Utah Jazz at Dallas Mavericks

Greg Ostertag did not play due to being ill.

Both teams started the game shooting cold and Dallas was turnover prone.
Jim Jackson finally scored the Mavs' first basket with 7:48 left in the
quarter as Utah was up 6-2.  Jackson scored 4 more points over the next
minute to tie the game 6-6.  Utah then went on a 9-2 run to go up 15-8
with 3 minutes left.  Chris Gatling scored 4 points and Jamal Mashburn hit
a 3-pointer as the Mavs closed the quarter with a 7-0 run.  After 1 the
game was tied 15-15.  Dallas shot 37% FG and Utah shot 30% FG.

John Stockton hit 2 3-pointers in the first 3 minutes of the game, but
the game was either tied or Dallas up by 2-6 points for the first half of
the quarter.  Dallas led 29-23 with 7:20 left.  Utah then went on a 6-0
run to tie the game at 29-29 with 4:45 left.  Utah led 38-35 at the half.
Neither team had any fast break points and there were 25 turnovers
committed in the half (both teams had over 10 each).  Utah shot 35.7% FG 
and Dallas shot 38% FG for the game.  John Stockton had 10 points and 4 
assists and Bryon Russell had 10 points.  Gatling had 7 points and 9 

Utah opened the 3rd with a 6-0 run to go up 44-35 with 10:30 left.  Eric
Montross scored the Mavs' first basket of the quarter on a tip-in with
9:20 left.  [It seems the Mavs are making a habit of not scoring until 3
or 4 minutes into quarters.]  A 3-pointer by Stockton put Utah up 49-40
with 7:40 left.  Dallas went on a 14-2 run that included a sweet alley-oop
from Jason Kidd to Gatling to cut Utah's led down to 54-51 with 3:50 to
go.  Utah closed the quarter with a 13-2 run to go up 67-53 after 3.
Karl Malone had 13 points and 5 rebounds.  Dallas missed 6 3-pointers in
the quarter.

Dallas opened the quarter with a 9-2 run with 6 points from Gatling and a
3-pointer from George McCloud.  Utah led 69-62 with 9:40 remaining.  A
3-pointer by Derek Harper cut Utah's led to 73-71 with 6:35 left.  The
line up Kidd, Gatling, Harper, McCloud, and Oliver Miller led the Mavs'
comeback (and, of course, Utah being ice cold).  Gatling scored the next 4
points to give Dallas the lead at 75-74 with 4:18 left.  The Mavs rally
continued as Gatling converted the 3 point play, Kidd hit 2 free throws
(and  missed 2 free throws), and McCloud hit his 3rd 3-pointer of
the quarter.  Dallas had their largest lead at 83-75 with 1:50 left as
they had gone on a 15-3 run.  Jeff Hornacek made two free throws and
Stockton drained the quick 3 after Harper missed the long 2 to cut Dallas' 
lead down to 83-80 with a minute left.  Miller hit 2 free throws with 50
seconds left and Stockton again nailed a quick 3-pointer 2 feet behind the
line.  85-83 Dallas with 45 seconds remaining.  The teams traded
possessions and Harper hit 2 free throws (both of them hit the front of 
the rim and bounced up and in).  25.2 seconds left.  Hornacek drove for the
layup and was fouled by Harper.  He made the extra to put the game at
86-87 Dallas with 22.1 seconds left.  During the timeout, Harper got a T
for saying something to the ref.  Miracle of miracles, Hornacek (career
86.6% FT shooter) missed the technical.  And then something even dummer
happened.  The 24 second clock was off, so Utah had to foul.  McCloud
(career 79.1% FT) is the inbounder  and Jackson (career 81.2% FT)
is on the floor and they inbound it to  Harper (career 74.6 FT and 
4-9 FT this season).  I watched it again, they could have inbounds it to
Jackson and it even looked like the play was to inbound it to Harper.  And
Harper bricked both of the free throws.  Timeout Utah with 19.1 seconds
left.  86-87 Dallas.  Utah inbound the ball and worked their play.
McCloud managed to tip the ball out of bounds with 5.9 seconds left.  
Guess who called the timeout?  _Cleamons_  He used their 20 second timeout 
so that he cloud sub Miller in for Jackson (Utah did not have a large 
lineup on the court so why did he do this?), leaving the Mavs only with a 
full timeout left.  Utah inbounded to Stockton who forced up the 10-footer, 
but Miller bumped him.  Stockton hit both free throws to give Utah the 
lead at 88-87 with 2 seconds left.  The Mavs used their last timeout and 
advanced the ball to mid-court.  McCloud looked to inbounds the ball, but 
no one was open and the 5 seconds was about to expire.  Instead of being 
able to call a timeout and reset the play, McCloud was forced to inbound 
the ball to Kidd who forced up the 3 with Stockton defending him closely.  
Kidd's shot hit the back of the rim.  Game over.  Utah 88, Dallas 87.

Take your pick: blame Cleamons or blame Harper.  Both did bonehead things
in the last minute of the game.  Or, to really get me going, blame the
pathetic free throw shooting.  The Mavs missed _10_ free throws in the
game, including 6 missed in the 4th quarter.  The team had missed 72 free 
throws in 8 games.  Something has to be done.  Here's my idea: _require_ 
(not optional) each player to shoot 1.5 times (100 minus their free throw 
percentage) with a minimum of 20 and a maximum of 100 every single day.  
They need to do more than the usual 10 make drill that most teams use.

Once again, a great game by Chris Gatling has gone to waste.  Gatling had
23 points and 20 boards.  John Stockton was just unconscious behind the
line.  He was 5-5 for 3-pointers and 2 of those came in the last minute of
the game.  Stockton finshed with 23 points including 7-11 FG and 8


Jerry Sloan on Stockton: "He is really amazing.  I almost took him out of 
the game because he could barely walk.  He sprained his ankle.  He finished 
the game, but I don't know how he did it.  He is an unbelievable 
competitor. He wasn't going to lay down and quit.  He doesn't know the 

Sloan: "That's what basketball is all about.  It is up and down like a 
yo-yo.  I wasn't relaxed.  But I still have confidence if you keep 

John Stockton: "A couple of shots fell and all of a sudden we were in it 
and it gave us a breath a life.

Karl Malone: "I think that I didn't shoot the ball real well.  I had an 
awful game.  We were still able to win.  We made it tougher than it should 
have been but we won the ballgame."

Jim Cleamons: "I think we kind of relaxed before the game was officially 
over.  Give Utah credit - they hit a couple of shots down the stretch that 
I thought were tough shots.  Stockton's two three-pointers.  We went to 
the free-throw line and didn't knock down our free throws.  They scored 
baskets and we came up empty handed."

Cleamons: "We didn't knock down our free throws, and I also think we kind 
of relaxed before the game was officially over.  Give Utah credit for 
hitting a couple of shots down the stretch that I thought were tough 

Cleamons: "It's a shame to work so hard and come up empty.  But these are 
the growing pains.  Growth can be painful, but nobody in this league is 
going to feel sorry for us.  We've got to learn to finish it off."

Cleamons: "It's a shame you work so hard to come up short like that.
That's the path they're taking in order to get to the next level.  It
isn't something that' pretty.  What they have to realize is no one in this
league feels sorry for them."

Derek Harper: "We found a way to get back into the game, but you've got 
to close the deal.  You can't miss free throws in critical situations
like I did.  What we've got to do is to weather these stretches.  We've
got to remember that it's a long season."

Harper: I don't believe in making excuses.  At that stage of the game, you
have to play smart and step up to the plate and do the things down the
stretch in order to win.  We didn't do that."

Jason Kidd: "Harp doesn't owe us anything.  He gave us a spark to get the 
comeback going.  We've just got to learn to close the deal."

Uta-Dal boxscore

Patricia Bender
Not affiliated with or representing anyone besides myself.