Sacramento wins series 4-1 (Game 3 of 5)

Sacramento wins series 4-1

Game 1: Saturday, April 19th
Game 2: Monday, April 21st
Game 3: Saturday, April 26th
Game 4: Monday, April 28th
Game 5: Wednesday, April 30th

Kings 104

(59-23, 24-17 away)

Jazz 107

(47-35, 29-12 home)

    Coverage: KJZZ

    8:00 PM ET, April 26, 2003

    EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake City, UT

    1 2 3 4 T
    SAC 26 29 21 28104
    UTAH 30 29 21 27107

    Top Performers

    Sac: C. Webber 24 Pts, 11 Reb, 4 Ast, 3 Blk

    UTAH: G. Ostertag 22 Pts, 12 Reb, 2 Stl, 5 Blk

    Ostertag rescues Jazz with huge effort

    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The Utah Jazz didn't play like a team trying to salvage some respect. They looked more like a team with plans to advance.

    Mark Jackson

    Mark Jackson pitched in with eight points and four assists for the Jazz on Saturday.

    Greg Ostertag had 22 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks as the Jazz beat Sacramento 107-104 Saturday night, cutting the Kings' lead in the opening round playoff series to 2-1.

    "It was a big game, but it's a series and you've got to win four,'' said Ostertag, who topped his career playoff high for scoring and rebounding for the second time in a week.

    The teams hadn't played in five days since Monday's 108-95 victory by Sacramento, and the extended layoff seemed to do the Jazz some good.

    Unlike the first two games when Utah started strong in the first quarter and collapsed in the second, the Jazz stayed intense for most of the game -- finding a way to loose balls, crashing hard to the floor to draw a foul or getting putbacks to regain the momentum.

    "It looked like we were involved. It looked like we wanted to be there. That was the exciting thing about it,'' said Utah coach Jerry Sloan, who was ejected in the third quarter after getting called for his second technical foul.

    Karl Malone had 20 points and 11 rebounds, John Stockton finished with 15 points and seven assists and Calbert Cheaney added 15 points for the Jazz, who haven't been swept in the playoffs since 1989.

    Utah committed just seven turnovers while forcing 14.

    "They got us on our heels. I thought they were the aggressors,'' Sacramento coach Rick Adelman said. "I kept hearing how physical they were going to be, but they were very aggressive offensively.

    Chris Webber, who missed practice all week because of a sore lower back, had 24 points and 11 rebounds before fouling out with 1:57 left.

    Mike Bibby scored 23 and Peja Stojakovic finished with 19 points for the Kings, who couldn't overcome their 34 fouls. The Jazz, who were called for 21 fouls, took advantage of the calls, making 16 of their final 17 from the line to seal it.

    The Kings were fuming over the foul discrepancy.

    "The refs need to see both sides of the game. They can play physical, but we can't play physical,'' said Bobby Jackson, who also fouled out. "It's ridiculous. I'd rather have high school refs than NBA refs.''

    The Jazz, who lost to the Kings on a disputed foul call in December, weren't apologizing for anything.

    "We have to allow ourselves to play like that. Within the rules, but play physical,'' Malone said. "That's what playoff basketball is all about. No excuses.''

    Game 4 is Monday at the Delta Center, where the Kings swept both games last year to knock the Jazz out in the first round.

    "We've got to make it real simple. We are playing one game,'' Stockton said. "We just had to win this one game. We know it could get out of hand if we go down 0-3.''

    This was the second time this year that Sloan got tossed and the Jazz wound up with a win over the Kings. Sloan was also ejected in a January game at Sacramento for shoving an official, an offense that drew a seven-game suspension.

    Ostertag, who had 18 points and 11 rebounds in the series opener, came back after twisting his ankle in the fourth quarter and made his final six attempts from the line, where he's a 58 percent shooter.

    "All my points came off passes from guys. It was right place, right time. Getting to open spots and making layups,'' Ostertag said.

    The Kings appeared to be taking command midway through the fourth when Webber hit a jumper to tie it at 86-all, then Keon Clark followed with a dunk to give Sacramento the lead -- the last one for the Kings.

    Ostertag made four straight from the line, and after Webber tied it at 90-all, Matt Harpring started an 8-3 Jazz run. Jim Jackson got the Kings to 105-102 in the final minute, but Sacramento had to foul and Stockton made his last four from the line.

    Harpring finished with 11 points as all five Utah starters scored in double figures.

    Game notes

    Jazz owner Larry Miller was celebrating his 59th birthday Saturday. ... Cheryl Ford, Malone's daughter who was picked third Friday in the WNBA draft, was in the stands. ... The Jazz haven't been swept since losing to Golden State in the opening round of the 1989 playoffs.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 104 107
    FGM-FGA 38-84 (.452) 35-79 (.443)
    3PM-3PA 8-20 (.400) 2-3 (.667)
    FTM-FTA 20-28 (.714) 35-49 (.714)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 17-40 16-43
    Assists 21 23
    Turnovers 14 10
    Steals 2 8
    Blocks 9 9
    Fast Break Points 2 6
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 34 (1/0) 21 (3/0)

    Top Performers

    Chris Webber Webber
    Points: 24
    Reb: 11
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 3
    Greg Ostertag Ostertag
    Points: 22
    Reb: 12
    Ast: 0
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 5