SALT LAKE CITY — Of Marvin Williams' five total rebounds in the game, one stood out a little more than the rest.
It was the last one — the one the Jazz forward pulled down on the defensive end of the floor after a missed Orlando Magic free throw with just 12.5 seconds left on the clock — that turned the momentum by setting the game-winning sequence in motion.
Williams grabbed the basketball and outleted it to Gordon Hayward, who drove the length of the court, wrapped under the basket, and found Trey Burke standing all alone in the corner.
Burke stepped into the pass and then drained the baseline 3-pointer, lifting the Utah Jazz to an 89-88 victory over the Orlando Magic at EnergySolutions Arena Saturday night.
Derrick Favors deflected an inbounds attempt on the other end of the floor and the game was over.
"The ball went in the hole," Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said when asked if the play was exactly what he had drawn up. "The ball went in the hole."
The Jazz took over early in the game, pulling ahead by 11 in the first quarter and then by 14 in the second quarter, behind terrific shooting by Richard Jefferson. By the end of the opening period, the veteran forward had already recorded 17 points, just five shy of his season-best 22 points, and was perfect from both the 3-point line (4 for 4) and foul line (3 for 3).
However, Jefferson's shooting quickly cooled off — he finished short of his season-best with 21 points — and the Jazz ultimately followed suit, squandering the double-digit leads with almost no time left to recover. After the home team pushed its lead back to 10 points, 71-61, with 10 minutes remaining, the Magic posted a 13-3 run to tie the score at 74-74.
Orlando took its first lead of the game, 77-76, with 3:13 left on the game clock, and the Jazz and Magic traded the lead three more times as Utah extended the game with fouls in the final minutes before Burke put the Jazz ahead for good.
"We were down two and Coach wanted us to get a quick two," Burke said of the final sequence. "Gordon drove on the baseline and found me in the corner. (Victor) Oladipo closed in hard, and I just tried to get the ball in there as much as possible — and it dropped."
Corbin was pleased how his young team responded down the stretch.
"After putting ourselves in that position, I thought the guys did a good job to close the game out," he said. "They understood the pace we had to come down with. ... It's great to see the young guys show a lot of character in that position. It could have fell apart when we got down, but they didn't. They played it out."5 comments on this story
Along with his game-high 21 points, Jefferson added three rebounds and two assists. Six of the eight Jazz players who touched the court finished with double figures, including Burke, who had 17 points with four assists, and Hayward, who added 14 points with six assists. Favors and Enes Kanter each posted double-doubles, with 11 points and 12 rebounds for the former and 11 points and 11 boards for the latter.
The Jazz did miss Alec Burks' presence, however, as he missed his first game of the season with a sprained ankle.
Four players reached double digits for the Magic, who were led by Oladipo's 19 points in the loss.
Sarah Thomas earned a degree in Mathematics from the University of Utah and is currently pursuing an MBA at Westminster College. She has been covering sports for the Deseret News since 2008.