Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series starts 11/29

Game 1: Friday, November 29th
Game 2: Saturday, January 4th
Game 3: Monday, February 17th
Game 4: Wednesday, February 26th

Jazz 105


    Coverage: KJZZ

    7:00 PM ET, January 4, 2003

    Target Center, Minneapolis, MN

    1 2 3 4 T
    UTAH 25 25 34 21105
    MIN 38 18 13 2897

    Top Performers

    Utah: K. Malone 33 Pts, 9 Reb, 4 Ast, 2 Stl

    Minnesota: K. Garnett 26 Pts, 14 Reb, 4 Ast, 4 Blk

    Malone scores 33 as Jazz win fourth straight

    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The Utah Jazz proved a couple of things Saturday night: Karl Malone can still score, and superb free-throwing doesn't hurt, either.

    Karl Malone

    Malone had 19 of his season-high 33 points in the third quarter Saturday night, propelling the Jazz to their fourth straight win, 105-97 over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

    "I think they like each other,'' Utah coach Jerry Sloan said, assessing his club's chemistry. "Moreso than any other team we've had the last couple years. That gives you a chance. I don't care what you're doing.''

    Matt Harpring had 17 points and eight rebounds and reserves Andrei Kirilenko (15 points) and Tony Massenburg (12 points) also made big contributions for Utah, which made 31 of its 32 foul shots.

    Kevin Garnett, as usual, led the Wolves with 26 points and 14 rebounds, but went just 2-for-9 from the free-throw line. The Wolves finished 9-for-18 from the line.

    Harpring began guarding Garnett in the second half, and Minnesota's All-Star started rushing things.

    "I told the team this one's my fault,'' Garnett said. "I should've slowed down a little bit.''

    For the second night in a row, the Jazz owned the third quarter.

    They used a 41-point third period Friday to beat the Bucks 118-115, and they took a 16-point lead during Malone's hot streak against Minnesota.

    The Mailman wasn't the only old guy playing well. Point guards John Stockton and Mark Jackson, occasionally on the floor together, combined for 21 assists and zero turnovers.

    "The guys are making the game simple,'' Malone said.

    The camaraderie helps, too.

    "We've got a good team,'' Harpring said, "and I think the locker room is where it starts.''

    Troy Hudson had 17 points and Rasho Nesterovic added 15 for Minnesota. Hudson capped a 12-0 run with a 3-pointer to cut Utah's lead to 87-85 with 6:25 remaining, but that was as close as Minnesota came the rest of the way.

    "We've got to sustain our concentration,'' Timberwolves guard Kendall Gill said. "If we don't, then what happened to us in the third quarter will happen to us a lot.''

    Games against division rival Utah are important for Minnesota's playoff chances -- and vice versa -- since both clubs are among a throng of Western Conference teams vying for seed Nos. 3-8 with Dallas and Sacramento separating themselves from the rest of the pack.

    The Wolves, who lost 95-77 in Salt Lake City in November when Harpring came up with 33 points and nine rebounds, used a 15-2 run to take a 38-25 lead at the end of the first quarter. It was their highest-scoring period of the season.

    But Utah slowly climbed back in the second quarter.

    John Amaechi -- suspended for Friday's game at Milwaukee for cutting short a workout on the exercise bike -- had all of his nine points in the period and Malone hit a fade-away jumper with 20.7 seconds left before halftime to cut Minnesota's lead to 56-50.

    Utah took its first lead on a backdoor layup by Harpring with 10:16 left in the third quarter, and Malone stayed hot -- outscoring the Timberwolves 19-13 in the period. Minnesota missed its first eight shots after halftime and turned the ball over five times in the third.

    "If you relax against them, if you don't get help where you're supposed to get help, they'll slice you up,'' Timberwolves coach Flip Saunders said. "For a six- or seven-minute stretch in the third quarter, we got sliced up. And that was the ballgame.''

    Game notes

    Timberwolves center Loren Woods served the first of his two-game suspension for conduct detrimental to the team. He's not allowed at the arena during the suspension, and staying home is probably his best option. "A few years ago, we suspended J.R. Rider and two days later I found out he was dancing at an establishment,'' Saunders said. ... Amaechi was suspended for a game last season for an argument with coach Jerry Sloan. ... The 15-point first-quarter advantage was Minnesota's biggest blown lead of the season.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 105 97
    FGM-FGA 36-79 (.456) 42-87 (.483)
    3PM-3PA 2-7 (.286) 4-11 (.364)
    FTM-FTA 31-32 (.969) 9-18 (.500)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 12-42 10-38
    Assists 30 33
    Turnovers 11 9
    Steals 5 7
    Blocks 1 7
    Fast Break Points 3 6
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 17 (2/0) 24 (0/1)

    Top Performers

    Karl Malone Malone
    Points: 33
    Reb: 9
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Kevin Garnett Garnett
    Points: 26
    Reb: 14
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 4