20 years ago: Jazz, Suns battling in NBA playoffs

Deseret News

Published: Saturday, April 23 2011 8:14 p.m. MDT

The Utah Jazz and Phoenix Suns split the first two games of their first-round NBA playoff series, with Utah clobbering Phoenix by 39 points, 129-90, in a stunning Game 1 rout — the Suns' worst playoff defeat ever — at Veterans Memorial Coliseum, where the Jazz had won just four of their previous 34 regular-season games.

Phoenix bounced back with a 102-92 win in Game 2 before the best-of-five series shifted to Utah for Game 3, with the Jazz grabbing a 107-98 victory at the Salt Palace to take a 2-1 series lead.

Utah's postseason success was fueled by the Malones — Karl and Jeff. In the first two playoff games at Phoenix, Karl Malone went 20-of-34 from the field for 49 points with 24 rebounds. Jeff Malone was 17-of-31 and scored 44 points.

Karl Malone had 32 points and 10 rebounds in Game 3, and Blue Edwards had 22 points and 10 boards. John Stockton contributed 18 points and 12 assists in the win.

For Phoenix, the Suns' leading scorers in Games 2 and 3 were two future Jazzmen — Jeff Hornacek (25 points in Game 2) and Tom Chambers (26 points in Game 3).

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