Malone's last-second shot keeps Jazz going


SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The Utah Jazz's fourth straight win was a close one.

Karl Malone's putback with 0.6 seconds left forced overtime and
the Jazz outlasted the New Jersey Nets 106-103 Monday night in a
physical game that lasted nearly three hours and featured 63
personal fouls, including two flagrants, and three technicals.

"It took some tough defensive stands to win this game. It felt
like June,'' said Tony Massenburg, who scored 13 for the Jazz.
"There was a lot of stuff going on in there, but that's the NBA.
It's physical -- a man's game.''

John Stockton finished with a season-high 25 points, including
eight in overtime when he was 5-for-6 from the free-throw line.
Malone scored 24, getting four in OT, and had 11 rebounds.

"It was a tough game. They don't lose too many,'' Stockton
said. "But we can't make too much of it. We've got to continue to
try to keep it even for each team.''

The Nets had a chance to force a second overtime, but Jason
Kidd's 3-point attempt just before the buzzer missed. Kidd felt he
was fouled by Malone on the play and he and several other Nets
stood on the floor in dismay after no call was made.

"If Karl or John were shooting that it would have been a foul.
I've been here too long and I've seen that happen,'' said Kidd, who
finished with 33 points.

Utah has won seven of its last eight games and 12 of its last 14
while reaching 10 games above .500 for the first time this season.

Kidd finished with 13 rebounds, but also had 10 of the Nets' 21
turnovers. Kerry Kittles scored 22 while Richard Jefferson added 18
points for New Jersey.

Matt Harpring scored 23 and Malone had 11 rebounds for the Jazz,
who went 6-for-8 from the free-throw line in overtime.

"That's a big thing. You always have to be able to make your
free throws down the stretch,'' Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said.
"We've had a few when we didn't do that and they got away from

Andrei Kirilenko added 13 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks for
the Jazz.

New Jersey's Kenyon Martin, who averages 14.4 points, scored
just four before fouling out with 6:06 left in regulation. The Nets
were called for 33 fouls to Utah's 30.

"It was more or less a physical game. That's what hurts. Two
teams that played hard but the officials wanted to get involved,''
Kidd said.

The Nets almost opened a five-game road trip with a win after
Kidd broke an 89-89 tie on layup with 12.3 seconds to go.

The Jazz nearly turned it over on the inbounds attempt, but kept
possession and called timeout with 9.4 seconds to go. Stockton's
layup attempt bounced out, but Malone got the rebound and his
putback tied it at 91.

"We got some stops and all we needed was a couple of rebounds
to secure the win and we weren't able to come up with it,'' New
Jersey coach Byron Scott said. "That's on us. They were more
physical, more aggressive and we let them push us around.''

Kittles opened the overtime with a 3-pointer that gave the Nets
their last lead. Malone cut it to a point with a jumper, then
Stockton hit a 3-pointer with about 2:30 remaining that gave the
Jazz the lead for good at 96-94.

Aaron Williams, who scored 13, hit a jumper in the lane that got
the Nets to 101-99, but the Nets were forced to foul and Stockton
went 5-for-5 from the line before missing his last attempt, setting
up Kidd's last-second shot.

Game notes
New Jersey center Jason Collins had three points and two
rebounds as his twin brother, Jarron, watched from the Utah bench.
Jarron Collins has been on the injured list since Dec. 15 with torn
ligaments in his right knee. ... Stockton made a running jumper
just before the buzzer at the end of the second quarter that got
the Jazz to 42-41 at halftime. ... Scott was called for a technical
with 6:20 left in the third quarter after Kidd made a layup that
gave the Nets a 53-48 lead. "He was fouled about five times down
there,'' Scott shouted at referee Tim Donaghy after the technical
was called. ... Sloan and Stockton also drew technicals. Utah's
Scott Padgett and Massenburg were called for the flagrants.