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3 keys to the Utah Jazz’s 112-108 win over the Orlando Magic

Leading the charge was Lauri Markkanen, who scored a game-high 28 points on just 13 field goal attempts, adding in 17 points from the free throw line

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Orlando Magic center Wendell Carter Jr. (34) guards against Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson (00)

Orlando Magic center Wendell Carter Jr. (34) guards against Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson (00) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Jan. 13, 2023, in Salt Lake City.

Rick Bowmer, Associated Press

The Utah Jazz beat the Orlando Magic, 112-108, on Friday night at Vivint Arena.

Despite the Jazz having a 12-point lead in the fourth quarter, this one came down to the wire, and it was clutch free throw shooting from Walker Kessler and Lauri Markkanen blocking a 3-pointer that ended up being essential to the Jazz being able to come away with the win.

The game was the first of a back-to-back set which will be rounded out on Saturday against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Here are three keys that contributed to the Jazz’s victory:

  • The Jazz went on a stretch, starting at the end of the first quarter, where they missed 13 straight 3-pointers. They broke that 3-point drought in the third quarter but it was their pressure on the rim, getting to the free throw line and rebounding that kept them in the game. 
  • Leading the charge was Lauri Markkanen, who scored a game-high 28 points on just 4 made field goals, adding in 17 points from the free throw line.
  • Mike Conley was watching from the sidelines in street clothes on Friday, resting the first game of the back-to-back, but the Jazz got both Collin Sexton (right hamstring) and Talen Horton-Tucker (right ankle) back in the rotation and the two combined for 25 points off the bench.