Strong Jazz Effort Falls Short Against Magic

Feb 29, 2024, 8:25 PM | Updated: Mar 1, 2024, 2:08 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Jazz played one of their better games since the trade deadline but came up short against the Orlando Magic 115-107.

Three Jazz players scored 19 points, while the Magic were led by Paolo Banchero with 29.

With the loss, the Jazz fell to 27-33 on the season.

Vets Poor Shooting Sinks Jazz Against Magic

Though the Jazz shot well as a team, connecting on 42 percent of their field goals including 43 percent of their threes, and 23-28 free throws, the poor shooting from Lauri Markkanen and Jordan Clarkson was difficult to overcome.

Markkanen shot 4-7 from downtown, but made just 2-8 inside the arc, and missed three of his four attempts at the rim.

“Lauri shot the ball well from three,” Jazz coach Will Hardy said. “But I think if you ask Lauri, he’s a little frustrated with some of his finishing, especially in the first half around the basket.

The Jazz star also struggled to affect the game elsewhere grabbing just three rebounds and failing to record an assist in 34 minutes.

Clarkson dished out seven assists and snared five rebounds, but shot just 2-10 from the floor and 1-5 from three, while failing to get to the free-throw line.

Markkanen is in the midst of an unusually cold shooting streak connecting on just 37 percent of his field goals over his last six games.

Clarkson meanwhile is shooting just 36 percent over his last eight outings after Thursday’s performance.

While the loss of Kelly Olynyk and Simone Fontecchio at the trade deadline has hurt the Jazz’s spacing, they simply need their veterans to shoot the ball better if they want to slow their losing ways.

Keyonte George Strong Game

Rookie Keyonte George snapped out of a two-game shooting slump, scoring 19 points on 5-12 shooting including 2-4 from three and 7-7 from the free-throw line.

The guard also dished out nine assists, his most in a game since matching his career high with 11 on December 6.

George entered the night with a tough matchup against a stellar defensive backcourt in Jalen Suggs and Gary Harris but found a way to score efficiently while turning the ball over only twice in 31 minutes.

His game was not without flaws, however.

Suggs sank three late three-pointers in the fourth quarter, including one on a broken defensive play after George went rogue in the final minute of the game.

“Keyonte is trying to make a play, and that’s just where he was on the floor, but I think in that moment as a team, we’ve got to do a better job of recognizing that being down four with 1:05 is a very winnable game,” Hardy said. “We just need to stay focused in that moment and execute what we want to do.”

It’s a good learning opportunity for George to recognize how well he helped the team through the first 47 minutes of the game, but made a critical mistake that hurt the Jazz late.

Jazz Standings Watch

After Thursday’s loss, teamed with a Golden State Warriors win, the Jazz fell a full five games back of the final Play-In Tournament spots in the West.

With just 22 games left in the season, it’s hard to see how the Jazz will overcome five games in the loss column to catch the Los Angeles Lakers for the tenth seed.

Leaguewide, the Jazz remain a half-game ahead of the Atlanta Hawks for the 10th-worst record in the NBA but fell 1.5 games back of the inactive Chicago Bulls who own the league’s 12th-worst record.

Utah Jazz Next Broadcast

The Jazz will face the Heat on Saturday at 3 pm MST in Miami. The game will be televised on KJZZ, streamed on Jazz+, and can be heard on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone.

Are you on Threads yet? Let’s connect, give us a follow 

Download the new & improved KSL Sports app from Utah’s sports leader. You can stream live radio, video and stay up to date on all of your favorite teams.

Ben Anderson is the Utah Jazz insider for KSL Sports and the co-host of Jake and Ben from 10-12p with Jake Scott on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone. Find Ben on Twitter at @BensHoops or on Instagram @BensHoops.

  • Utah Jazz Scoreboard

  • Utah Jazz Team Leaders

  • Utah Jazz Standings

Utah Jazz

Utah Jazz CEO Danny Ainge speaks...

Ben Anderson

Jazz Lose Draft Tiebreaker To Nuggets, Will Pick 29th

The Utah Jazz will own the 29th pick in the first round of the NBA Draft after a tiebreaker was held on Monday.

2 hours ago

Utah Jazz forward John Collins...

Ben Anderson

Rudy Gobert, John Collins Ranked Among NBA Most Overrated

Rudy Gobert and Utah Jazz forward John Collins are among the league's most overrated players according to a recent NBA poll.

4 hours ago


Michelle Bodkin

ESPN Sports Reporter Holly Rowe: Make The Big Time Where You Are

An intimate hundred or so people gathered at Red Butte Garden last Friday to hear ESPN reporter Holly Rowe talk about her legendary career.

7 hours ago

Kawhi Leonard #2 of the LA Clippers drives to the basket against Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mave...

Ben Anderson

NBA Playoffs Rooting Guide For Utah Jazz Fans

If you're a Utah Jazz fan wanting to watch the NBA playoffs, but don't know who to cheer for, this rooting guide is for you.

3 days ago

Jordan Clarkson #00 of the Utah Jazz...

Ben Anderson

Jordan Clarkson Wants NBA Title, Second Sixth-Man Trophy

Now the elder statesman of the Utah Jazz, Jordan Clarkson has a few to-dos left in the NBA before calling it a career.

3 days ago

Kenneth Lofton Jr. #34 of the Utah Jazz is guarded by Jonathan Kuminga #00 of the Golden State Warr...

Ben Anderson

Three Utah Jazz Players Earn G League Honors

Kenneth Lofton Jr., Jason Preston, and Darius Bazley all took home G League honors after signing with the Utah Jazz this season.

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles


KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.


KSL Sports

Jazz Notes Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the Jazz Notes newsletter. Get insider analysis, game recaps and opportunities to win tickets!

Follow @kslsports...

The Road Home Mediathon 2023

The KSL Sports Zone and KSLSports.com are proud to support the all-day Mediathon 2023 at the Road Home, an annual tradition to raise money and other essential items for the Road Home, a Homeless Shelter.

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.


KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.

Strong Jazz Effort Falls Short Against Magic