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Harpring scores 22 of his 28 points in third

3/30/2003

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Matt Harpring nearly outscored the Milwaukee Bucks by himself in the third quarter.

Harpring scored 22 of his 28 points in the period as the Utah Jazz won 103-90 Friday night, tying their longest winning streak of the season at six.

"I just caught a rhythm,'' said Harpring, who fell three points shy of Karl Malone's team record for points for a quarter. "It was one of those quarters where the hoop looked real big.''

Harpring shot 8-of-9 in the third, including 2-of-3 from 3-point
range, and he equaled Milwaukee's 22 points in the quarter. He
twisted his ankle at the end of the period and scored just one
point in the final quarter, but he doesn't expect to miss Saturday
night's game at San Antonio.

Without the injury, Harpring might have topped his career high
of 33 points.

"A quarter like that happens every now and then,'' said Harpring, who also led the Jazz with 10 rebounds. "It's too bad I twisted my ankle. I just tweaked it a little bit.''

Andrei Kirilenko added 19 points and four blocks, and Malone
scored 18 points as Utah handed Milwaukee its third straight loss.
The Bucks have lost eight of their last 11 and are a game behind
Washington for the No. 8 playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

"This is playoff basketball for us right now, and we've got to
play much better,'' said Michael Redd, who led the Bucks with 26
points on 6-of-9 3-point shooting. "We need to have the
understanding that we could go home if we don't show up to games.''

Gary Payton scored 19 points and Desmond Mason had 12 and 11
rebounds for the Bucks.

John Stockton had 11 assists and 10 points, and Calbert Cheaney scored 10 points for Utah, which shot 65 percent (22-for-34) in the second half. Greg Ostertag, who had nine points and eight rebounds, was the only Utah starter who didn't score in double figures.

The Jazz, who remained in sixth place in the Western Conference
playoff race, hadn't won six straight since going on a run in late
November to make up for a 1-4 start. To extend the streak, Utah
would have to beat the Spurs, who are 2-0 against the Jazz this
season.

Milwaukee, which wrapped up a three-game road trip, led by two at halftime but couldn't recover from Utah's torrid third quarter, when the Jazz shot 12-of-15 from the field.

"We just didn't shoot the ball well enough, and the third quarter just killed us,'' Bucks coach George Karl said. "We fought back and did some good things in the fourth, but generally the third quarter and Harpring just killed us.''

The Jazz closed the third quarter on a 15-5 run, started by
Harpring's 3-pointer, to go ahead 65-60. Harpring added another
jumper and three free throws, including one when Payton was called
for a technical with 1:44 left, as the Jazz pulled away.

"He got into a nice rhythm, and it was one of those things you
see players do every once in a while,'' said Utah coach Jerry
Sloan, who celebrated his 61st birthday. "It's nice to see,
especially when it is for your team.''

Harpring also took a shoulder from Toni Kukoc on Milwaukee's
final possession of the quarter and drew the offensive foul as the
Jazz took a 77-65 lead into the fourth.

Game notes
Malone got a technical when he knocked over a cup of hard
candy on the scorers' table. Malone was complaining about the foul
and continued to smack anything within reach as he made his way to
the bench, spilling a cup of coffee on Jazz broadcasters Ron Boone
and Rod Hundley. ... The Bucks had just three turnovers in the
first half.