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ORLANDO — The Utah Jazz are officially on a winning streak.
The Jazz finished 2-0 on the Florida swing of the pre-Christmas road trip, courtesy of a 101-94 win over the Orlando Magic. Utah is on a two-game winning streak heading into a Sunday matchup with Memphis.
There were three important instant observations after the win.
It’s always important to get off to an early start, but especially for the Jazz. Utah held a 29-17 lead after the first quarter and would never trail again throughout the remainder of the game. During a prolonged losing streak, opponents would routinely outscore the Jazz. That simply hasn’t been a problem the last two games.
Utah outscored Orlando 48-38 in the paint and made seven more free throws than the Magic even attempted. In the Jazz glory days, Karl Malone was such an offensive threat because teams either couldn’t stop him from scoring, or they couldn’t keep from fouling him. That scenario leads to wins, and it helped Utah against the Magic.
The two biggest names, the two biggest contracts, the biggest scorers — this is how Jazz fans want to see their stars perform. Derrick Favors and Gordon Hayward combined for 43 points as Favors also grabbed 10 rebounds.