Cleveland At age 38, Karl Malone still has plenty of fun making life miserable for opposing fans.
Malone scored 35 points to lead the Utah Jazz to a 103-92 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night then poked fun at fans who tried to disrupt his rhythm at the foul line by hooting, hollering and waving white balloons.
"They were vocal, but didn't cross the line," said Malone, who bowed to fans chanting, "Karl, Karl," as he left the game with 41 seconds to play.
"It's like the fans are starting to say this guy has been doing this for 17 years, he's not going to do it much longer. I'm allowing myself to have a little more fun."
Malone dominated the second half by scoring 23 points as Utah won its fifth straight and improved to 5-2 on its nine-game trip, forced by the Olympics in Salt Lake City. It is the club's longest trip since an 11-game swing in the Jazz's first season of 1974-75.
"Everybody is making a big deal of it, but it doesn't matter," Jazz guard Bryon Russell said. "We've got to play on the road anyway."
Malone looked right at home especially at the foul line, where he made 13 of 16 free throws. He was the key factor in forcing three Cleveland players centers Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Chris Mihm, and forward Tyrone Hill to foul out.
"The only guy who really had a chance against him was Tyrone," Cavs coach John Lucas said. "Karl looked at me like I was nuts whenever I put somebody else in there. I told him, 'That's all I got right now."'
Lamond Murray scored 25 points to lead the Cavs, who had a season-high, four-game winning streak snapped. Andre Miller had 18 points and 12 assists for Cleveland. He made a career-high 16 of 17 free throws, but shot just 1-for-9 from the field.
Rockets 102, Wizards 89
Washington Cuttino Mobley had 31 points, and Steve Francis, questionable before tipoff with a migraine, scored 16 of his 20 points in the second half. Rudy Tomjanovich got his 450th NBA victory on the 10th anniversary of his hiring as Rockets coach.
76ers 110, Nuggets 83
Philadelphia Allen Iverson had 27 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, and Dikembe Mutombo added 20 points on 9-for-9 shooting. Avery Johnson and Raef LaFrentz each had 17 for the Nuggets, who lost their second straight after winning two in a row on the road.
Pistons 89, Raptors 76
Auburn Hills, Mich. Jerry Stackhouse scored 20 points, and Ben Wallace added 13 points and 13 rebounds to help surging Detroit.
Heat 102, Bulls 80
Miami Alonzo Mourning scored 23 points, and Miami defeated Chicago for its 13th victory in 17 games. Eddie Jones scored 16 points, Eddie House added 14, and Kendall Gill and Jim Jackson each scored 12.
Hornets 101, Bucks 92
Milwaukee Jamal Mashburn scored 22 points and led Charlotte past Milwaukee in his first game in three months. Only six players scored for the Hornets, but all reached double figures.
Blazers 80, Clippers 79
Los Angeles Damon Stoudamire's jumper with 3.2 seconds remaining lifted Portland. Stoudamire's 21-foot shot was one of only two field goals Portland made in the final seven minutes.