Jazz at Magic
The Orlando Magic just missed a chance to get back to .500 and view a two-game homestand against the Utah Jazz and New Orleans Hornets as an opportunity to even their record. Orlando faces road-challenged Utah on Sunday as it continues its adjustment to losing forward Glen Davis to a shoulder injury. The Magic had a four-game winning streak snapped by the Toronto Raptors on Friday. Utah has lost four of five and is 5-12 on the road.
The Jazz are completing a four-game road excursion and lost by 16 to the Miami Heat on Saturday, three nights after being trounced by 20 points in Indiana. Utah slipped back to .500 with the loss to Miami as it struggles to find any momentum with its road issues. Orlando has held 10 straight opponents under 100 points and is allowing just 89 per game during the stretch. Davis is expected to be sidelined upwards of a month.
TV: 6 p.m. ET, Root Sports (Utah), FSN Florida (Orlando)
ABOUT THE JAZZ (14-14): Center Al Jefferson’s offensive game has gone missing in Utah’s last two defeats. Jefferson had just 10 points on 3-of-16 shooting in the losses to Indiana and Miami. Jefferson has been passive inside and has attempted just four free throws over the first three games of the road trip. Starting guard Randy Foye was a porous 1-of-9 shooting while scoring two points against the Heat to continue a deep slump. Foye has scored 10 or fewer points in seven of the last nine games and is shooting just 31.7 percent during the slump. His poor stretch began when he had just three points on 1-of-7 shooting against Orlando on Dec. 5. Jefferson had 31 points and 15 rebounds in that contest.
ABOUT THE MAGIC (12-14): The loss of Davis is a tough one to absorb for a squad thin in frontcourt prowess. Davis averages 16 points and 7.9 rebounds, and has become the team’s team leader as well. “When you are missing one of your leading scorers, that makes it tough,” said guard Arron Afflalo, who averages a team-leading 16.4 points. “You want to continue to win, but a big part of our successful rhythm came with the guys who were contributing toward that success. You take Glen out of that and it hurts because he’s a key contributor.” Rookie forward Andrew Nicholson made his first career start in the loss to Toronto and had six points and four rebounds in 20 minutes.
1. Utah has won the last four meetings and seven of the last 10.
2. Jazz G Mo Williams injured a thumb in the loss to Miami and expects to undergo an MRI exam to determine the severity.
3. Afflalo had 26 points against Toronto for his second 20-point outing in four games and sixth of the campaign.