Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 1/24

Game 1: Thursday, January 24th
Game 2: Saturday, January 26th
Game 3: Tuesday, February 26th
Game 4: Friday, April 5th

Jazz 81


Kings 107

(41-15, 29-2 home)

    Coverage: FSBAY

    7:30 PM ET, February 26, 2002

    Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, CA

    1 2 3 4 T
    UTAH 18 21 22 2081
    SAC 32 25 29 21107

    Top Performers

    Utah: K. Malone 11 Pts, 7 Reb, 5 Ast, 3 Stl

    Sacramento: C. Webber 16 Pts, 7 Reb, 5 Ast, 4 Stl, 1 Blk

    Jazz end their Olympic road relay 6-3

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Just two minutes into the final game of their 23-day road swing, John Stockton hit Karl Malone in the face with a pass.

    Obviously, the Jazz were in for a long night at the end of their long trip.

    Peja Stojakovic scored 19 points to lead six Kings in double figures as Sacramento beat the Jazz 107-81, improving to an NBA-best 29-2 at home and snapping Utah's six-game winning streak.

    In the final stop of their nine-game sojourn while the Olympics were held in Salt Lake City, the Jazz were flattened by the Kings for the third time this season. Malone scored just 11 points in a terrible game for the Jazz, who committed a season-high 29 turnovers while longing for the comforts of home.

    "They've been through a lot, and they've played really well, but we can make this a tough place to play," said Bobby Jackson, who scored 17 points in a reserve role for the Kings. "I'd like it if we learned from how they played on the road, but not the way they played tonight."

    Chris Webber scored 16 points and Vlade Divac had 11 points and 12 rebounds for the Kings as both teams played sloppy basketball and committed dozens of fouls. Still, Sacramento made enough runs to snap a two-game losing streak and improve the NBA's best record to 41-15.

    The Kings have defeated the Jazz by 33, 24 and 26 points in their three meetings this season.

    "They're better than us, can't you see that?" Utah coach Jerry Sloan asked. "We can't defend them, we can't get over screens, we can't run the floor. ... We didn't run any offense tonight. The first play of the game was the only offense we ran."

    This loss wasn't quite as embarrassing as Utah's 33-point defeat at Arco Arena four weeks earlier, but the Kings were in control all night. Sacramento, the only team that hasn't lost three straight games this season, beat its Western Conference rival for the sixth time in seven meetings.

    "They ran into us tonight when we were really ready to play," Sacramento coach Rick Adelman said. "We saw in practice that guys were upset with the way we've been playing. These guys have a lot of pride, and they're good. They respond."

    Jarron Collins and Rusty LaRue had 11 points apiece for the Jazz, who won in New York, Toronto, Philadelphia and Indiana in the past two weeks. They fell behind quickly against Sacramento as Malone was limited to four points on 2-of-9 shooting in the first half.

    "We had a lot of unforced turnovers -- throwing the ball off each other's faces, kicking balls around," said Scott Padgett, who had five points and eight rebounds. "This is probably about as bad as we can play."

    Malone was averaging 27.3 points and 9.8 rebounds since the All-Star break, but he appeared tired and irritable while trying to keep up with Webber. Malone also delayed the game several times by knocking the ball away from the officials, leading to loud jeers from the Arco Arena crowd.

    The Jazz will open a five-game homestand on Thursday at the Delta Center, where fans watched figure skating and short-track speed skating during the Olympics.

    Led by Stojakovic's outside shooting and rebounding, Sacramento used a 17-4 run to take an 18-point lead early in the second quarter. The lead never dropped below 10 points, and the Kings made another prolonged run to take a 25-point lead in the third before both teams emptied their benches early.

    "You can't dig a hole against this team," Stockton said. "They make it very difficult for you to get out of it."

    Donyell Marshall, who hadn't played for Utah since early January because of a bruised hip, returned to the lineup with seven points in 18 minutes.

    Game notes

    The Jazz are 1-11 this season against the West's top five teams. ... Before the game, Sacramento put Mateen Cleaves on the injured list and signed forward Chucky Brown to a 10-day contract. Brown, who played the final five minutes, set an NBA record by joining his 12th team. ... Referee George Toliver had a rough night, angering both coaches with his calls. When Toliver barked at Adelman's protest of a questionable foul, Adelman pointed at Sloan and said: "Don't get mad at me just because you're mad at him!"

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press