The overtime period didn't start off too auspiciously for John Stockton, who was coming off a scoreless fourth quarter. After the Jazz got the opening tip, he missed a shot in the lane. Then a minute later he fired up an air ball from 3-point land.
Then suddenly Stockton got cookin'. His drive and floater in the paint cut the Boston lead to 102-101. His free throw off a technical foul (illegal defense) tied the score. Then on the ensuing possession, he canned a 20-footer to put the Jazz ahead for good.In all, Stockton scored 9 of his 23 points in the overtime and added a big assist and a key steal to lift the Jazz to victory and stop the Celtics' winning streak at five.
So tell us, John, about your heroics in the overtime period.
"My recollection was that the biggest basket was when Thurl took it from the right side," said the always-modest Stockton. "But what the heck, everybody's got to mix in a shot now and then."
Of course the assist on Bailey's basket came from - who else - Stockton, who dished out 17 on the night.
Bailey's basket at the 1:17 mark made it 106-102, but he didn't even get to see it because he was more concerned about his personal safety at the time.
"I drove in the lane and went up and about the time I let it go, I was more worried about where I was going to land. I looked down, but I heard everybody clapping so I guessed it went in," said Bailey.
On the next Jazz possession, Bailey tried a similar shot only to have it rejected by Kevin McHale. With 40 seconds left, Boston was still alive.
But up came Stockton again. After Brian Shaw drove past him near the foul line, Stockton reached around and knocked the ball away. It went directly to Karl Malone, who hit a streaking Stockton for a layup to virtually clinch things at 108-102.
"I was trailing my man and I didn't have a lot of options," said Stockton. "I took a swipe at it, made contact and Karl got it to me for an easy layup."
After that, Stockton and Delaney Rudd each hit a pair of free throws for good measure.
On the Boston side, they were complaining about a non-call early in the overtime when the Celtics led 102-99 on a Larry Bird 3-pointer. After a Karl Malone miss, Bird came down and tried a shot from just inside the three-point line. The shot uncharacteristically bonked off the front of the rim, but according to Bird he was hit on the play.
"We get the call there, we're up five and the game's over," said Bird. Well, there would have been three minutes left, but still a foul call there could have made a difference.
"We got up by three and that was it," said Boston Coach Chris Ford. "We weren't very patient with our offense."
Ford just shook his head when asked about Stockton. "He's one of the best. He does it night in and night out."