SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Cuttino Mobley and Steve Francis have been
playing basketball with each other long enough to know how to put
away a team.
Francis found Mobley for a decisive 3-pointer with about 22
seconds remaining and the Orlando Magic held off Utah 106-100 on
Wednesday night, giving the Jazz their longest losing streak in
nearly five years.
"Steve and I have been playing together for six years now, so
we know where each other is at -- especially in the fourth
quarter," said Mobley, who scored 26 points and made seven of nine
"In the fourth quarter, that's when we boogie."
Mobley and Francis, who came over together from Houston in the
Tracy McGrady deal last summer, actually had a pretty good boogie
going in the third quarter, too. Mobley made five 3-pointers and
Francis added another as the Magic made six of seven from beyond
Orlando took control in the third and held off a late push by
the Jazz, who lost their sixth straight for the first time since
"We really have a difficult time when things get tough for
us," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said. "It's almost a defeatist
attitude, but you have to stay with it."
Francis finished with 20 points, Grant Hill scored 18 and Dwight
Howard had 17 points and 11 rebounds on his 19th birthday to help
the Magic improve to 1-1 on a six-game road trip.
"The good thing about this team is that you have so many
weapons, so many guys that are capable," Hill said. "On this
team, you've got guys fighting each other for the last shots and
that's a good thing."
Carlos Boozer led the Jazz with 29 points and 12 rebounds and
all five Utah starters scored in double figures, but Orlando's Hedo
Turkoglu outscored the Jazz bench by himself 17-16.
Utah led most of the first half and was up 57-55 at halftime,
but the Magic shut down the Jazz inside in the second half while
hitting nearly everything they put up from outside. Mobley made
five 3-pointers in the third and Francis added the other and the
Magic took an 86-83 lead into the final period.
Utah tied it twice early in the fourth, but was never able to
regain the lead despite a late push that brought the small crowd to
a deafening roar.
Mehmet Okur hit a 3-pointer to get the Jazz to 99-98, then
pulled down a rebound off a missed layup by Dwight Howard to give
Utah a chance at a lead. But the Jazz turned the ball over and
Francis used up a few seconds at the top of the key before driving
inside and kicking out a pass to Mobley, who hit the 3 from the
corner to put Orlando up 102-98 with 22 seconds left.
Boozer got it back to two points and the Jazz fouled Turkoglu,
who made both free throws with 18.4 seconds left. Arroyo rushed a
3-point attempt that bounced off the rim. The Jazz got the rebound,
but Snyder missed another 3.
Matt Harpring scored 16, Okur finished with 15 points and seven
rebounds and Carlos Arroyo added 14 points and nine assists. Raja
Bell finished with 10 points, but rookie Kris Humphries was Utah's
leading scorer off the bench with just seven points.
"Who's going to fight through it now is going to tell us a lot
about our future," Sloan said.