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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- WASHINGTON 27 19 13 20 79 UTAH 28 25 17 24 94 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: WAS - RICHARD HAMILTON 14, CHRIS WHITNEY 11, MICHAEL JORDAN 11 UTH - KARL MALONE 23, JOHN STOCKTON 19, BRYON RUSSELL 11

HIGH REBOUND: WAS - POPEYE JONES 11, CHRISTIAN LAETTNER 7, TWO PLAYERS WITH 6 UTH - DONYELL MARSHALL 9, KARL MALONE 8, JARRON COLLINS 8

HIGH ASSISTS: WAS - MICHAEL JORDAN 4, RICHARD HAMILTON 3, TWO PLAYERS WITH 2 UTH - JOHN STOCKTON 7, KARL MALONE 4, RUSTY LARUE 3

ATT: 19,911


Extended Box

WASHINGTON (79) AT UTAH (94)

WASHINGTON

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

R HAMILTON F 35 2-11 10-12 2 3 5 3 1 0 0 14 C LAETTNER F 24 2-4 2-2 1 6 7 1 3 1 1 6 J WHITE C 16 2-4 0-1 0 6 6 0 2 1 4 4 C WHITNEY G 20 4-8 1-1 0 0 0 0 6 0 0 11 C ALEXANDER G 17 1-5 0-0 0 1 1 1 2 0 1 2 P JONES 29 4-6 2-4 6 5 11 2 4 0 4 10 T NESBY 23 3-12 0-1 0 4 4 1 5 2 0 6 B HAYWOOD 16 1-4 4-5 4 2 6 0 3 0 1 6 M JORDAN 22 4-12 3-4 0 4 4 4 0 1 1 11 T LUE 28 3-7 0-0 0 0 0 2 1 1 1 8 K BROWN 10 0-4 1-2 3 0 3 1 1 0 0 1 E THOMAS DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 26-77 23-32 16 31 47 15 28 6 13 79 (.338) (.719) TEAM REBS: 8 TOTAL TO: 13 (12 PTS)

UTAH

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

D MARSHALL F 23 0-3 1-2 2 7 9 2 3 1 2 1 K MALONE F 35 7-14 7-10 0 8 8 4 2 0 0 23 J COLLINS C 19 3-6 0-0 6 2 8 2 4 4 0 6 J STOCKTON G 31 6-14 7-11 1 4 5 7 1 1 1 19 B RUSSELL G 30 4-9 0-0 0 4 4 2 4 1 4 11 R LARUE 9 1-5 0-0 0 2 2 3 0 1 2 2 A KIRILENKO 26 4-6 1-2 1 2 3 0 0 1 0 9 J STARKS 16 4-8 0-0 0 0 0 2 3 0 0 8 G OSTERTAG 21 1-1 1-2 0 4 4 0 2 0 1 3 S PADGETT 18 2-7 2-2 2 3 5 1 1 1 0 6 D STEVENSON 12 2-4 2-2 0 2 2 2 4 2 2 6 J AMAECHI DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 34-77 21-31 12 38 50 25 24 12 12 94 (.442) (.677) TEAM REBS: 8 TOTAL TO: 12 (13 PTS)

WASHINGTON 27 19 13 20 - 79 UTAH 28 25 17 24 - 94

BLOCKED SHOTS: WASHINGTON - J WHITE 3, P JONES. UTAH - G OSTERTAG 6, A KIRILENKO 3, K MALONE, B RUSSELL, J STOCKTON, R LARUE. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: WASHINGTON 4-11 (.364), C WHITNEY 2-6, T NESBY 0- 1, T LUE 2-4. UTAH 5-13 (.385), K MALONE 2-2, J STOCKTON 0-1, B RUSSELL 3- 5, R LARUE 0-1, J STARKS 0-2, S PADGETT 0-2. TECHNICAL FOULS: WASHINGTON - R HAMILTON. UTAH - D MARSHALL, K MALONE. FLAGRANT FOULS: NONE. OFFICIALS: JOE CRAWFORD, KEN MAUER, TONY BROTHERS. A - 19,911. T - 2:09.


Box Score

WASHINGTON (79)

fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp R Hamilton 35 2-11 10-12 2-5 3 1 14 C Laettner 24 2-4 2-2 1-7 1 3 6 J White 16 2-4 0-1 0-6 0 2 4 C Whitney 20 4-8 1-1 0-0 0 6 11 C Alexander 17 1-5 0-0 0-1 1 2 2 P Jones 29 4-6 2-4 6-11 2 4 10 T Nesby 23 3-12 0-1 0-4 1 5 6 B Haywood 16 1-4 4-5 4-6 0 3 6 M Jordan 22 4-12 3-4 0-4 4 0 11 T Lue 28 3-7 0-0 0-0 2 1 8 K Brown 10 0-4 1-2 3-3 1 1 1 E Thomas DNP - COACH'S DECISION

_____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 26-77 23-32 16-47 15 28 79 _____________________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.338, FT-.719. 3-Point Goals: 4-11, .364 (C Whitney 2-6, T Nesby 0-1, T Lue 2-4). Team Rebounds: 8. Blocked Shots:4 (J White 3, P Jones). Turnovers:13 (P Jones 4, J White 4, C Laettner, T Lue, M Jordan, C Alexander, B Haywood). Steals: 6 (T Nesby 2, C Laettner, J White, M Jordan, T Lue).

UTAH (94)

fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp D Marshall 23 0-3 1-2 2-9 2 3 1 K Malone 35 7-14 7-10 0-8 4 2 23 J Collins 19 3-6 0-0 6-8 2 4 6 J Stockton 31 6-14 7-11 1-5 7 1 19 B Russell 30 4-9 0-0 0-4 2 4 11 R LaRue 9 1-5 0-0 0-2 3 0 2 A Kirilenko 26 4-6 1-2 1-3 0 0 9 J Starks 16 4-8 0-0 0-0 2 3 8 G Ostertag 21 1-1 1-2 0-4 0 2 3 S Padgett 18 2-7 2-2 2-5 1 1 6 D Stevenson 12 2-4 2-2 0-2 2 4 6 J Amaechi DNP - COACH'S DECISION

_____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 34-77 21-31 12-50 25 24 94 _____________________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.442, FT-.677. 3-Point Goals: 5-13, .385 (K Malone 2-2, J Stockton 0-1, B Russell 3-5, R LaRue 0-1, J Starks 0-2, S Padgett 0-2). Team Rebounds: 8. Blocked Shots:13 (G Ostertag 6, A Kirilenko 3, K Malone, B Russell, J Stockton, R LaRue). Turnovers:12 (B Russell 4, D Marshall 2, R LaRue 2, D Stevenson 2, G Ostertag, J Stockton). Steals: 12 (J Collins 4, D Stevenson 2, B Russell, J Stockton, A Kirilenko, D Marshall, R LaRue, S Padgett).

------------------------------------------- WASHINGTON 27 19 13 20 - 79 UTAH 28 25 17 24 - 94 -------------------------------------------

Technical fouls: Washington - 2 (R Hamilton, 2:19 4th; COACH Collins, 2:19 4th). Utah - (D Marshall, 2:00 4th; K Malone, 2:19 4th). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 19,911. T: 2:09. Officials: Joe Crawford, Ken Mauer, Tony Brothers.


Game Story

SALT LAKE CITY (Ticker) -- The Utah Jazz are securing their place in the playoffs while the Washington Wizards are watching their postseason hopes fade away.

Karl Malone had 23 points and eight rebounds and John Stockton added 19 points and seven assists to lead the Jazz to a 94-79 triumph over the Wizards.

Utah has won three of four on the heels of a four-game slide and have a 1 1/2 game lead on the ninth-place Los Angeles Clippers for the final Western Conference playoff spot.

Washington has split the first six games of a season-high seven-game road trip but is three games out of the playoff picture in the East.

The Wizards celebrated Michael Jordan's return from knee surgery on Wednesday with a victory over the lowly Denver Nuggets. Jordan returned to the Delta Center for the first time since Game Six of the 1998 NBA Finals, when he hit the game-winning jumper to lift the Chicago Bulls to their sixth title in eight seasons.

"It was kind of like a circus here because Michael was here," Malone said. "Our guys just came out and played. I've been been doing it for 17 years and played against him a lot, it doesn't do anything for me."

The Jazz never trailed after the first half and had a 63-56 edge with 2:47 left in the third quarter before carrying a 13-5 run into the fourth quarter.

John Starks nailed two jumpers and Greg Ostertag scored all three of his points during the spurt, which gave Utah a 76-61 cushion with 9:35 to play.

Christian Laettner scored six consecutive points to bring the Wizards within 83-75 with 3:33 remaining, but Starks and Bryon Russell made consecutive layups to seal the victory.

Malone made 7-of-14 shots from the floor and sank two 3-pointers in a game for the fourth time in his career.

"You come out and play and try to do what you're capable of doing and that's it," Malone said. "Some nights you shoot the ball well and some nights you don't."

Russell scored 11 points and rookie Andrei Kirilenko added eight off the bench for the Jazz, who shot just 44 percent (34-of-77) but scored 24 points off 12 offensive rebounds.

Washington shot only 34 percent (26-of-77) due to poor performances by Jordan and Richard Hamilton, who combined to make only 6-of-23 attempts.

"The Jazz played great defense tonight, I was very impressed," Washington coach Doug Collins said. "They did a great job on Rip Hamilton. We had a lot guys who had off shooting night but that was because of the Jazz defense."

Hamilton finished with 14 points and Jordan added 11 in 22 minutes off the bench for the Wizards, who have lost 14 of their last 15 visits to Utah.

"My knee feels good," Jordan said. "My minutes are increasing and my activity is increasing. I am not trying to overexert myself, so we are taking it pretty slow and each game I would like to see my minutes move up a little bit."

Chris Whitney scored 11 points and Popeye Jones collected 10 and 11 rebounds for Washington, which completes its seven-game road trip in Toronto on Sunday.

The Wizards took their only lead, 31-30 on a jumper by Jordan with 9:48 left in the second quarter. The Jazz took the lead for good on a jumper by rookie Rusty LaRue 32 seconds later.

Jordan dunked to forge a 46-46 tie with 1:48 left in the first half, but Malone buried a jumper and 3-pointer before DeShawn Stevenson made a layup to send Utah into halftime with a 53-46 edge.

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