SALT LAKE CITY — Jameer Nelson missed his second game in a row when the Orlando Magic faced the Utah Jazz at EnergySolutions Arena on Saturday night.
The veteran point guard continues to have a sore left knee.
Jacque Vaughn said Nelson was kept out of Saturday's game to give Nelson a chance to play Sunday night against the Los Angeles Lakers.
With Nelson out, the Magic employed a starting lineup of Victor Oladipo, Arron Afflalo, Maurice Harkless, Kyle O'Quinn and Nik Vucevic.
O'Quinn the starter
O'Quinn has started seven consecutive games, all at power forward.
"I'm not completely locked-in that that's [how] we're going to finish out the rest of the year," Vaughn said. "I think the biggest part of it was challenging him to kind of grow his game, playing against starting 4s on a nightly basis and being able to adjust to shooting 4s, guys who rebound the basketball, who space the floor, who run maybe faster than him at times.
"I think overall it's expanded his game and the appreciation of some of the things he can do on the floor."
In his first six starts, O'Quinn played 23.5 minutes per game. He averaged 8.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 2.2 turnovers per game in that span.
The Magic's trip to this corner of Utah served as a homecoming of sorts for reserve point guard Ronnie Price.
Price hails from suburban Houston and began his college career at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, La. But after his freshman year, he decided to transfer to Utah Valley State College to play for coach Dick Hunsaker. (The school, which is located about 40 miles southeast of Salt Lake City, is now called Utah Valley University.)
The move from the Southeast to Utah required a leap of faith.
"I'd never been to Utah and didn't know anything about Utah," Price said. "Once I got out here, it was a big culture shock. But I adapted quickly."
Price adapted so quickly — and so well — that he signed a free-agent deal with the Jazz after his second NBA season. He remained with the Jazz for four seasons, and he now lives in the Salt Lake City area during the offseason.
"It's always fun to come back and see the workers throughout the arena and see some of the old fans and season-ticket holders," Price said. "It's always good to see those faces, so I enjoy it. My family gets a chance to come to the game, and my close friends that still live out here get a chance to come to the game and see me play in a different jersey than what they're used to."
Words of advice
Vaughn spoke with Vucevic after Vucevic was ejected from the Magic's loss Wednesday in Phoenix for committing two technical fouls in the first quarter.
Vaughn recalled: "My conversation with him was, 'We need you on the floor. There's a lot of times where emotions can get the best of us. But at the end of the day, your teammates need you on the floor.' "
On Saturday, the Jazz honored their 1983-84 team, which was the first team in franchise history to reach the playoffs. The returnees included former players Mark Eaton, Darrell Griffith, Thurl Bailey and former general manager and coach Frank Layden.
Layden said Pittsburgh Steelers officials once called him to ask what the Jazz's secret was. Layden said he also conversed with officials from the Los Angeles Dodgers and Dallas Cowboys.
"We won more games in the next five years per dollar spent than any team in any professional sport," Layden said. "We were ahead of Moneyball."
What was their secret?
"You don't have to have the best players to win," Layden said. "But you've got to have the best people working as a unit to win."
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