Karl Malone scored 27 points, passing Michael Jordan for third place on the NBA career scoring list, as the Utah Jazz beat the Golden State Warriors, 115-99, last night in Salt Lake City.
With Malone making his first six shots, there was no suspense about whether he could reach the scoring milestone. He came in needing six points to pass Jordan, and he did it on an 18-foot jumper with 9 minutes 24 seconds left in the first quarter.
"When I finish playing, I'll look back on it and I think it will mean a lot to me then," Malone said. "Being from Louisiana, I wasn't supposed to play at this level. When it's all over, I'll look back and say I was pretty decent."
There was no suspense about who would win the game, either. Utah built a 16-6 lead and was ahead 41-19 at the end of the first period.
Malone made 12 of 14 shots and narrowly missed a triple double with 10 assists and eight rebounds. He now has 29,299 points, trailing only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387) and Wilt Chamberlain (31,419). Jordan finished his career with 29,277 points.
ROCKETS 118, GRIZZLIES 110: Rookie Steve Francis, returning to the city he snubbed, had 24 points, 10 assists and 9 rebounds as visiting Houston won in overtime.
Francis, who refused to sign with the Grizzlies after they made him the No. 2 overall pick in the June draft, played a sensational game before a taunting crowd of 15,086 that threw objects at him and cursed him.
Francis, who fouled out with 2:45 left in the overtime, sent the game into overtime by hitting a 20-foot jumper with 2.6 seconds remaining and put the Rockets ahead for good when he opened the extra period with a three-pointer.
PACERS 93, TRAIL BLAZERS 91: Jalen Rose scored 22 points, and Dale Davis had 15 points and 12 rebounds to lead visiting Indiana.
Scottie Pippen had a chance to tie in the frantic final seconds, but his jumper went off the back of the rim with about eight seconds left. The Blazers had one more chance, but an inbounds pass was knocked away and picked up by Indiana's Reggie Miller.
HEAT 98, KINGS 88: Jamal Mashburn scored 22 points on his 27th birthday, and P.J. Brown added 18 as host Miami snapped Sacramento's eight-game winning streak, beating the Kings for the sixth straight time.
KNICKS 107, MAVERICKS 82: Charlie Ward made seven three-pointers, tying the most in the NBA this season, and scored a career-high 25 points for host New York.