Jazz Lose Second in a Row

Jazz Lose Second in a Row



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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- Dwight Howard had 31 points and 15 rebounds, and the Orlando Magic ended a three-game losing streak with a 101-90 victory over the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night.

Howard also won the battle of the boards against Carlos Boozer, who is right behind the Magic star in the league rebounding statistics. Both are among the NBA's top four -- Howard third with 12 per game, Boozer tied for fourth with Charlotte's Emeka Okafor averaging 11.7.

Boozer had seven rebounds to go with 29 points, while Mehmet Okur had 21 points and 12 rebounds. Derek Fisher scored 13 points and Deron Williams had 14 points and had 11 assists. The Jazz fell to 21-4 when the second-year point guard hits double digits in assists.

Hedo Turkoglu chipped in 22 points and eight rebounds for Orlando, while Grand Hill scored 12 points.

The Magic opened a 15-point lead near the end of the third quarter on J.J. Redick's two free throws, while Utah shot just 8-for-22 in the period. Howard extended the lead to 89-68 with just under 9 minutes left on a dunk following two offensive rebounds off long jumpers.

The Magic nearly gave it away as Utah cut that lead to 92-88 with 2:46 left. Okur hit two 3-pointers, the second banked in, while Fisher added another.

Howard fended off the run with back-to-back layups that put the game back out of reach.

The Jazz had 10 turnovers in the game's first 15 minutes, and more in the first half (16) than they average in a game (15.6). They finished with 22 for 27 Magic points, while Orlando coughed it up 22 times for 15 Jazz points.

The loss was Utah's second in a row, a night after the Jazz blew a 14-point fourth-quarter lead against Miami to snap their six-game winning streak. The Jazz resume their four-game road trip Friday against the Philadelphia 76ers and Saturday at Cleveland.

Andrei Kirilenko left the game early in the third quarter with a left ankle sprain. The Jazz said X-rays were negative but he did not return, and for the second night in a row didn't score a first-half point. Kirilenko finished with two rebounds and two assists and did not attempt a shot.

The Magic led by eight after a Jazz dry spell in the first four minutes of the second quarter. Utah tied the game at 40 on Fisher's 3-pointer just before halftime and trailed by two at the break after Tony Battie's layup.

Notes: Orlando did not make a 3-pointer (0-for-9), while Utah shot 50 percent (6-of-12) from behind the arc. ... Battie played his first game since early last month after rehabilitating a fractured right thumb, and Magic G Keyon Dooling returned to the lineup after resting Monday against Charlotte with back and neck spasms. . ... The Magic have won six of their last eight at home against Utah.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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