Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series starts 11/19

Game 1: Tuesday, November 19th
Game 2: Wednesday, January 8th
Game 3: Sunday, January 12th
Game 4: Wednesday, March 19th

Suns 93

(22-14, 7-11 away)

Jazz 99


    7:00 PM ET, January 8, 2003

    EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake City, UT

    1 2 3 4 T
    PHX 23 25 30 1593
    UTAH 26 18 31 2499

    Top Performers

    PHX: S. Marbury 29 Pts, 1 Reb, 10 Ast, 1 Stl

    UTAH: M. Harpring 22 Pts, 11 Reb, 1 Ast, 3 Stl

    Jackson: 'It's just an incredible feeling'

    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Matt Harpring didn't realize his mid-range jump shot made history.

    Top 10 all-time assists leaders *--active players
    * John Stockton 15,434
    Magic Johnson 10,141
    * Mark Jackson 10,002
    Oscar Robertson 9,887
    Isiah Thomas 9,061
    * Rod Strickland 7,624
    Maurice Cheeks 7,392
    * Gary Payton 7,245
    Lenny Wilkens 7,211
    Terry Porter 7,160

    It came off a pass from Mark Jackson, who became just the third NBA player to reach 10,000 career assists.

    "When I hit it I heard the crowd going crazy and I was like, 'Wow, that was a sweet jumper. They must have liked that one,'" said Harpring, who had 22 points and 11 rebounds in the Utah Jazz's 99-93 win over the Phoenix Suns. "I had no clue."

    The Delta Center crowd of 19,820 certainly did and saluted Jackson, who joined career assists leader and teammate John Stockton and Magic Johnson on the short list of players with 10,000.

    The cheers grew to a standing ovation by the next stoppage as Jackson stood at mid-court and raised his fist to acknowledge the crowd.

    "It's only happened to two other guys in the history of the game. It's just an incredible feeling," said Jackson, who had five assists Wednesday and is at 10,002 for his career. "It made me feel really good to do it here because of the way they showed they appreciated it."

    The play got the Jazz got to 76-73 with about a minute left in the third quarter and highlighted the Jazz's comeback from an 11-point deficit to win their eighth out of their last 10 games.

    Karl Malone scored 24 points and Andrei Kirilenko added 14 points for the Jazz. Stockton finished with nine assists and still is comfortably ahead of the pack with 15,434 for his career.

    While Jackson won't surpass Stockton, he should catch Johnson's total of 10,141 before the season is over.

    "To be in a class with two other guys, it's just unbelievable," Jackson said. "It is. I just sat there and thought about it."

    Stephon Marbury had 29 points and 10 assists to lead the Suns, who went 1-2 on a brief road trip and were playing their second game in two nights.

    "We did have our chances. It was a really good game tonight but they made their plays and we didn't," Marbury said. "I don't think we were tired. We just didn't execute when we needed to."

    Shawn Marion scored 25, going 10-for-15 from the floor, including 4-for-6 on 3-pointers. Phoenix shot 49.3 percent (34-for-69) but was outrebounded 47-26 while losing its fourth straight to Utah. The Jazz and Suns play again Sunday in Phoenix.

    After Jackson's standing ovation, Utah's comeback continued and the Jazz tied the game at 81-all on a 3-pointer by Scott Padgett. Then on their next possession took a lead they never relinquished on Padgett's three-point play.

    "I'm probably the last option out there, so you've got to find a way," said Padgett, who had eight points.

    After falling behind by eight in the fourth quarter, the Suns had one final chance after Marbury hit a jumper as he leaped across the lane to get Phoenix to 95-93 with 29 seconds left. Padgett went 2-for-2 from the line with 9.2 seconds left and Malone added two more free throws to clinch it.

    Amare Stoudemire scored 13 and Scott Williams finished with 10 points for the Suns, whose reserves were outscored 32-10.

    "Last night we went to our bench and our bench pulled through. Tonight just wasn't our night," Phoenix coach Frank Williams said. "Not that I really gave them a lot of opportunities, but I'd like at least maybe a little bit more out of our bench."

    Game notes
    The Suns were 19-for-37 (51.4 percent) in the first half. ... Williams suffered a mild concussion Tuesday in a win over Portland, but was back in the starting lineup Wednesday. ... After falling behind 13-4 to open the game, the Jazz used a 14-2 run to pull ahead and led 26-23 after the first quarter. ... Utah is averaging exactly 99 points against Phoenix this season. The Jazz won the season opener 99-76 Nov. 19 at the Delta Center.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 93 99
    FGM-FGA 34-69 (.493) 36-74 (.486)
    3PM-3PA 6-19 (.316) 3-10 (.300)
    FTM-FTA 19-24 (.792) 24-28 (.857)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 7-26 17-47
    Assists 17 26
    Turnovers 12 16
    Steals 11 8
    Blocks 4 4
    Fast Break Points 5 2
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 24 (1/0) 19 (2/0)

    Top Performers

    Stephon Marbury Marbury
    Points: 29
    Reb: 1
    Ast: 10
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0
    Matt Harpring Harpring
    Points: 22
    Reb: 11
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 3
    Blk: 0