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Malone's mark makes Magic miserable

©Associated Press

March 13, 2003


ORLANDO -- Karl Malone knows the game, and part of that wisdom is knowing the referees.

Cajoling the officials all night, Malone went to the free-throw line 22 times en route to a season-high 40 points as the Jazz beat the Magic 111-108 on Wednesday night. Malone had 24 points after halftime, with 14 coming on foul shots.

Malone, who also had nine rebounds, made 16 free throws, going 10-for-12 in the third quarter. His free throws attempted set a record for an Orlando opponent.

"I was laughing, watching (Malone)," Orlando's Tracy McGrady said. "He's a vet and he knows how to get it done. He did a hell of a job working them."

Malone was reluctant to discuss his skill at finessing the refs. "I'm about to end this interview if I hear another question like that," he said, snapping at reporters.

The Magic had a chance to tie after John Stockton missed a jumper with eight seconds to go. Andrew DeClercq rebounded, but Malone intercepted his outlet pass and was fouled. He then sank two of four free throws in the final 1.5 seconds for the victory -- Utah's third in four road games.

"I knew he was going to throw it because they were in a rush," said Malone, who had four steals.

Malone passed the 36,000-point mark on a three-point play with 4:20 remaining in the first half. Only one player in NBA history has more -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, with 38,387.

"It's unbelievable to me that he's still playing," Utah coach Jerry Sloan said. "He simply makes shots. Most people can't do that without jumping over people, but Karl doesn't do that. He just lays it in the basket."

Orlando, losers of three of four, got 32 points from McGrady despite a subpar shooting night. HAWKS 111, BUCKS 92: Shareef Abdur-Rahim scored 29 and Jason Terry had 22 points and 10 assists for host Atlanta.

One game after all five starters scored in double figures for the first time in 22 games, the Hawks continued to share the wealth.

They set a season high with 35 assists -- with Dion Glover getting a career-high eight -- and shot 56 percent to win for the fourth time in five games.

76ERS 96, PACERS 93: Allen Iverson had 31 points, shooting 16-of-19 from the foul line, and Keith Van Horn had 17 of his 19 points in the second half and host Philadelphia came back from a double-digit deficit in the fourth quarter.

Ron Artest had 25 points but was whistled for a flagrant foul in the fourth for tackling Eric Snow. If the call is upheld, Artest will draw a one-game suspension -- his second in a week -- and will miss Friday night's home game against Utah.

PISTONS 111, LAKERS 88: Chauncey Billups tied his season-high of 33 points and Detroit used a 10-0 surge early in the fourth to pull away.

The Pistons snapped a nine-game home losing streak against the Lakers -- their longest against any team -- with their first victory over their old rivals at the Palace since Dec. 20, 1991.

Shaquille O'Neal, who scored a season-low 13 in a 17-point loss at Chicago on Tuesday, had 24 points and 13 rebounds. Kobe Bryant scored 21 on 9-of-23 shooting.

CELTICS 93, HORNETS 65: Antoine Walker scored 23 and host Boston held New Orleans to a tie for the fewest points in franchise history.

The win moved the Celtics a game ahead of the Hornets in the tight East race. The game was close until late in the first half when Boston went on a 16-2 run to turn a 29-25 edge into a 45-27 lead. The Hornets also scored 65 on Dec. 20, 2000 when they were in Charlotte and beat Miami 65-56.

SPURS 111, TIMBERWOLVES 99: Stephen Jackson scored 22 and Tim Duncan had 18 points and 14 rebounds as San Antonio ended Minnesota's 17-game home winning streak.

The Spurs led most of the way in sending the Timberwolves to their first setback at Target Center since a 105-97 loss to Utah on Jan.4.

The matchup between MVP contenders Duncan and Kevin Garnett was a statistical draw, as Garnett scored 17 and added 13 rebounds. But Garnett shot just 6-of-19 as the Wolves trailed by as much as 20.

GRIZZLIES 124, BULLS 95: Stromile Swift collected his fifth straight double double with 22 points and 10 rebounds for host Memphis, which tied the franchise record of 23 victories.

Swift connected on all eight of his shots from the field and added three blocks as the Grizzlies won their fifth in a row, also tying the franchise record for consecutive wins.

BLAZERS 125, RAPTORS 103: Damon Stoudamire, called on to start when Scottie Pippen had knee trouble, had 20 points, seven rebounds and seven assists for host Portland. Pippen was a late scratch because of swelling in his left knee and watched the game in street clothes.

The Blazers outscored the Raptors 37-20 in the second quarter to take a 65-47 lead. When Portland went up 81-55 in the third, Toronto's Vince Carter shook his head in frustration. He responded with a 20-foot fadeaway jumper but couldn't rally his teammates.

ROCKETS 118, CLIPPERS 114 (OT): Steve Francis scored six in overtime and made a key steal as host Houston capitalized on a free-throw lane violation against Los Angeles' Andre Miller.

Miller had a chance to win in regulation when he was fouled by James Posey with one second left and the score tied at 104.

Miller made the first free throw, but it was disallowed because of his second free-throw lane violation of the game. He then missed the second, sending the game into overtime.

WILLIAMS UPDATE: A 911 tape made after a fatal shooting at Jayson Williams' estate is evidence that a prosecutor says should not yet be made public.

Releasing the tape could make it difficult to pick a jury and would go against the wishes of the victim's family, assistant prosecutor Steven Lember told a state appeals court.

Attorneys for the Courier News of Bridgewater, which wants the tape released, say it should be made public under New Jersey's open public records law. The court set no date for a ruling.

Williams is charged with first-degree manslaughter and other offenses in the Feb. 14, 2002, death of limousine driver Costas Christofi. The 35-year-old former NBA star could face nearly 55 years in prison if convicted on all counts.

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