Malone had 29 points and Donyell Marshall scored 13 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter Friday night as the Jazz beat the Clippers for the 12th straight time, 102-86.
The Jazz recorded consecutive victories for the first time this season. They hadn't taken this long to win back-to-back games since 1979-80, their first season in Utah, when they needed 23 games to do it.
"It may feel strange, but it feels better than the alternative at this point," Stockton said.
Malone shot 10-for-16 and made nine of 10 free throws before
hyperextending his right knee with 6:12 remaining. The NBA's career
leader in free throws made, Malone will break Wilt Chamberlain's
league record for attempts from the line with 16 more.
Elton Brand, whose season-high 28 points at Delta Center on Nov.
23 couldn't prevent the Clippers' 25th consecutive loss at Utah,
had 25 points and 10 rebounds. Jeff McInnis had 14 points on 7-for-19 shooting -- the fifth time this season he has missed 10 or
"He's got to take those shots. I think you hurt the team just
as much if you don't take those shots," Gentry said.
Marshall, who entered with a league-leading .594 field goal percentage, showed no effects from a mild groin strain that sidelined him for two games. He had a dunk and a driving layup during a 14-3 run that opened the fourth quarter and gave the Jazz an 83-70 lead with 8:26 remaining.
The Jazz, who entered the game averaging a league-leading 18.3 turnovers, committed only 11 for the second straight game.
"We're starting now to come down the court, thinking about what
we need to do -- instead of coming down and just making boneheaded plays," Marshall said. "That's what we were doing at the beginning of the season. Now we're making a conscious effort to get the ball to the guy who is open."
"We know that if we can continue to play as a team and help
each other on defense, we'll have a lot of success."
The Clippers, who missed their first six shots of the final
period, got no closer. McInnis' 12-footer was their only field goal
during the first seven minutes of the quarter.
"It was one of those deals where, in order for us to stay in
that game, we had to keep the pressure on offensively. But we just
didn't shoot the ball well and didn't execute very well," Gentry
said. "And for the first time, I thought we got outhustled on some plays."
McInnis missed nine of his first 10 shots before making a short running jumper with 19 seconds left in the first half to tie the score at 42.
"He does get discouraged, but we tell him not to," Brand said. "We know Jeff is going to make shots and they're eventually going to fall. Even if he's 1-for-10, we encourage him to keep shooting. I personally encouraged him to keep shooting because his man was coming off him and I know he can hit those."
The Jazz, who overcame a 12-point deficit to beat the Clippers
on Nov. 23 at Utah, fell behind by as many as 10 in the second
quarter before pulling ahead 37-35 with a 16-4 run. Marshall's
12-footer capped the rally with 3:47 left in the half.
The Clippers have had losing streaks of a dozen or more games
against nine other teams since the franchise moved to Los Angeles
after the 1993-94 season -- including an active 15-game drought
against San Antonio. Their longest skid against one team is 17
games -- against Portland from Apr. 10, 1986 through Mar. 2, 1989.
Game notes Clippers guard Eric Piatkowski sat out his third straight
game because of a strained right hip flexor. ... Stockton, the
NBA's career assists leader, is averaging 8.8 assists through the
first 19 games. The last time he averaged fewer than 11 assists in
a season was 1986-87 (7.9). ... ... Utah's next two victories will
give coach Jerry Sloan 700 regular-season wins with the Jazz. ...
Utah shot 41 percent, ending a streak of four straight Clippers
opponents that have shot less than 40 percent from the field. ...
Keith McLaren, whose son is the official scorer at Clippers home
games, was the only scoreboard operator the Jazz ever had in Utah
until his death on June 19. To honor his dad, Kent McLaren displays
an 8X10 photo of the two of them working a Clippers game at Anaheim