Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 1/20

Game 1: Monday, January 20th
Game 2: Sunday, March 2nd

Jazz 91


Nets 90

(38-22, 26-5 home)

    Coverage: KJZZ

    1:00 PM ET, March 2, 2003

    IZOD Center, East Rutherford, NJ

    1 2 3 4 T
    UTAH 15 24 28 2491
    NJ 22 26 22 2090

    Top Performers

    Utah: K. Malone 20 Pts, 8 Reb, 6 Ast, 1 Stl

    New Jersey: K. Martin 24 Pts, 6 Reb, 1 Ast, 3 Stl

    Jazz continue mastery of Nets at Meadowlands

    EAST RUTHEFORD, N.J. (AP) -- Andrei Kirilenko watched John Stockton's last-second shot sail toward the basket and immediately recognized it would be an airball.

    Andrei Kirilenko

    Kirilenko timed his leap perfectly and tipped in Stockton's miss just before the final buzzer sounded, giving the Utah Jazz a 91-90 victory over the New Jersey Nets on Sunday.

    "It was airball for sure,'' Kirilenko said. "It was bad.''

    His tip, however, was good, allowing Utah to snap a three-game losing streak and win for the eighth straight time on New Jersey's home court.

    The Nets haven't beaten the Jazz at the Meadowlands since 1994, when their starting lineup was comprised of Benoit Benjamin, Armen Gilliam, P.J. Brown, Kenny Anderson and Kevin Edwards.

    "Go figure that, huh?'' Karl Malone commented.

    With Utah trailing 90-89 following Kenyon Martin's shot from the lane with 14.1 seconds left, Stockton dribbled upcourt and headed to the right baseline.

    The Nets were in a zone defense, and Martin found himself matched against Utah's 40-year-old point guard.

    "Whatever we were running we didn't do it very well,'' Stockton said. "So there it was with the time running down and not much to do, so I just tried to get it up there somewhere.

    "It basically was a cast-off, and Andrei made a play out of it. It was a no-chance shot.''

    Kirilenko directed it in, the ball bouncing four times on the rim before settling through the net as the buzzer went off.

    "Yeah, John threw it up just a little bit shorter than I would have liked,'' Utah coach Jerry Sloan said. "It was a success, wasn't it.''

    Malone scored 20, DeShawn Stevenson added a career-high 18 and Kirilenko had 15 points. Kirilenko and Stockton each had four steals for the Jazz, who shot 58 percent (22-for-38) in the second half.

    Martin scored 24 and Kerry Kittles had 21 for the Nets, who have lost four of their last five.

    The victory allowed Utah the salvage something positive out of a four-game road trip that began with losses at Memphis, Minnesota and Philadelphia. The Jazz overcame the absence of Matt Harpring, who sat out with a sprained right ankle.

    "It'll make that five-hour plane ride a little bit better. It was a nice win for us,'' Malone said.

    New Jersey had a horrid stretch midway through the second quarter, committing turnovers on six consecutive possessions without attempting a single shot. But the Nets made up for it by closing the half with a 16-2 run for a 48-39 lead.

    Utah pulled within one midway through the third quarter before Martin had a follow dunk, Rodney Rogers made a fast-break layup and Kittles dunked off the break to give the Nets a 69-62 lead.

    Stevenson surpassed his previous career high of 16 on a corner jumper with 5:33 left that cut the Nets' lead to 83-82, and Kirilenko made a pair from the line with 3:58 left to give Utah its first lead since the second quarter.

    Jason Kidd hit two free throws after stealing a pass by Stockton with 1:07 left to cut Utah's lead to 89-88, and the Nets forced a 24-second violation and got the ball back. Richard Jefferson grabbed an offensive rebound on a miss by Martin, and Kidd threaded the ball inside to Martin for a short jump hook that gave the Nets a 90-89 lead.

    "I thought we had the game after I made that shot,'' Martin said. "It doesn't matter that it was a close game. All that matters is that we lost. We have to find a way to get better.''

    Game notes

    Kidd nearly had a quadruple-double with 12 points, 15 assists, nine rebounds and nine turnovers. Jefferson had seven turnovers. For Utah, Stockton had five turnovers and four assists, and Greg Ostertag had a season-high seven blocked shots to go with four turnovers. ... New Jersey entered the game with a home record of 26-4 -- best in NBA. ... Utah has won 25 of the last 28 between the teams.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 91 90
    FGM-FGA 38-76 (.500) 31-77 (.403)
    3PM-3PA 2-4 (.500) 3-12 (.250)
    FTM-FTA 13-18 (.722) 25-29 (.862)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 8-31 15-44
    Assists 24 25
    Turnovers 21 24
    Steals 19 12
    Blocks 9 12
    Fast Break Points 3 9
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 20 (2/0) 14 (1/0)

    Top Performers

    New Jersey
    Karl Malone Malone
    Points: 20
    Reb: 8
    Ast: 6
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0
    Kenyon Martin Martin
    Points: 24
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 3
    Blk: 0