

Orlando snapped a long losing streak against Utah with a 98-93 victory at EnergySolutions Arena.

Forward Tobias Harris had 22 points and seven rebounds and guard Victor Oladipo added 20 points and six assists as the Magic beat the Jazz for the first time in eight meetings.

“For us as a team, going into this game, it was to get this victory any way possible,” Harris said. “And that is what we did today. Guys came in, stepped up for us big time.”

Orlando improved to 8-14 with its second win in eight games overall.

The Jazz fought back within four points late in the fourth quarter after trailing by as many as 17 when rookie Rodney Hood hit three free throws after being fouled while shooting a 3-pointer with 41.1 seconds left.

But the home team couldn’t finish off the comeback while losing for an eighth consecutive time.

“I think some of it for us is just having a level of focus and toughness,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said of the Jazz, who hadn’t lost this many in a row since beginning the 2013-14 season with an 0-8 record. “You can talk about positions and habits, but at some point you’e got to compete and that’s what we need to find.”

Utah trailed by five in the final half-minute with the ball when small forward Gordon Hayward slipped to the court and the Magic forced him into a costly turnover.

Orlando guard Willie Green gave the Magic an insurmountable seven-point lead with 21.6 remaining by hitting two free throws.

“It’s a tough place to play. It always has been,” Orlando coach Jacque Vaughn said. “They were searching for a win and we were also, so it boiled down to us playing together and being extremely tough down the stretch.

Center Derrick Favors had 21 points and 13 rebounds to lead Utah, which dropped to 5-15.

Guard Trey Burke also contributed a double-double for the Jazz with 13 points and 11 assists. Utah, however, wrapped up a four-game homestead without a win in front of its own fans.

“It’s tough on us,” Burke said of the losing streak. “It may not sound right, but I think we have a positive spin right now. We’ve been in most of these games.”

The Magic opened the game strong, taking a 53-41 halftime lead. Oladipo had 13 points in the first two quarters to spark Orlando.

Hood, the 23rd pick who started for injured Alec Burks, finished with a career-best 15 points in his 10th NBA game.

The Magic took advantage of Utah’s struggling defense, the third worst in the NBA, shooting 50 percent from the field and 7 of 17 from 3-point range.

Utah only shot 46 percent from the field but hit 8 of 16 from deep.

Orlando improved to 2-3 on its six-game road trip, which concludes Saturday at Sacramento.

NOTES: Jazz G Alec Burks will be out indefinitely and could need surgery on his left shoulder, multiple outlets reported. Burks was examined by doctors in Salt Lake City, Cleveland and New York City in an attempt to get the best diagnosis on his ailing shoulder, which was aggravated in Monday’s game. … Magic C Nik Vucevic didn’t play Friday for the third straight game after being re-evaluated and diagnosed with a lower-back sprain. … Orlando coach Jacque Vaughn began his NBA playing career in Utah as Hall of Famer John Stockton’s backup. … The Jazz practice Thursday lasted for three hours and 45 minutes, including film study and court work.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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