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Fournier scores 21, Magic races out to big lead in 102-93 win over Utah Jazz


ORLANDO, Florida — For a while Friday night, the Orlando Magic seemed well on their way to a much-needed victory by a blowout.

Some raggedness on their part and some feistiness on the part of the Utah Jazz made things interesting in the closing minutes before the Magic came away with a 102-93 win.

Evan Fournier scored 21 points and Tobias Harris added 19 points and 13 rebounds for the Magic, who won for the fifth time in their last seven games.

"It shouldn't be that hard to sustain how we started," said Fournier, who topped the 20-point mark for the third time in his last five games. "We have to play the same way for 48 minutes."

The Magic jumped out to a 16-2 lead in the first four minutes while the Jazz missed eight of their first nine shots and turned the ball over four times.

They stretched their advantage to 22 points early in the second quarter and were up by as many as 23 in the fourth before the Jazz got within seven points in the closing minutes.

Gordon Hayward and Trey Burke each scored 16 points for the Jazz. Hayward was their only starter to make a field goal in the first half.

"We had some good looks. We just missed shots," Jazz coach Quin Snyder said of a first quarter which ended with his team down 33-15. "And they were obviously hot. We were on fumes. To be honest with you, to be down 20 in the first quarter and to come back and fight back and fight back - the game could have easily got out of hand. The team showed a lot of pride."

Despite being without Victor Oladipo, the Magic started strong against a team playing the second game of a road back-to-back. Fournier had 13 of his points by halftime.

Harris' 3-point field goal with 7:25 remaining extended the Magic's lead to 94-71 and prompted coach Scott Skiles to clear his bench. But the Jazz went on an 11-2 run, primarily with their reserves. An irate Skiles brought Fournier, Harris, Nik Vucevic and Elfrid Payton back in with 2:52 to go.

The Jazz made it a 97-90 game on a 3-pointer by Joe Ingles with 1:10 remaining before three free throws by Payton and a jump shot by Vucevic gave the Magic more breathing room.

"We have to find a way to do a better job closing out games," Payton said. "We do a good job building up to it, but we still got to work on finishing it."

The Magic finished 28-of-31 from the line to help offset 22 turnovers and a 12-of-32 shooting performance inside the paint.


Magic: Skiles said before the game he hadn't spoken to Oladipo since the third-year guard was diagnosed with concussion-like symptoms Wednesday night against the Los Angeles Lakers. Fournier, who opened at small forward in their first eight games, was moved to Oladipo's customary starting spot. ... Forward Channing Frye made his first start while Vucevic was back at center in place of Dewayne Dedmon. ... Will honor Hedo Turkoglu, who announced his retirement Friday, during a ceremony at their Dec. 18 home game against Portland. Turkoglu played 497 regular-season games with the Magic over eight seasons and helped them reach the NBA Finals in 2009.

Jazz: Played without two of their usual starters in center Rudy Gobert (sprained left ankle) and guard Rodney Hood (right foot soreness). Alec Burks made his first start of the season in place of Hood and missed his first seven shots before hitting a 3-pointer in the third quarter.... While they entered ranked first in fewest points allowed per game (90.0), they gave up 118 points Tuesday night at Cleveland and 92 Thursday night at Miami, with both opponents shooting at or close to 50 percent from the floor.


Derrick Favors, who had 25 points and 12 rebounds against the Heat, was whistled for two fouls in the opening 3:55 and never fully recovered. He finished with only five points and seven rebounds in 19 minutes.


Payton bounced back from a 1-of-13 shooting effort against the Lakers to finish with 14 points, including a pair of 3-pointers. A 55.1 percent free-throw shooter last season as a rookie, Payton went 8 of 10 from the line.

UP NEXT: The Magic are at Washington on Saturday night.

The Jazz visit Atlanta on Sunday.

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