The Jazz were never this good in the Superdome in the old days. Monday night, the Jazz returned to the franchise's birthplace and easily downed Washington 106-96 in an exhibition game.
Only the size of the crowd seemed familiar - 4,171. Little wonder the Jazz left New Orleans for Utah after the 1978-79 season.The game was a memorial for former Jazz great Pete Maravich, whose jersey was officially added to Archie Manning's on the Superdome Wall of Fame at halftime, and a homecoming for Washington's Ledell Eackles and John Williams, once of the University of New Orleans and Louisiana State, respectively. Eackles scored 17 points and Williams and Darrell Walker added 14 each, but that was not nearly enough for the Bullets.
Karl Malone led the Jazz with 21 points and 14 rebounds and John Stockton added 12 points and 14 assists - starting with eight points and seven assists in the first quarter. Bobby Hansen, who came off the bench in relief of starter Darrell Griffith, added 11 points and Mike Brown and Scott Roth had 10 each.
Coach Frank Layden used three of his four of his point guards, with rookie Ricky Grace making his first appearance of the preseason and Billy Donovan also playing. The Jazz, 2-0, face the Los Angeles Lakers in the Forum Wednesday before coming home for games Friday against Philadelphia in the Salt Palace and Saturday against Golden State in Ogden.
The Jazz were never really in trouble against the Bullets after taking a 32-19 first-quarter lead. They held Washington, 1-2, to 19 more points in the second quarter in building the lead to 55-38, and the closest the Bullets came after that was the 10-point final margin.