Regular Season Series (Game 3 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

Timberwolves 97

(33-21, 11-16 away)

Jazz 109

(32-21, 20-8 home)

    Coverage: FSRM

    7:00 PM ET, February 17, 2003

    EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake City, UT

    1 2 3 4 T
    MIN 31 24 22 2097
    UTAH 20 29 31 29109

    Top Performers

    Min: K. Garnett 34 Pts, 10 Reb, 6 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    UTAH: K. Malone 28 Pts, 9 Reb, 6 Ast, 1 Stl

    Garnett praises Malone, Stockton after Jazz win

    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Karl Malone and John Stockton still have plenty left as the Utah Jazz push for the playoffs.

    Karl Malone

    John Stockton

    Malone had 28 points and nine rebounds and Stockton added 18 points and 11 assists as the Jazz beat Minnesota 109-97 Monday night, snapping the Timberwolves' six-game winning streak.

    "That's the reason they're legends, and they prove night in and night out why they get the accolades,'' Minnesota's Kevin Garnett said. "They are still taking it to the best of them.''

    Actually, they had a little help. Matt Harpring scored 21 and Andrei Kirilenko added 10 points for the Jazz, who shot 59 percent (42-for-71) and improved to 11 games above .500 for the first time this season.

    Utah was 22-for-33 from the field in the second half while wearing down Minnesota late in the Timberwolves' second game in back-to-back nights.

    "They have won six straight and have jumped all over us in the standings. When you can beat somebody in your own division, it's a great win,'' said Malone, who scored 18 of his points in the second half against the weary Timberwolves.

    The Jazz outscored the Timberwolves 60-42 in the final two quarters and improved to 3-0 against Minnesota this season, clinching the tiebreaker if the two teams finish with identical records.

    "They are all good wins now,'' Stockton said. "We're in a tough battle with it seems like everybody -- and they're one of them.''

    Garnett, who scored 37 on Sunday in a 109-102 win over Golden State, had 34 points and 10 rebounds for the Timberwolves.

    Minnesota led by as many as 12 in the first half, but went just 16-for-38 in the second half and couldn't keep up with the Jazz late in the third and throughout the fourth quarter.

    "We came out and we didn't know where we were going,'' Utah coach Jerry Sloan said. "We finally settled down and concentrated a little bit harder on what we were trying to do and we started to have a little bit of success.''

    Troy Hudson scored 21 for Minnesota and Wally Szczerbiak added 14 points, but scored just two in the second half.

    After falling behind by nine early in the third quarter, the Jazz battled back and finally tied it at 71 on a three-point play by Malone and two free throws by Harpring with 4:02 left in the period.

    The Timberwolves took the lead three more times, but couldn't hang on to it. Kirilenko went 1-for-2 from the line to cut the lead to 77-76 with 1:47 left in the third. After a turnover, Harpring hit a 20-foot jumper that gave the Jazz their first lead since the opening quarter.

    "They came out and played extremely physical and we lost our concentration,'' Minnesota coach Flip Saunders said. "They had 17 or 18 layups there. The No. 1 thing you want to do is take away their layups and we didn't do that.''

    Garnett got Minnesota to 91-90 with a 3-pointer and a dunk, but Utah responded with an 11-1 run, and the Timberwolves never recovered.

    Malone drove past Garnett and made a layup while getting hit hard by Radoslav Nesterovic. Malone, who was down in the lane for a few moments before getting up, hit the free throw after a timeout and the Jazz led 94-91.

    Stockton found Harpring alone for a breakaway layup, then after a Minnesota miss Malone fed Stockton in the lane for a layup that gave the Jazz a 98-90 lead with 4:11 left in the game.

    Stockton got fouled on a 3-point attempt and hit all three free throws, and Greg Ostertag added a free throw that put the Jazz up 102-91 with 3:02 left.

    The Timberwolves never got closer than nine the rest of the way.

    Game notes

    Garnett hit a jumper from the top of the key with four-tenths of a second left in the first as the Timberwolves closed the quarter with a 16-4 run that gave them a 31-20 lead. Minnesota was 13-for-23 in the quarter. ... The Jazz had 12 turnovers in the first half, but just four in the second. ... Sloan, in his second game since serving a seven-game suspension for shoving an official, got a technical with 8:18. Sloan felt Stockton was elbowed by Hudson and didn't hesitate to protest loudly to referee Violet Palmer, who quickly called the technical.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 97 109
    FGM-FGA 37-82 (.451) 42-71 (.592)
    3PM-3PA 3-10 (.300) 4-4 (1.000)
    FTM-FTA 20-24 (.833) 21-24 (.875)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 14-33 5-35
    Assists 21 30
    Turnovers 12 16
    Steals 8 6
    Blocks 5 6
    Fast Break Points 5 3
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 23 (0/0) 20 (1/0)

    Top Performers

    Kevin Garnett Garnett
    Points: 34
    Reb: 10
    Ast: 6
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 1
    Karl Malone Malone
    Points: 28
    Reb: 9
    Ast: 6
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0