Jazz Fly By Knicks

Lance Mackey, of Kasilof, Alaska, leaves the Takotna, Alaska, checkpoint of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Thursday, March 9, 2006. The tortuous endurance race commemorates a dog sled relay in 1925 that carried serum 674 miles from Nenana to Nome to stop a diphtheria outbreak.
AP Photo/Al Grillo

The quick-starting Utah Jazz had 36 points in the first quarter. Not bad for a bunch of old men.

Karl Malone scored a season-high 33 points and John Stockton, fighting a respiratory illness, scored 17 as the Utah Jazz beat the New York Knicks 98-90 Wednesday night.

Afterward, Malone joked about Utah's aging lineup.

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  • "We're old, remember?" said Malone, 36. "We're two or three steps slower now. We can't play with other teams, right? I try not to read it anymore. I get tired of hearing how old I am."

    The Jazz hit their first 10 shots and 15 of their first 16 to build a 34-14 lead after almost nine minutes.

    "We had five guys really try to help each other defensively," said coach Jerry Sloan. "A lot of those shots came because our defense put us in a position to take better shots. We got a lot of easy shots."

    Utah cooled off in the second and third quarters but it was enough of a cushion to outlast the Knicks.

    Stockton, who had 11 assists, was listed as questionable until tipoff. After missing only 22 games in 15 years in the league, he showed no signs of the infection and played 30 minutes.

    Latrell Sprewell had 24 points for New York one night after scoring 26 in a 102-95 victory at Denver. Marcus Camby scored 18, Larry Johnson had 14 and Allan Houston added 13 for the Knicks.

    But all that mattered was New York's weak first quarter.

    "It would have been nice to come in here and get a win (but) we laid an egg, especially in the first quarter," Camb said. "I mean, games like this, you've got to be pumped up, juice yourself up, trick your mind that you're going to go out and play hard."

    Jeff Hornacek and Bryon Russell each had 10 points for the Jazz, who held a 46-33 rebounding advantage. Malone had 11 rebounds, 10 on the defensive end, and Greg Ostertag had eight boards.

    "We just didn't get the stops we needed and Malone played great," Sprewell said. "Ostertag was big in keeping some rebounds that we should have had alive and giving their squad a second opportunity to make baskets."

    It was New York's fourth loss in five games after the Knicks started the season with three straight wins. Worse for coach Jeff Van Gundy, it was the second of a five-game road swing through the West.

    "It's a tough week to win and we have to do tough things like travel the night before and play a rested, good team," Van Gundy said. "If we gave the effort we gave from the second quarter on, we have a chance to win."

    Utah shot 78 percent (15-of-19) in the first quarter, including three misses to end the period. The Jazz led 34-14 on a basket by Howard Eisley with 3:08 to play, their biggest lead of the game.

    Utah, which hasn't scored more than 100 points all season, went into a 4-for-15 slump in the second period but still managed to lead 60-42 at halftime. Malone had 20 points and Stockton had 11 at the break.

    New York pulled within 36-25 on a basket by Houston to open the second quarter. The Jazz hit 7-of-21 in the second quarter but scored the last six points of the period.

    Malone had seven of his 20 first-half points in the last 3:12.

    The Knicks made it 77-71 after three periods but rookie Scott Padgett and Russell opened the fourth quarter with 3-pointers for the Jazz. The Knicks closed to 93-86 on a jumper by Houston with 2:30 to play but couldn't get any closer.

    Notes

  • Chris Childs needed four stitches to close a cut he opened during a third-quarter collision with Stockton.
  • The Jazz have won 10 of their last 12 against the Knicks, who are winless in Salt Lake City since a 97-80 victory on Jan. 27, 1992. The teams didn't play last year in the lockout-shortened season.
  • Sloan was on the bench for his 1,075th game, moving him into 15th place on the NBA's all-time list. He passed Chuck Daly and Alvin Attles, who are tied for No. 16.

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