Mailman stamps out Bulls in Game 3


X-factor: Malone gets his motor runnin'

Frozen moment: Foster journeys to The Zone

Bulls buzz: Give 'em nothing to talk about

Jazz buzz: Utah will wait to celebrate

Game 3 shot charts

Pregame notebook

NBA Finals page


Michael Jordan says the Bulls couldn't contain Karl Malone.
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Greg Foster knew the Bulls were never out of it.
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Phil Jackson might sue the Jazz for hearing loss.
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Malone explains the pressures of being a go-to guy.
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Malone's defense helped him get going.
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Foster says Utah can build on the Game 3 win.
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Box score | Game recap | Game flow

SALT LAKE CITY -- Karl Malone snapped out of his NBA Finals slump Friday, scoring 37 points as the Utah Jazz beat the Chicago 104-93 in Game 3 and cut the Bulls' series lead to 2-1.

Malone missed two key free throws in the final seconds of Game 1 and he was just six for 20 from the field in Game 2. He got back on track Friday, shooting 15 for 29 and grabbing 10 rebounds.

"That's the Karl Malone we all know," Chicago's Michael Jordan said.

Malone scored 22 points in the first half for Utah, which began the game strong and aggressive.

"My teammates definitely feed off what I do," Malone said. "I was able to make an effort right off the bat and I was able to get inside. That set the tone."

Utah's Greg Foster, who was cut by the Bulls in 1994, scored 15 of his career-high 17 points in the first half and teamed with Malone to key Utah's pivotal second-quarter surge.

Jazz was all that: Utah left little doubt which team would be the aggressor. Karl Malone had 22 points and Greg Foster 15 as Utah took a 61-45 halftime lead.

Turning over a new leaf: Utah, which averaged 16 turnovers in the first two games, only coughed the ball up 10 times Friday.

"The big guys whipped up on us tonight," Chicago coach Phil Jackson said. "Foster and Malone both did a great job out there."

"We ask our small guys to do a lot for us," Malone said. "Now's the time for our big guys to step up."

Jordan scored 26 points, but was just nine for 22 from the field. Scottie Pippen scored 27 points and tied an Finals record with seven 3-pointers.

Utah improved to 47-3 at home this season, including 9-0 in the playoffs. The Jazz hasn't lost at home since Feb. 23, a span of 22 games.

Utah, hosting a Finals game for the first time in franchise history, put on a deafening pregame show. Included were a roaring motorcycle and a one-minute fireworks display.

It was a game Michael Jordan and Phil Jackson would rather forget.

"The fans are really knowledgeable about the game," Foster said. "They really get after it. This is the only show in town, and they're behind us all the way."

Malone took control early in the game with nine consecutive Utah points. He had a tip-in and a three-point play, then made a pair of jump hooks before Howard Eisley's drive gave the Jazz a 20-15 lead with 4:05 to go.

"I said to myself the first time down the court that I was going to take it hard to the basket," Malone said. "I did and it got us going."

Malone was seven for 11 in the first quarter, collecting 15 points and six rebounds as the Jazz raced to a 31-22 lead.

"I think he felt more comfortable at home," Jordan said of Malone. "He came in and made a statement to go inside and get some offensive attempts. It became effective."

The Jazz went on a 10-2 run midway through the second quarter, sparked by back-to-back 3-pointers from Chris Morris and Foster. Utah opened its largest lead of the half at 53-35 on a drive by Malone with 4:44 left.

"I thought the Jazz's energy was terrific," Jackson said. "They got out and ran early. They did the things that make them a great team."

Pippen made two 3-pointers, but Foster answered with a follow shot and two free throws. The Jazz closed the quarter with another drive by Malone and a pick-and-roll from Malone to John Stockton for a 61-45 halftime lead.

Pippen shot chart
Scottie Pippen was 7 for 13 and tied Kenny Smith's NBA Finals record by making seven 3-pointers. Click here for complete shot charts of Game 3.

The Jazz shot 53 percent (24 for 45) from the field in the first half and held the Bulls to 42 percent (16 for 38). Chicago's lone bright spot was Brian Williams, who scored 10 of his 16 points in the first half.

"Our defense never really reacted well toward Karl's explosiveness in the first half," Jordan said.

Utah poured it on in the third quarter, building the lead to 24 points, 75-51, with 6:46 remaining.

Then the Jazz went cold, missing 12 of their last 13 shots in the quarter. The Bulls scored the last seven points and entered the final period trailing 77-60.

Chicago kept going in the fourth quarter. Two 3-pointers each by Jordan and Pippen rallied the Bulls within 90-83 with 2:49 remaining.

"I think you get in that situation when you're ahead," Sloan said. "You play a little too conservative and we kept telling them to play to win, not to lose."

The Jazz responded. Malone made a drive and, after another 3-pointer by Pippen, Malone and Foster each sank two free throws to seal it at 94-83 with less than two minutes to play.

Stockton had 17 points, 12 assists and some clutch hoops down the stretch for the Jazz. Russell scored 14 points for Utah, which was without rookie Shandon Anderson. He was in Atlanta for his father's funeral.

Bulls forward Dennis Rodman, sporting a new color pattern in his hair, was scoreless with three rebounds in 24 minutes.

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