Salem Radio Network News Friday, January 27, 2023

Sports

Lauri Markkanen scores 28 points, Jazz beat Magic 112-108

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Lauri Markkanen scored 28 points and blocked Franz Wagner’s 3-pointer in the closing moments to power the Utah Jazz past the Orlando Magic, 112-108 on Friday night.

Jordan Clarkson, who had 23 points, scored the go-ahead layup, and rookie Walker Kessler made two free throws after rebounding Collin Sexton’s second of two missed free throws with 11.8 seconds to play.

Markkanen switched onto Wagner beyond the 3-point line and blocked the attempt to tie just as the shot left Wagner’s hand.

Wagner, who scored 26 points, matched a career best of five 3-pointers, including an off-balance 28-foot runner to beat the third-quarter buzzer.

The Magic erased a 12-point fourth quarter lead with a 19-6 run that was capped by Markelle Fultz’s layup with 42.1 seconds to play that made it 108-107 for Orlando.

Remarkably, Markkanen led the game in scoring despite not having a single field goal after the first quarter.

Facing strong closeouts, Markkanen often took the ball to the basket and the Magic — without much rim protection — were forced to foul. The 7-foot Finnish star set career highs on both free throws made (17) and attempted (21).

Before this season, Markkanen only had five games where he shot more than 10 free throws. The aggressive Markkanen has shot double-digit free throws five times in his last seven games.

Paolo Banchero and Wendell Carter, Jr. each had 19 points for the Magic. They are gone 2-2 on a five-game Western trip.

Sexton returned to the Utah lineup after missing the past five games with a hamstring strain to score 18 points, while Kessler had 13 points, nine rebounds and a career-high seven blocked shots.

The Jazz won back-to-back games for the first time in ten starts.

TIP-INS

Magic: Gary Harris left with a right hand injury. … The Magic went 10 for 16 from the line, lower numbers than Markkanen by himself. … Fultz had six assists and has 34 over his last five games.

Jazz: Regular starters Kelly Olynyk (ankle) and Mike Conley (rest) sat out. … The Jazz missed 14 straight 3-point attempts from the first to third quarter. … Clarkson has drawn flagrant fouls in consecutive games on fourth-quarter 3-point jumpers.

UP NEXT

Magic: At Denver on Sunday night.

Jazz: Host Philadelphia on Saturday night.

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AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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