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Malone efficient, Kirienko active as Jazz rout Raptors

12/31/2002

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) --Karl Malone provided the points for the
Utah Jazz. Andrei Kirilenko provided the energy.

Kirilenko, in his second season from Russia, scored 20 points
and blocked five shots as the Jazz beat Toronto 107-85, the
Raptors' seventh straight loss.

"I love creating excitement in any way I can,'' said Kirilenko,
who also had three steals. He had a career-high six blocks in
Utah's last game against Philadelphia.

"Andrei played with a lot of energy. He's definitely a unique
player and gives us a lot of punch off the bench,'' said Matt
Harpring, who scored 11 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.

Malone led Utah, which won for the fifth time in six games, with
24 points in just 28 minutes.

With Utah trailing 26-24 early in the second quarter, Kirilenko
came in and scored seven points in a 16-2 Utah run to put the Jazz
up 40-28. Morris Peterson and Voshon Lenard led the Raptors with 18
points each, mainly on perimeter jump shots.

"We can't rely strictly on the outside game,'' Toronto coach
Lenny Wilkens said.

Kirilenko made both of his 3-point shots as the Jazz made
7-of-10 from beyond the 3-point arc. He had 14 points and three
blocks in the second quarter alone as the Jazz took a 53-38 lead
into halftime.

"Five blocks (may have prevented) 10 points. That's the key.
I'm just trying to be useful for the team,'' Kirilenko said.

Near the end of the third quarter, he forced Lindsay Hunter into
shooting an airball at the end of the shot clock. Hunter was so
frustrated he drew a technical foul. Moments later, Kirilenko stole
the ball from Hunter in the backcourt and dunked it for a 81-65
lead at the end of the third quarter.

"Andrei's hustle gets him into every play. He's so athletic
that he's making guys look over their shoulder,'' said Tony
Massenburg, who tied his season high of 11 points.

Toronto has lost 11 of its last 12 games and fell to 0-4 on
their five game road trip. The Raptors dressed 11 players as Vince
Carter and Antonio Davis did not travel due to sore right knees.

Game notes
The Jazz, who lead the league in field goal percentage,
shot 54 percent and improved to 10-1 when making more than half
their shots. ... The Raptors had three shot clock violations in the
first half. ... Five technical fouls were assessed on Toronto,
including two for defensive 3 seconds and one on assistant coach
Craig Neal. ... John Stockton played a season-low 16 minutes as the
Jazz led by as many as 25 points in the fourth quarter. ... Utah's
bench outscored Toronto's reserves 55-17. "We just ran out of
gas,'' Toronto coach Lenny Wilkens said. "But four games in five
nights really hurt us as our bench didn't have it.''