CLEVELAND (AP) -- At age 38, Karl Malone still has plenty of fun
making life miserable for opposing fans.
Malone scored 35 points to lead the Utah Jazz to a 103-92
victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night -- then poked
fun at fans who tried to disrupt his rhythm at the foul line by
hooting, hollering and waving white balloons.
Utah's Karl Malone calls himself an old, broken-down forward, but he scored 35 Monday and battled for loose balls.
"They were vocal, but didn't cross the line," said Malone, who
bowed to fans chanting, "Karl, Karl," as he left the game with 41
seconds to play.
"It's like the fans are starting to say this guy has been doing
this for 17 years, he's not going to do it much longer. I'm
allowing myself to have a little more fun."
Malone dominated the second half by scoring 23 points as Utah
won its fifth straight and improved to 5-2 on its nine-game trip,
forced by the Olympics in Salt Lake City. It is the club's longest
trip since an 11-game swing in the Jazz's first season of 1974-75.
"Everybody is making a big deal of it, but it doesn't matter,"
Jazz guard Bryon Russell said. "We've got to play on the road
Malone looked right at home -- especially at the foul line, where
he made 13 of 16 free throws. He was the key factor in forcing
three Cleveland players -- centers Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Chris
Mihm, and forward Tyrone Hill -- to foul out.
"The only guy who really had a chance against him was Tyrone,"
Cavs coach John Lucas said. "Karl looked at me like I was nuts
whenever I put somebody else in there. I told him, `That's all I
got right now.' "
Lamond Murray scored 25 points to lead the Cavs, who had a
season-high, four-game winning streak snapped. Murray scored 11
points in the first 4:36 of the third quarter. Cleveland turned a
15-point halftime deficit into a 71-70 lead with 58 seconds left in
"What frustrates me is I'm crazy enough to believe we are
supposed to win this game," Lucas said. "I know that's a better
team, but we're at home and had won four straight. I didn't see the
arrogance of a team that had won four in a row."
Malone restored Utah's lead at 72-71 with a 17-foot jumper 21
seconds later. Cleveland never led again.
Andre Miller had 18 points and 12 assists for Cleveland. He made
a career-high 16 of 17 free throws, but shot just 1-for-9 from the
"Once we got behind it was a long climb," Miller said. "They
played tough, hard-nosed defense. We had to work for our baskets."
Rookie forward Andrei Kirilenko scored 15 points for Utah,
finishing six dunks at the end of give-and-go plays with John
Stockton or Malone. Stockton had 12 points and six assists.
The Jazz finished the first quarter on a 14-0 run to lead 22-13
as the Cavs went scoreless the final 6:12. Cleveland shot 26
percent from the field in the first half and trailed 50-35 at the
Cleveland turned its game around in the third quarter, hitting
12 of their first 14 shots and going 7-for-7 from the foul line to
tie it at 68.
With eight rebounds, Malone passed Wes Unseld into ninth
place on the NBA career list with 13,770. ... Lucas said point
guard Bimbo Coles, who missed his third straight game because of a
strained left knee, will be re-evaluated Friday. ... Jazz rookie
DeShawn Stevenson completed his three-game NBA suspension for
pleading no contest to having sex with a minor. ... Russell played
in his 600th career game. ... The Cavs made 36 of 45 free throws.
Both were team season highs. ... Hill, Miller and Ilgauskas shot a
combined 19 percent (5-for-26) from the field.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
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