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Finally! Stock's shot sends Jazz to Chicago

Published: Friday, May 30 1997 12:00 a.m. MDT

"I think that's when we knew we could win the game," said Jazz guard Jeff Hornacek. "We knew in the end they would be tight in a close game. We had the luxury of a seventh game, but they didn't."

After the timeout Barkley made two foul shots, but Russell hit another three, and after a missed three-pointer by Houston's Mario Elie, Stockton took Threatt to the hoop for a layup, cutting the Rockets lead to two. Stockton then stole the ball from Drexler in traffic, went down to the other end and again burned Threatt, tying the contest at 98 with 1:03 remaining.

On the Rockets' next possession, they missed three shots before Barkley was fouled by Ostertag, sending the Jazz center to the bench with his sixth personal. Barkley made both free throws, but Stockton came right back with a six-foot runner in the lane to tie again.

After a Houston timeout, Drexler took the ball with 22 seconds left and the shot clock off. He dribbled out near halfcourt until there were about eight seconds left, then he attempted to drive on Russell. Converged on by several Jazz players, Drexler launched a wild bank shot that Malone rebounded, giving Utah the opportunity to win.

"They got up by 11 points and we didn't give up," Malone said. "Each guy on this team did something special to give us an opportunity. What an awesome feeling."

Stockton led the Jazz with 25 points and 13 assists, but every Jazz starter - for the first time in the postseason - scored in double figures. Malone totaled 24 points, 11 boards; Russell hit six of eight shots for 15 points; Hornacek scored 18; and Ostertag had a monster game - 16 points, 14 rebounds, a big role in limiting Olajuwon to a mere 16 points.

"Ostertag grew up in a hurry tonight," Malone said.

Like a lot of Jazz fans, Ostertag said he was more excited for veterans Malone and Stockton than for himself.

"It was one of the greatest feelings to give Karl a big hug tonight, knowing we'd gotten him and John to the Finals," he said. "That was awesome."

*****

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

NBA Finals

(Best-of-7)

Sunday

Utah at Chicago, 5:30 p.m.

Wednesday

Utah at Chicago, 7 p.m.

Friday

Chicago at Utah, 7 p.m.

Sunday, June 8

Chicago at Utah, 5:30 p.m.

Wednesday, June 11

*Chicago at Utah, 7 p.m.

Friday, June 13

*Utah at Chicago, 7 p.m.

Sunday, June 15

*Utah at Chicago, 5:30 p.m.

All games on Ch. 5 (NBC)

*-if necessary

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