The Texas Hex ended Saturday night in HemisFair Arena, where the Jazz pulled away at the end for a 105-96 victory over the San Antonio Spurs.
Karl Malone had 35 points and a career-high 22 rebounds for the Jazz, who had lost 11 straight games in Texas. The Jazz used an 11-2 run midway through the fourth period to go up by 96-89 and maintained the lead to improve to 2-2 for the season. Johnny Dawkins had 30 points for the Spurs, 2-3.The Jazz will not be on the road again until they return to Texas - Dallas, in this case - Nov. 26. They open a six-game homestand against Indiana Tuesday.
The Jazz had the advantage of arriving Friday in San Antonio and waiting for the Spurs, who played and lost that night in Dallas. The Jazz were 4-3 in such situations last season.
In the first half against the Spurs, rookie point guard Jim Les helped the Jazz survive two long stretches with John Stockton on the bench. Actually, the Jazz gained 10 points in the 12-plus minutes that Les was in the game on the way to a 56-49 halftime lead as Les recorded six assists.
They were down 13-10 with 5:37 left in the first quarter when Stockton went out with his second foul. They had a 29-25 lead by the end of the quarter, closing with six straight points - Eric Leckner scored twice inside and Bart Kofoed hit a twisting, baseline jumper.
After missing a chance to build their lead to double figures or more early in the second quarter, the Jazz seemed in trouble when the Spurs turned a loose-ball scramble into Johnny Dawkins' three-point play at the other end, drawing Stockton's third foul with 5:50 left. Once again, Les stepped forward and played very efficiently, setting up Bailey and Malone for inside buckets in the last minute.
Malone missed the team's morning shootaround with a sore knee and was questionable for the game, but extended his team record with his 216th consecutive start. The Mailman produced 22 points and nine rebounds in the first half, removing any doubts about his condition.
Strangely, the Jazz struggled again with Stockton on the floor as thr third quarter opened. Using a 12-1 start, the Spurs took a four-point lead. The lead went back and forth until the Jazz, paced by Bailey and Les in the last four minutes, moved up by 77-72 entering the final period.