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Jazz stays strong, wears out Wolves

©Associated Press

February 18, 2003


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

Matt Harpring scored 21 for the Jazz, which 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, wearing down Minnesota late in the Timberwolves' second game in back-to-back nights.

Malone scored 18 as the Jazz outscored the Timberwolves 60-42 in the second half and improved to 3-0 against Minnesota, clinching the tiebreaker if the teams finish with identical records.

"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."

Garnett, who scored 37 on Sunday in a 109-102 win over Golden State, had 34 points and 10 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who led by 12 in the first half before fading.

Minnesota was 16-for-38 in the second half and couldn't keep up with the Jazz late in the third and throughout the fourth quarter.

"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."

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

PISTONS 93, HEAT 62: Miami coach Pat Riley knew he would have a matchup problem. He just didn't realize how bad it was going to be.

Playing against much smaller players like Travis Best and Eddie House, Detroit guard Richard Hamilton scored a season-high 34 for the host Pistons.

"We were just totally overmatched at that position," Riley said of the 6-foot-7 Hamilton.

Hamilton, who scored 16 as Detroit blew the game open in the third quarter, is averaging 28.5 points in the past four games.

Detroit has won eight of nine; the Heat has lost three of four.

Miami was without leading scorer Eddie Jones, who missed his third straight game with a strained groin, and finished with its lowest point total of the season.

BLAZERS 99, KNICKS 91: Rasheed Wallace scored 23 and had eight rebounds as Portland pulled away.

It was the Blazers' second straight win after losing their first two back from the All-Star break. Portland has won eight of its past 11.

The Knicks had opened a six-game road trip with wins at Phoenix and the Lakers. Allan Houston had a career-high and NBA-season best 53 points Sunday.

Houston scored 27 Monday, to average 35.3 points on the road trip. Kurt Thomas added 19 points and 12 rebounds.

Houston's 3-pointer closed the Knicks to 72-68 late in the third quarter, but they got no closer.

TORONTO AT WASHINGTON: The game was postponed because of bad weather.

LAKERS: Shaquille O'Neal is questionable for tonight's game against Yao Ming and the Rockets because of a sore left knee. He didn't practice Monday. Kobe Bryant has a sore right knee and missed practice. He is probable.

76ERS: Guard Aaron McKie is out indefinitely with a separated left shoulder.

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