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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- UTAH 17 31 36 32 116 DALLAS 21 21 30 31 103 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: UTH - KARL MALONE 31, DONYELL MARSHALL 21, BRYON RUSSELL 18 DAL - JUWAN HOWARD 24, DIRK NOWITZKI 22, MICHAEL FINLEY 14

HIGH REBOUND: UTH - KARL MALONE 11, GREG OSTERTAG 6 DAL - DIRK NOWITZKI 9, CALVIN BOOTH 6

HIGH ASSISTS: UTH - JOHN STOCKTON 13, KARL MALONE 5 DAL - STEVE NASH 11, MICHAEL FINLEY 4

ATT: 18,187


Extended Box

UTAH (116) AT DALLAS (103)

UTAH REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == ===

MALONE F 41 9-21 13-17 2 9 11 5 4 1 0 31 MARSHALL F 36 9-12 2-2 2 2 4 2 4 3 2 21 POLYNICE C 13 1-2 0-0 1 1 2 0 2 0 1 2 RUSSELL G 41 4-10 7-12 0 4 4 3 3 3 3 18 STOCKTON G 35 6-12 2-2 0 1 1 13 1 4 3 15 VAUGHN 19 1-2 0-0 1 0 1 1 4 0 1 2 STARKS 34 6-12 2-2 0 4 4 2 3 1 0 16 OSTERTAG 11 1-4 0-0 5 1 6 0 2 1 1 2 MANNING 10 3-3 3-4 1 1 2 0 4 1 1 9 CROTTY DNP - COACH'S DECISION LEWIS DNP - COACH'S DECISION PADGETT DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 40-78 29-39 12 23 35 26 27 14 12 116 (.513) (.744) TEAM REBS: 10 TOTAL TO: 13(13 PTS)

DALLAS REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == ===

HOWARD F 38 7-13 10-10 0 4 4 2 5 1 3 24 NOWITZKI F 43 7-16 7-7 0 9 9 2 6 0 4 22 BOOTH C 16 3-3 3-4 1 5 6 2 5 1 2 9 FINLEY G 45 5-10 3-3 1 2 3 4 4 2 7 14 NASH G 33 3-7 4-4 0 2 2 11 5 1 4 12 BRADLEY 18 1-1 1-2 1 1 2 0 3 0 2 3 EISLEY 19 3-6 2-2 0 1 1 1 1 0 1 9 MAXWELL 22 3-6 0-0 0 0 0 0 2 2 0 8 NAJERA 5 1-1 0-0 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 2 WANG 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 BUCKNER DNP - COACH'S DECISION HARVEY DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 33-63 30-32 3 25 28 23 32 7 23 103 (.524) (.938) TEAM REBS: 7 TOTAL TO: 24(36 PTS)

UTAH 17 31 36 32 - 116 DALLAS 21 21 30 31 - 103

BLOCKED SHOTS: UTAH - NONE. DALLAS - NOWITZKI 3, FINLEY, BOOTH, BRADLEY. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: UTAH 7-10 (.700), MARSHALL 1-1, RUSSELL 3-4, STOCKTON 1-1, STARKS 2-4. DALLAS 7-18 (.389), NOWITZKI 1-5, FINLEY 1-5, NASH 2-3, EISLEY 1-2, MAXWELL 2-3. TECHNICALS: UTAH - POLYNICE, DALLAS - HOWARD. OFFICIALS: JOE FORTE, DON VADEN, BLANE REICHELT. A - 18,187. T - 2:17.


Box Score

UTAH (116) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Malone 41 9-21 13-17 2-11 5 4 31 Marshall 36 9-12 2-2 2-4 2 4 21 Polynice 13 1-2 0-0 1-2 0 2 2 Russell 41 4-10 7-12 0-4 3 3 18 Stockton 35 6-12 2-2 0-1 13 1 15 Vaughn 19 1-2 0-0 1-1 1 4 2 Starks 34 6-12 2-2 0-4 2 3 16 Ostertag 11 1-4 0-0 5-6 0 2 2 Manning 10 3-3 3-4 1-2 0 4 9 Crotty DNP - coach's decision Lewis DNP - coach's decision Padgett DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 40-78 29-39 12-35 26 27 116 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.513, FT-.744. 3-Point Goals: 7-10, .700 (Marshall 1-1, Russell 3-4, Stockton 1-1, Starks 2-4). Team rebounds: 10. Blocked shots: None. Turnovers: 13 (Russell 3, Stockton 3, Marshall 2, Manning, Ostertag, Polynice, Vaughn). Steals: 14 (Stockton 4, Marshall 3, Russell 3, Malone, Manning, Ostertag, Starks).

DALLAS (103) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Howard 38 7-13 10-10 0-4 2 5 24 Nowitzki 43 7-16 7-7 0-9 2 6 22 Booth 16 3-3 3-4 1-6 2 5 9 Finley 45 5-10 3-3 1-3 4 4 14 Nash 33 3-7 4-4 0-2 11 5 12 Bradley 18 1-1 1-2 1-2 0 3 3 Eisley 19 3-6 2-2 0-1 1 1 9 Maxwell 22 3-6 0-0 0-0 0 2 8 Najera 5 1-1 0-0 0-1 1 1 2 Wang 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 Buckner DNP - coach's decision Harvey DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 33-63 30-32 3-28 23 32 103 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.524, FT-.938. 3-Point Goals: 7-18, .389 (Nowitzki 1-5, Finley 1-5, Nash 2-3, Eisley 1-2, Maxwell 2-3). Team rebounds: 7. Blocked shots: 6 (Nowitzki 3, Finley, Booth, Bradley). Turnovers: 24 (Finley 7, Nash 4, Nowitzki 4, Howard 3, Booth 2, Bradley 2, Eisley). Steals: 7 (Finley 2, Maxwell 2, Booth, Howard, Nash). ____________________________________________ Utah 17 31 36 32 - 116 Dallas 21 21 30 31 - 103 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: Utah 1 (Polynice, 4:16 1st). Dallas 1 (Howard, 4:16 1st). Flagrant fouls: Utah 1 (Polynice, 4:16 1st). Dallas 1 (Nowitzki, 5:28 1st). A: 18,187. T: 2:17. Officials: Joe Forte, Don Vaden, Blane Reichelt.


Game Story

DALLAS (Ticker) -- It had been four weeks since the Utah Jazz had beaten a playoff-bound team. They picked the perfect time to end that drought.

Karl Malone scored seven of his 31 points in a pivotal 19-0 run as the Jazz took over fourth place in the Western Conferencce with a 116-103 victory over the Dallas Mavericks.

Since beating Phoenix on March 9, the Jazz had lost all seven of its contests against teams heading to the playoffs, including a 98-90 home setback to Dallas on March 26.

Losses this week to the Los Angeles Lakers and Sacramento dumped Utah into a tie with Dallas for fourth place in the West. The top four teams in each conference receive home-court advantage in the first round and the Mavericks held the tiebreaker over the Jazz.

Not anymore. The Jazz scored the last 11 points of the first half to erase a five-point deficit, then ran off the first eight of the third quarter, opening a 56-42 lead on a jumper by Malone with 10:02 left.

Malone made sure Utah stayed in front by scoring 23 points in the second half. The Jazz turned back a fourth-quarter rally and won in Dallas for the seventh straight time.

If the West standings remain unchanged, the Jazz would host the Mavs in the first round of the playoffs. However, home-court advantage may not matter as the teams split the four-game season series, with the road team winning each time.

"The only thing we have to worry about is just play and try to win," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said. "I don't worry about (home court), don't pay much attention to that. I'll know at the end of 82 games where we are."

"It's big, but it's overrated," Malone said. "I think home court in the playoffs is very overrated."

The Jazz have made the playoffs 18 straight years. The Mavs are in for the first time since 1990 and believe the home court is more important.

"It hurts, knowing that you had an opportunity to cover some ground with the playoff positioning," forward Juwan Howard said. "Tonight hurt some of our chances, but still, it doesn't stop here."

"Home-court advantage is very important in the playoffs," guard Michael Finley said. "People might not talk about it as much, but when you get into pressure situations, intense situations, you want that home-court advantage. If we get it, fine. If we don't, life goes on. But we would like it."

The Jazz used tremendous balance to knock off the Mavs. They had five players with at least 15 points and shot 51 percent (40-of-78) from the field.

"You have to play some kind of a team-oriented game," Sloan said. "We're not good enough to play 1-on-1, they (Dallas) are. They're athletic, they can beat you end to end and they've done that."

Howard scored 24 points and Dirk Nowitzki added 22 for the Mavericks, who shot 52 percent (33-of-63) but committed 24 turnovers that led to 36 points for the Jazz.

"I'm amazed because they are a great ballhandling team," Sloan said. "They don't make mistakes and they are a great basketball team. We just happened to be a bit lucky and they turned it over."

Dallas held a 42-37 lead with three minutes left in the first half before going cold. John Stockton made two free throws and John Starks hit a 3-pointer to tie it. Jumpers by Donyell Marshall, Starks and Malone gave Utah a 48-42 halftime lead.

Intermission did nothing to cool off the Jazz. Malone converted a three-point play, Stockton made a layup, Russell sank a free throw and malone buried a jumper for a 14-point bulge.

"The most important thing to me is that we played team defense tonight," said Russell, who scored 18 points. "We helped each other out. We came up with some big plays and we came up with some big steals and we hit some big shots when we needed them."

"They outplayed us in nearly every aspect of the game," Dallas coach Don Nelson said. "They took control of the game and kept it."

Malone scored 11 points in the third quarter, which ended with Utah holding an 84-72 lead. Howard's three-point play got Dallas within 89-83 with 8:48 remaining but the Jazz ran off eight straight points.

A 3-pointer by Stockton, who had 15 points and 13 assists, gave Utah a 97-83 lead with 6:46 to go and the Mavs got no closer than nine points thereafter.

"Every time we tried to make a run it seemed like we would hit a stretch and turn the ball over or they would make a shot," said Howard.

Marshall scored 21 points and Straks added 16 for the Jazz. Finley scored 14 points and Steve Nash added 12 and 11 assists for the Mavs.

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