Orlando Magic Grades: Orlando Magic 96, Utah Jazz 89

D.J. Augustin likely enters the season as the Orlando Magic's starting point guard. (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)
D.J. Augustin likely enters the season as the Orlando Magic's starting point guard. (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Orlando Magic overcame their offensive struggles and raced ahead in the fourth quarter to sweep their Mexico City games.

118. 96. 38. Final. 89

Aaron Gordon was having a terrible game.

Turnover after turnover — six of them to be precise — had sullied his game and made it difficult for him to find a rhythm. Let alone give the Orlando Magic any kind of rhythm. Early foul trouble — again, the turnovers — also did not help matters.

That likely could describe the entirety of the Orlando Magic’s game Saturday against the Utah Jazz in Mexico City.

All that frustration was bubbling and could have boiled over again. Except, for the second straight game, it did not. The team found the answers it needed, erasing a double-digit deficit from the first half and then building a lead of their own.

And in one final moment of brilliance, giving Aaron Gordon the opportunity to be a hero.

Evan Fournier worked a pick and roll with Nikola Vucevic with about a minute to go in the game and a five-point lead. The Jazz tried to trap him and he found Nikola Vucevic rolling through the lane. Utah slid over to stop him and Vucevic fed it to Gordon in the corner.


One definitive moment released a lot of pent up frustration as the Magic bench could exhale and celebrate — a little, it would not be a Magic game if they did not find a way to make things seem a bit harder.

Still, despite those early frustrations and the daze the team seemed to be in, Orlando returned home from Mexico City with a pair of wins on a 96-89 victory over Utah at Arena Ciudad de Mexico on Saturday.

The journey to get there was a long one.

In the first half, neither team could muster up any offense. The Magic and the Jazz combined for an abysmal 68 points in the first half. Neither could get it going offensively from the outset of the game. Evan Fournier scored 10 points, which was 71 percent of the Magic’s 14 points in the first quarter. The team committed 11 turnovers in the first quarter alone in an unusually sloppy effort.

The Magic scored just 55 points through three quarters.

Ultimately, Orlando’s players came up strong in the end. Terrence Ross provided a much-needed scoring boost in the fourth quarter. He scored nine points in the quarter and 19 for the game. Vucevic stepped up, made key buckets and dominated on the boards with 19 rebounds.

Orlando was resilient against Utah. The team came together to pull out a big win and finish its Mexico trip 2-0. The Orlando Magic displayed the poise of a playoff team against both the Utah Jazz and the Chicago Bulls.

<a href=. G/F. Orlando Magic. TERRENCE ROSS. A

NIKOLA VUCEVIC. B+. Although Nikola Vucevic had a down night offensively with only 15 points on 5-for-14 shooting from the field, he helped the Orlando Magic in all facets of the game.<p>His 19 rebounds tied <a rel=. C. Orlando Magic

PG. Orlando Magic. D.J. AUGUSTIN. B. <a rel=

B+. <a href=. G/F. Orlando Magic. EVAN FOURNIER

14-16. 13th West. UTAH JAZZ. C+. The Utah Jazz proved a tough defensive unit to crack. They are one of the best defensive teams in the league on most occasions. The Orlando Magic still found a way to shoot 47.2 percent. And their 41 points in the fourth quarter were a major boon to the team.<p>Utah did everything it could to slow Orlando down. The Jazz forced turnovers and worked for open shots early on in the game. The Magic were a bit slow defensively. But Utah never took advantage of this. Maybe it was the altitude — something Utah supposedly would be accustomed to.</p><p>The Jazz got good performances from <a rel=

D.J. Augustin playing past everyone's doubts. dark. Next

The Orlando Magic are next in action Wednesday back at the Amway Center against the San Antonio Spurs.