7:00 PM ET, December 2, 2002
EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake City, UT
The league's oldest player looked young again Monday night as Stockton and his Utah teammates held Miller scoreless for the first time since 1989 in a 102-91 victory over the Indiana Pacers.
The 40-year-old Stockton scored a season-high 22 points and had 10 assists and four steals as the Jazz won for the seventh time in eight games and snapped Indiana's four-game winning streak.
''It was the Stockton of old -- he was fun,'' said Matt Harpring, who added 15 points and nine rebounds for the Jazz. ''It's amazing he can still do that at age 40.''
Stockton typically shrugged off his performance and the Jazz's recent success. With the three-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers coming to town Wednesday, he didn't feel like celebrating.
''It was a nice plus,'' he said. ''I don't think this game says anything. That's one game. We've got an excellent team coming in here Wednesday.''
The crowd of 17,744 got a double bonus Monday with a Jazz win and a chance to relentlessly taunt Miller.
Miller, who usually thrives on the jeers and was coming off a 20-point game in a win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday, was 0-for-3 from the field and the line in 26 minutes.
The last time Miller failed to score, he played just one minute in a game at Washington on March 25, 1989 _ Stockton's fifth season in the league and Miller's second. Miller hadn't been shut out in a game in which he played more than 10 minutes since the 1988 season in a game at Phoenix.
''There were a lot of 'I can't remembers' tonight,'' said Miller, who played in his fifth game since returning from an ankle bruise. Pacers coach Isiah Thomas said the layoff was bound to show some time for the 37-year-old.
''It's his fourth game in five nights,'' Thomas said. ''You know, when you're that age and you come to do it every night, some nights it's just not there.''
Utah took the lead with a 12-0 run that bridged the second and third quarters. Karl Malone finished with 21 points and Andrei Kirilenko scored 13 for Utah, which opened a three-game homestand with a win.
The Pacers shot 36-for-79 from the field, but just 16-for-24 from the line.
Miller was clearly frustrated in the third quarter. After missing two free throws, he was whistled for fouling Stockton. Miller didn't like the call and tried to swat the ball from Stockton's hand, drawing a technical.
Stockton made the free throw to give the Jazz a 68-55 lead. Stockton was 11-for-11 from the line and finished with a season-high point total, topping the 17 he scored Nov. 14 at Washington.
The Pacers used an 8-0 run to cut their deficit to 70-65, but never caught the Jazz.
O'Neal made a 20-foot jumper with about two minutes remaining to get the Pacers within 93-89. But Harpring grabbed a rebound of his own miss and spun for a hook that drew the loudest roar of the night as the Jazz took a six-point lead.
The crowd got even louder with 59 seconds left when Kirilenko hit a short jumper off a rebound and was fouled. He missed the free throw, but the Jazz had control of the game.
Harpring and Stockton started Utah's 12-0 run late in the second quarter with consecutive 3-pointers, giving the Jazz a 53-50 halftime lead.
The Jazz held the Pacers scoreless until 9:02 of the third quarter when Brad Miller hit a jumper. He finished with 11 points.
Malone entered the game with 35,000 career points, putting him 3,387 behind all-time leader Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. ... Utah's Mark Jackson faced the Pacers, one of the six NBA teams he's played with, for the first time as a member of the Jazz. ... The Jazz led nearly all of the first quarter until Jeff Foster's jump shot with 29 seconds left gave the Pacers a 25-24 lead. Jackson answered with a 3-pointer, then Foster's tip-in at the buzzer tied it at 27-all. ... It took three attempts to get the second half under way. The game clock didn't start on the first two tries.
Team Stat Comparison
|FGM-FGA||36-79 (.456)||35-75 (.467)|
|3PM-3PA||3-9 (.333)||4-13 (.308)|
|FTM-FTA||16-24 (.667)||28-33 (.848)|
|Fast Break Points||4||4|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||26 (6/1)||24 (2/0)|