K. Malone, Jazz whip Bullets Chapman's 32 wasted, 112-96

December 11, 1992|By Kevin Niendorf | Kevin Niendorf,Contributing Writer

SALT LAKE CITY -- Guard Rex Chapman scored season-high 32 points but it wasn't enough for the Washington Bullets, who dropped a 112-96 decision last night to the Midwest Division-leading Utah Jazz.

Forward Karl Malone scored 33 points and pulled down nine rebounds to lead the Jazz, who earned the 11th victory in the past 12 meetings between the teams.

The Jazz was 5-for-8 on three-point attempts, unusual because it was the league's worst shooting team from that distance. The Jazz had made 14 of 64 attempts before last night.

Point guard John Stockton added 17 points and 19 assists for Utah, which improved to 11-6. Stockton's assist total was an NBA high this season. The previous high was 18, by Stockton on Nov. 14 against the Los Angeles Clippers on Nov. 14, and by the Bullets' Doug Overton against the San Antonio Spurs on Dec. 1.

"We didn't get back on defense . . . Stockton's gonna find thosguys and that hurt us," Bullets guard Michael Adams said of number of easy layups by the Jazz.

Forward Harvey Grant scored 17 for the Bullets, who fell to 7-11 overall and 1-1 on their five-game western road trip, which continues tonight against the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Bullets had held Malone to 22 points in the teams' previous meeting, a 126-109 Washington victory on Nov. 21 at the Capital Centre. Last night, he shot 14-for-24.

"As long as they let him get down in there and push people around, yeah, he'll be better," Bullets coach Wes Unseld said of the difference between Malone's performances in the two meetings.

"Karl was too tough for us," Grant said. "We didn't have anyone who could stop him, but there aren't too many people in the league that can stop him."

Another factor in the Jazz's victory was a 50-39 rebounding edge.

"I think rebounding was one of the many factors that hurt us in thegame," said Unseld. "We shot well the first half [but] we did a couple of dumb things at the end of the first quarter allowing them to jump on us more. I think that hurt us."

Malone scored 11 of his 12 third-quarter points in an 18-8 run that the Jazz used at the start of the quarter to open an 83-63 lead. Washington closed the gap to 86-74 with 57 seconds left in the third quarter, but that was as close as the Bullets would get.

The Jazz held Bullets rookie Tom Gugliotta, who entered the game averaging 16.5 points, to seven points on 3-for-13 shooting.

"I just put pressure on myself to play well," said Gugliotta. "They opened it up in the third quarter and it wore us out."

Utah's David Benoit held Gugliotta in check and contributed 18 points.

"I was just trying to read the things he was trying to do," said Benoit. "He doesn't quite have the Larry Bird fake yet."

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