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Heat Top Jazz With Late Push

Tim Hardaway had four points and an assist in the final 48 seconds as the Miami Heat fought off the Utah Jazz and won their eighth straight road game, 104-102 on Tuesday night.

Utah missed two shots in the final five seconds that could have tied or won the game. Karl Malone missed an open jumper with five seconds left and after Voshon Lenard missed two free throws for Miami, John Stockton's desperation 3-pointer from midcourt fell short.

Lenard and Alonzo Mourning had 20 points apiece to lead the Heat, who won their season-best seventh straight game. Utah had its seven-game winning streak snapped and lost for just the fifth time at home this season.

Miami led 96-88 with 2:30 to play before Utah made an 8-2 run capped by Bryon Russell's free throws with 1:10 left. Hardaway and Stockton exchanged 3-pointers before Mourning hit a jumper from the top of the key with 21 seconds to play.

Stockton hit another 3 to pull Utah within 103-102, and Hardaway missed one of two free throws. Malone had an open look at the basket, but he waited a moment too long and pulled his shot left to avoid an onrushing defender.

Malone led Utah with 26 points and 11 rebounds. Jeff Hornacek had 14 points for Utah, while Stockton added 12 points and 10 assists.

Hardaway and Dan Majerle each had 18 points for Miami, which increased its Atlantic Division lead over New York and New Jersey to six games. Mourning and P.J. Brown each had nine rebounds.

The Heat made an 18-2 run in less than six minutes of the third quarter to blow open what had been a close game. Miami, which had lost seven straight times to Utah, hit eight of 10 shots during the run, including 3-pointers by Lenard and Eric Murdock.

Majerle scored eight straight points during a 10-2 fourth-quarter run that gave Miami a 91-76 lead with six minutes to play.

The lead changed hands eight times in the first six minutes, and Malone and Lenard each finished the first quarter with 11 points.

The Heat made an 11-0 run to take a 45-34 lead with 4:44 left in the half, but the Jazz answered with a 13-4 run over the next 4:10. Stockton hit a long 3-pointer as time expired in the first half to cut Miami's lead to 53-50.

Miami was the final Eastern Conference team to visit the Delta Center this season. The Jazz went 13-2 against their Eastern foes, dropping only this game and a 90-86 decision to Washington on Nov. 3.

Notes: Before the game, the Jazz signed rookie center William Cunningham to a second 10-day contract. Cunningham averaged 1.5 points and 1.8 rebounds in four games with Utah. Against Miami, he picked up three fouls in three minutes of play. ... Mark Strickland saw his first action for Miami since going on the disabled list on Jan. 19. ... Utah and Miami are a combined 14-2 since the All-Star break. ... Lenard and Utah's Howard Eisley were teammates at Detroit's Southwestern High School. ... The game was the first at home for Greg Foster and Chris Moris since their aborted trade to the Orlando Magic for Rony Seikaly.

©1998 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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