ORLANDO — The Utah Jazz unleashed a secret weapon during Friday’s 87-74 win over the Orlando Magic.
Derrick Favors, 3-point sharpshooter.
The 6-foot-10 power forward found himself with the ball behind the arc with the shot clock running down midway through the third quarter, so he took a shot he’s only attempted 17 other times in his seven-year career.
That resulted in something that had only happened one other time in the previous 437 games he’d played in the NBA — a 3-point bucket.
“I pretty much had my mind made up that I was going to shoot that three,” Favors said. “As soon as I set that screen, I just popped and I was like, ‘I’m going to shoot this as soon as I get it.”
Jazz coach Quin Snyder’s response might surprise you.
It might also surprise Favors, who said of Snyder, “He probably didn’t want me to take it, but I just took it. He didn’t say nothing about it.”
“I’m like the one guy who’s told him I believe in him on that,” Snyder said. “His teammates give him a hard time. He knows how I feel about that. Opportunistically right, clock going down, big situation. He works on his shooting. I don’t think that’s something we’re going to see him hunting, but if he’s got an opportunity and he’s open, let it fly.”
The Jazz might consider giving Favors a green light from outside. He’s now shooting 50 percent from 3-point territory and just 45.3 percent overall.
Favors hadn't made a 3-pointer since the 2014-15 season.
BIG FINISH: The Jazz secured a winning record on this grueling road trip with Friday’s win, but Rodney Hood said they won’t be happy about it unless they pick up a fourth victory Saturday in Miami.
“We got enough (energy left). We’re very focused to get this win,” Hood said. “None of this road trip means anything if we come in and lay an egg tomorrow, so we want to come in and play hard and see what happens.”
JAZZ NOTES: Gordon Hayward scored 20 points despite not scoring in the fourth quarter. He’s put up at least 20 in each of his four games this season. … Hayward hit all six free throws Friday, keeping him perfect on the year in 28 attempts. … Former Pleasant Grove High star C.J. Wilcox did not play for Orlando. … Dante Exum started at point guard instead of Shelvin Mack because usual starter George Hill was out again with a sprained right thumb. ... Hill didn't participate in shootaround Friday morning, but he did work out with coaches after the team wrapped up its strategy session. He's questionable for Saturday's game at Miami.