Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series starts 12/27

Game 1: Friday, December 27th
Trail Blazers103
Game 2: Wednesday, January 29th
Trail Blazers71Final
Game 3: Wednesday, March 26th
Trail Blazers85Final
Game 4: Thursday, April 3rd
Trail Blazers88

Trail Blazers 71

(28-16, 15-10 away)

Jazz 95


    Coverage: FSRM

    7:00 PM ET, January 29, 2003

    EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake City, UT

    1 2 3 4 T
    POR 20 27 15 971
    UTAH 17 20 29 2995

    Top Performers

    Por: D. Davis 9 Pts, 14 Reb, 2 Ast

    UTAH: K. Malone 20 Pts, 11 Reb, 8 Ast, 3 Stl

    Portland's five-game winning streak ends

    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The Utah Jazz didn't need Jerry Sloan to tell them what they needed to do after going into halftime down 10 points to Portland.

     Karl Malone

    Playing their first of seven straight games without the suspended coach, Utah rallied after a dismal start and held the Trail Blazers to five field goals in the second half of a 95-71 win Wednesday night.

    "We were a step and a half slow in the first half and they were hitting everything," said Karl Malone, who had 20 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Jazz. "But then all of a sudden we really got after it on the defensive end and got aggressive."

    Matt Harpring finished with 21 points, including nine in the third quarter as the Jazz ended Portland's five-game winning streak. John Stockton added 13 points and seven assists for the Jazz, who won hours after learning Sloan was suspended for pushing an official during Tuesday's win at Sacramento.

    Several Jazz players felt Sloan's punishment was excessive because they feel he was provoked.

    "I think it's ridiculous," Malone said. "You know Coach Sloan. If you have any fight in you, if you're a man, if you're a competitor and somebody puts you in the corner, you feel like you've been challenged. It's unfortunate, but I am sure he wants us to just play hard."

    Assistant Phil Johnson, who took over for Sloan on Tuesday, got his second win in as many nights. Johnson has been on Sloan's staff for 15 years, so the Jazz didn't have much of a different look Wednesday night.

    "We have some guys that want to win -- bottom line. And when that happens, you don't really have to say a lot," said Johnson, who had two stints as coach of the Kings before joining Sloan. '"This might be a team you are battling for a spot in the playoffs, just as last night. Really, that is what this is about."

    It didn't look good for Johnson early after Utah shot just 35 percent (16-for-46) in the first half. But after halftime the Jazz started hitting their shots and tightened up on defense. After Derek Anderson opened the second half with back-to-back 3-pointers, Portland went just 3-for-31 from the field the rest of the way.

    The Trail Blazers also committed 10 of their 16 turnovers in the second half.

    "Our energy level was down. We tried to push the ball up the court, get some quick shots, but we couldn't do that," Portland coach Maurice Cheeks said. "They ran the ball back at us and they got a lot of easy baskets."

    Zach Randolph led Portland with 15 points and Jeff McInnis scored 11 for the Blazers. Bonzi Wells, who averages 16.5 points for Portland, scored six Wednesday, including two in the second half.

    "We had nothing left in our tank. I know I didn't have anything in my tank," Wells said. "I wish I could have given Mo Cheeks a better effort, but it was just a tough one for us today."

    Both teams had a game the night before and got off to poor starts, but Portland shook it off while taking a 47-37 lead at halftime.

    The Blazers looked good early in the third quarter on Anderson's consecutive 3-pointers, but they couldn't shake the Jazz. Stockton answered one of the shots with a three-point play and Harpring the other with a 3-pointer that started a 13-point Jazz run. Harpring tied it at 53 on a layup off a no-look pass from Stockton to finish a three-on-two break, then Calbert Cheaney gave the Jazz the lead with another short jumper.

    The Jazz outscored the Trail Blazers 29-15 in the quarter and led 66-62 entering the fourth. Utah didn't let up and opened the final period on a 14-3 run, capped by Tony Massenburg's thundering dunk that put the Jazz up 80-65 with 5:39 left to play.

    The Jazz were 25-for-38 from the floor in the second half.

    Game notes
    Sloan can return to the bench when the Jazz host the Bulls on Feb. 14. ... Portland was playing its final game of Rasheed Wallace's seven-game suspension. Wallace, suspended Jan. 18 for a confrontation with an official after a game, is eligible to return Friday night when the Blazers play the Bulls. ... After losing three straight, the Jazz have won two in a row. ... Both teams opened the game 4-for-15 from the floor.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 71 95
    FGM-FGA 25-77 (.325) 41-84 (.488)
    3PM-3PA 2-14 (.143) 2-7 (.286)
    FTM-FTA 19-25 (.760) 11-16 (.688)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 18-47 10-38
    Assists 15 32
    Turnovers 18 8
    Steals 3 9
    Blocks 2 6
    Fast Break Points 4 6
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 21 (2/1) 22 (1/0)

    Top Performers

    Dale Davis Davis
    Points: 9
    Reb: 14
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0
    Karl Malone Malone
    Points: 20
    Reb: 11
    Ast: 8
    Stl: 3
    Blk: 0