Utah Jazz: Foye, Jefferson keys to 87-81 win over Orlando Magic
Published: December 10, 2012 09:57AM
Updated: April 8, 2013 11:32PM
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Kim Raff | The Salt Lake Tribune Utah Jazz center Enes Kanter (0) poses with fans during warmups before a game against Orlando at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City on December 5, 2012.

Randy Foye had been dreadful and he knew it.

Each of his six shots came up short. At no point in the process, from when he set his feet, powered a jolt from his legs through his torso and out his arms, did he feel good about any of the attempts.

“I just didn’t have it the way I usually have it,” Foye said.

But with 3:11 left Wednesday against the Orlando Magic, the Jazz down one and positioned to once again lose after building a large lead, Foye watched Magic guard J.J. Redick leave to help on Al Jefferson. The pass came from Mo Williams, and Foye did everything the same. Set his feet, shot from his legs. This time it went in.

The timely basket gave the Jazz an 81-79 lead, and they never trailed again in the eventual 87-71 victory.

“The whole time I felt as though I was letting my team down,” said Foye, who finished with 3 points on 1-of-7 shooting. “I was getting a lot of open shots, I was front-rimming all of them. But once I hit that shot, I just felt as though [it made up for] all those shots that I missed.”

The Jazz (10-10) broke a three-game losing streak with the victory and once again nudged their record to .500. Al Jefferson scored 23 of his season-high 31 points in the second half and pulled down 15 rebounds. However, he left the game with 1:35 remaining after leaving the game with back spasms.

The Jazz list Jefferson as day-to-day, although the center was upbeat in postgame interviews and said he did not expect to miss any games.

For a Jazz team that has been atrocious on the road and comforted only by home games, the win was true to the narrative of their young season. But Orlando nearly disrupted it, as it had done in earlier wins at the Lakers and Golden State.

And if one measured only the guard play, the Jazz appeared to be toast.

The group of Foye, Mo Williams, Gordon Hayward and Earl Watson were a combined 4 of 25 from the field. Hayward’s four points all came on free throws.

Thankfully, the Jazz got support from Jefferson and Paul Millsap, who contributed 22 points.

“I think we were all kind of sluggish tonight,” Hayward said. “We did a great job of leaning on Big Al a little bit, and they carried us.”

The Jazz built a 14-point lead in the second quarter at 45-31. They were still up 11 heading in the fourth quarter. But then the game began to take on shades of Monday’s 105-104 loss to the Clippers.

They led by 14 against Los Angeles, also, and didn’t give up the lead until late in the fourth quarter. Sound familiar?

On Wednesday, that moment came 22 seconds before Foye’s crucial 3-pointer, on a dunk by Glen Davis that gave Orlando a 79-78 lead.

What was different this time? Why did the Jazz not wilt as they had 48 hours earlier?

“We stepped up on defense,” Millsap said. “The past few games, fourth quarter defense has not been at its best. So tonight was a lot better.”

The Magic did not score in the final two minutes and missed their final four field goal attempts.

“We didn’t panic when we lost the lead,” coach Tyrone Corbin said. “We continued to play and made the right plays and, as a result, we were able to win the ballgame.”

boram@sltrib.com

Storylines

R Al Jefferson scores 31 points but leaves the game in the final minutes with back spasms.

• Randy Foye’s first made shot of the game comes with 3:11 left and gives the Jazz an 81-79 lead.

• After missing three games with concussion-like symptoms, Marvin Williams returns, scoring eight points in 23 minutes.

Jazz 87, Magic 81

FG FT Reb

Orlando Min M-A M-A O-T A PF Pts

Harkless 15:13 0-2 0-0 0-3 0 1 0

Davis 38:40 7-16 4-6 2-12 1 4 18

Vucevic 38:17 3-9 0-0 7-16 1 2 6

Nelson 39:24 7-16 2-2 2-5 5 3 17

Afflalo 36:26 7-12 2-2 0-3 2 0 16

Redick 35:49 5-12 4-5 0-2 4 4 14

Ayon 11:01 0-0 0-2 2-2 2 4 0

Moore 8:36 1-4 0-0 0-0 0 0 2

Nicholson 8:02 4-5 0-0 0-1 0 1 8

Jones 3:13 0-1 0-0 0-1 0 0 0

McRberts 5:19 0-0 0-0 0-1 0 1 0

Totals 240:00 34-77 12-17 13-46 15 20 81

Percentages: FG .442, FT .706. 3-Point Goals: 1-15, .067 (Nelson 1-4, Harkless 0-1, Moore 0-2, Afflalo 0-3, Redick 0-5). Team Rebounds: 5. Team Turnovers: 20 (15 PTS). Blocked Shots: 7 (Davis 2, Vucevic 2, Ayon, Jones, Moore). Turnovers: 19 (Redick 5, Davis 3, Nelson 3, Afflalo 2, Ayon 2, Vucevic 2, McRoberts, Moore). Steals: 6 (Nelson 2, Afflalo, Harkless, Moore, Redick). Technical Fouls: Defensive three second, 11:26 first.

FG FT Reb

Utah Min M-A M-A O-T A PF Pts

MaWllms 23:23 3-7 2-2 0-4 0 0 8

Millsap 38:52 8-14 6-9 1-4 3 2 22

Jefferson 34:50 13-20 5-5 3-15 2 4 31

M Wllms 32:04 3-9 3-3 0-1 7 1 9

Foye 29:51 1-7 0-0 0-2 0 1 3

Carroll 19:57 2-3 2-2 1-1 1 3 6

Hayward 23:04 0-6 4-4 1-5 2 2 4

Kanter 16:01 2-5 0-0 1-3 0 1 4

Watson 15:56 0-3 0-0 0-1 3 2 0

Evans 6:02 0-3 0-2 1-2 0 0 0

Totals 240:00 32-77 22-27 8-38 18 16 87

Percentages: FG .416, FT .815. 3-Point Goals: 1-10, .100 (Foye 1-6, Hayward 0-1, Millsap 0-1, Watson 0-1, Ma.Williams 0-1). Team Rebounds: 9. Team Turnovers: 13 (15 PTS). Blocked Shots: 4 (Millsap 3, Carroll). Turnovers: 12 (M. Williams 3, Kanter 2, Millsap 2, Evans, Foye, Hayward, Jefferson, Ma.Williams). Steals: 13 (M. Williams 4, Carroll 3, Hayward 2, Evans, Jefferson, Millsap, Watson). Technical Fouls: Jefferson, 1:59 second.

Orlando 15 19 23 24 — 81

Utah 24 21 23 19 — 87

Attendance • 18,078

Time • 2:09.

Officials • James Capers, Gary Zielinski, Marat Kogut.