Utah 102, Phoenix 99
Game 81: Friday at America West Arena
... 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
Jazz 23 27 23 29 - 102
Suns 30 18 30 21 - 99
1st quarter: Rex Chapman, listed as "questionable" prior to the game due to a hamstring injury, starts and scores 10 points in six minutes for the Suns. Jason Kidd adds seven assists. The Jazz are led by Jeff Hornacek and Karl Malone, who score eight each.
2nd quarter: Bryon Russell comes off the bench and scores 13 to help the Jazz rally from a seven-point deficit to a two-point lead at the half.
3rd quarter: The Jazz open up a six-point lead before the Suns go on a 13-2 rally to lead by seven. Utah starts to lose some composure, as Hornacek, Malone and coach Jerry Sloan each pick up technical fouls.
4th quarter: Russell and Shandon Anderson score eight points each as the Jazz win for the first time this season on the road when trailing after three quarters. Karl Malone scores seven.
Who's hot: Russell. He scored 21 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the field in 30 minutes of play. He also added five rebounds.
Key to the game: The Jazz' shooting. They shot 56 percent from the field (40-of-70) to 48 percent for the Suns.
Records: Jazz 62-19; Suns 55-26
Quotable: The Jazz are "a reflection of (coach Jerry) Sloan. He played that kind of basketball. He got knocked down and he always got up. With Karl Malone, it's like a hard-working pitcher on the mound. If the batter digs in, that pitcher is going to put one on his chin. He's got to play, too. I respect that." - Suns assistant and former BYU coach Roger Reid.
Notable: The Jazz clinched homecourt advantage throughout the playoffs and at least a tie for the best record in the NBA. They will play the Houston Rockets in the first round of the playoffs beginning Thursday night in the Delta Center . . . The Jazz have won six of their last nine meetings in America West Arena, but the Suns lead the overall series 42-11 in games played in Phoenix . . . The Jazz are now 16-11 against teams from the Pacific Division and improved to 5-8 on the road against the Pacific. Utah finished the year 22-2 against Midwest Division foes . . . The Jazz became the first team to beat the Suns on a Friday night this year. Phoenix was 15-0 on Fridays before the Jazz ended the streak.
Next Up: Jazz at L.A. Lakers, Sunday, 1:30 p.m. at the Great Western Forum.