Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 11/14

Game 1: Thursday, November 14th
Game 2: Friday, February 14th

Wizards 77

(25-27, 8-17 away)

Jazz 109


    Coverage: KJZZ

    7:00 PM ET, February 14, 2003

    EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake City, UT

    1 2 3 4 T
    WSH 13 17 16 3177
    UTAH 26 32 26 25109

    Top Performers

    WSH: E. Thomas 12 Pts, 10 Reb, 1 Stl, 3 Blk

    UTAH: K. Malone 23 Pts, 11 Reb, 4 Ast, 4 Stl

    Malone lively while MJ can't buy a hoop

    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Karl Malone insisted his performance had nothing to do with playing against Michael Jordan.

     Karl Malone

    Malone had 23 points and 11 rebounds and the Utah Jazz got one final shot at their nemesis of the 1990s in a 109-77 victory over the Washington Wizards on Friday night.

    "Not too bad for an old man,'' said Malone, who punctuated his night with three dunks -- which don't come often from the 39-year-old Mailman.

    Andrei Kirilenko added 20 points and Matt Harpring scored 17 for the Jazz, who came back after their worst loss of the season with one of their most dominant games -- while welcoming coach Jerry Sloan back from a seven-game suspension for shoving an official.

    Sloan's return couldn't have gone much better for everybody in the Delta Center except the Wizards.

    The sellout crowd of 19,911 spent the night cheering on Utah's blowout as well as Jordan, whose popularity outweighed his history against Utah. Barring a stunning run to the NBA Finals by both teams, Jordan scored 11 in his last game against the Jazz and was cheered loudly each time he made a shot.

    Unfortunately for the Wizards, he made only three before sitting out the fourth quarter with Washington down 84-46 after Harpring hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

    "They looked really good and they took the life out of us early,'' Jordan said. "They did exactly what they were supposed to do as a veteran team. They attacked. They put us back on our heels and we never really could get off of them.''

    Washington's Bryon Russell, who played nine seasons for the Jazz before leaving as a free agent last summer, scored three points on 1-of-5 shooting in his return to Utah. Larry Hughes led the Wizards with 14 points, scoring six in the fourth quarter against the Jazz reserves.

    The Wizards were just 26-for-72 (36 percent) while the Jazz made nearly half their shots, going 39-for-79 just two nights after a 106-76 loss at home to Houston.

    "I don't think we were terrific or extremely aggressive, but we were better. I think it was just enough,'' said Stockton, who had eight points, six assists and three blocks. "It got us going. It got us a nice lead and we were able to sustain that effort, which I thought was as big a key.''

    Sloan was suspended for seven games for shoving referee Courtney Kirkland on Jan. 28 at Sacramento. The Jazz went 4-3 under assistant Phil Johnson, who was happy to step aside for Sloan's return.

    "I haven't been there for a long time,'' Sloan said. "It was nice to be there. People don't realize what Phil and those guys went through to coach this team. That is a tough situation to put them in and I really appreciate what they were able to do.''

    Utah outscored Washington by at least 10 points in each of the first three quarters and led by as many as 42. The Jazz also outrebounded Washington 47-33.

    Scott Padgett scored 13 points and Greg Ostertag pulled down 10 rebounds for Utah, which got an early spark from Malone.

    Malone had 11 points in the first quarter and drew a technical for clapping his hands in Charles Oakley's face after a flagrant foul. Malone, who went down in the lane hard then sprang to his feet after the foul by Oakley, seemed inspired after the play.

    Near the end of the quarter, Malone picked up a rebound in the lane and leaped for a one-handed dunk that gave the Jazz a 26-13 lead at the end of the first quarter.

    "This game was over in the first four minutes,'' Washington coach Doug Collins said. "They have a great offense, but we didn't show any resistance. It was discouraging to watch.''

    Game notes
    Sloan was greeted warmly by the crowd when he was introduced before the game. He had a few minor arguments with the officials, but didn't push it in his first game back. ... Washington guard Jerry Stackhouse, the Wizards' leading scorer at 22.5 points per game, did not dress for a fifth straight game because of a groin injury. ... Russell was booed throughout the night.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 77 109
    FGM-FGA 26-72 (.361) 39-79 (.494)
    3PM-3PA 2-7 (.286) 9-14 (.643)
    FTM-FTA 23-26 (.885) 22-27 (.815)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 12-33 14-47
    Assists 11 32
    Turnovers 13 10
    Steals 8 8
    Blocks 7 12
    Fast Break Points 2 6
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 24 (1/1) 21 (2/0)

    Top Performers

    Etan Thomas Thomas
    Points: 12
    Reb: 10
    Ast: 0
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 3
    Karl Malone Malone
    Points: 23
    Reb: 11
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 4
    Blk: 0