Utah 95, Portland 77
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) _ Karl Malone scored 22 points and pulled down a game-high 18 rebounds Saturday night as the Utah Jazz beat the Portland Trail Blazers 95-77.
Malone scored 14 second-half points after being held to a single basket in the first half by the double- and triple-teaming Trail Blazers.
He managed to make just 6 of 21 shots against the defense of Portland big men Kevin Duckworth and Buck Williams, but he made 10 of 12 free throws.
Clyde Drexler led the Trail Blazers with 26 points, while Terry Porter added 19.
Jeff Malone scored 14 points for Utah, while Tyron Corbin finished with 13, including nine in the fourth quarter. John Stockton had 11 points and 10 assists.
Drexler gave the Trail Blazers their best chance early in the third quarter, scoring 10 points in a 12-2 run that pulled Portland from a 16-point halftime deficit to within six points with 8:50 to go.
But an 15-8 Jazz run, led by Karl Malone’s three baskets and pair of free throws, reestablished Utah’s lead at 72-59 going into the final 12 minutes.
For the first five minutes of the game, it appeared Portland was in control.
The Trail Blazers opened the contest with an 11-3 run, with Drexler’s 3- pointer and baseline dunk and Buck Williams’ two field goals leading the way.
But the Jazz answered with their own 10-4 scoring burst, as reserve guard Eric Murdock scored six points.
Trailing 21-20 after the first quarter, Utah opened the second period with a 16-5 run. Blue Edwards had seven points and David Benoit six to lead the charge, which gave the Jazz a 36-26 led with 7:13 remaining in the half.
Utah pushed its lead to 17 points on Karl Malone’s baseline dunk with 1:44 left, and the Jazz led 55-39 at halftime.