Jazz 109, Rockets 105
Mar. 27, 2002
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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) _ It was a happy birthday for John Stockton, all right, with a surprise gift from a most unexpected source: Greg Ostertag.
Stockton scored 20 points on his 40th birthday, while Karl Malone scored 23 and Ostertag had 11 of his 12 points in the fourth quarter as the Jazz beat the Houston Rockets 109-105 Tuesday night.
The Jazz won their 11th straight at home over the Rockets despite 32 points by Steve Francis, who was held to two in the fourth quarter. Cuttino Mobley added 28 points and got Houston within 107-105 on a 3-pointer with 4.9 seconds to go.
Stockton, who hit two free throws with 26 seconds on the clock, swished another pair to extend the lead to the final margin. He became the 10th man in NBA history to play after turning 40.
``Happy birthday, John Stockton. You earned it,'' arena announcer Dan Roberts said as confetti fell from the ceiling after the horn.
Utah rallied from a 15-point third-quarter deficit, trailing 77-62 when Mobley hit a 3-pointer, and 81-66 after a basket by Terence Morris with 2:30 to go in the third quarter.