Utah Jazz: Magic miss free throws and Jazz escape with 97-93 win
Orlando, Fla • There was no Mo, and the Jazz nearly ran out of mojo. But Orlando center Gustavo Ayon missed a pair of free throws with 2.4 seconds left that could have forced overtime and the Jazz escaped with a 97-93 win after trailing by as many as 16 points in the first half.
The victory was good tonic for the Jazz, who played without point guard Mo Williams. Williams is out indefinitely with a right thumb injury he suffered Saturday in Miami.
The Jazz won for just the second time in their last six games, and improved their road record to 6-12. They split the four games on this annual pre-Christmas road trip, earning wins against the Magic and Brooklyn earlier in the week.
Paul Millsap led six Jazz players in double figures with 18 points. Gordon Hayward added 17 off the bench, while Alec Burks, in his most significant time of the season, added 8.
After J.J. Redick made a jumper to put the Magic up 87-85 with 3:30 left in the game, Jamaal Tinsley and Randy Foye made back-to-back 3s to give the Jazz a 91-87 lead.
The Jazz trailed by as much as 16 in the first half, but closed the second quarter on a 23-8 run to trail just 47-46 at halftime.
Randy Foye came up with back-to-back bdefensive plays in the final minute and a half, one a strip on the baseline, the other a block on Nick Vucevic.
The Jazz trailed by as many as 9 points in the third quarter after taking hteir first lead at 50-49, but were bailed out once again by a bench unit led by Gordon Hayward and Alec Burks.