NO THANKS: Japan is just a memory, and not necessarily a nice one, for the Utah Jazz and Phoenix Suns. "I'm not real high on the idea" of playing another regular season NBA game in Japan, Jazz G John Stockton said after Utah shaded the Suns, 102-101, Sunday. "Home games and less travel are very important for our team."
In the first count-'em games for American professional teams played outside North America, the Jazz and Suns split. Phoenix won the season opener, 119-96, Saturday. Immediately after Sunday's game, both teams ran to their buses to catch their 12- to 14-hour flights home. "When we get back, our schedule is practice right off the plane, and then sleep as much as we can," Stockton said.
Crowds exceeding 10,000 filled the stands for both games. After Sunday's close finish, the fans rose for a roaring ovation.
NO HELP: Excluding Michael Jordan, the Chicago Bulls have had but two players score in double figures in each of their first two losses. G Dennis Hopson, acquired to add scoring, has only 13 points.
NO D: Nuggets (0-2) have allowed 302 points. Trail Blazers (2-0) have allowed 182.