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Pacific Stars and Stripes Newspaper Archive: May 20, 1997 - Page 31

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Publication: Pacific Stars and Stripes

Location: Tokyo, Japan

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   Pacific Stars And Stripes (Newspaper) - May 20, 1997, Tokyo, Japan                              The Associated PressSALT LAKE CITY -rway Karl Malone of me UtahJazz sees his NBA ^W award,it's strictly a lend-lease affairfrom four-time winner MichaelJordan."I thank Michael for lettingme borrow it for one year," Ma-lone joked Sunday after win-ning the second-closest MVPvote since the media ballotingbegan in 1981.Malone's victory margin was29 points. He received 986points and 63 first-place voteswhile the Chicago Bulls star got957 points arid 52 first-placeballots from a panel of sportswriters and broadcastersthroughout the United Statesand Canada. The only closervote came in 1990. when MagicJohnson beat Charles Barkleyby 22 points. -He may be borrowing theMVP award but Malone alsoearned it, carrying the Jazz intothe Western Conference finalsagainst Houston that beginMonday night.He averaged 27.4 points, 9.9rebounds and 4.5 assists, lead-ing Utah to the best record inthe conference at 64-18. He wassecondt hi scoring, sixth in fieldgoal percentage (.550) and llthin rebounding."To have this trophy after 12years, really and truly I neverthought I'd have the opportuni-ty," Malone said- "We won 64games and I think they looked alot at that, tool""He's never stopped doingthe things we asked him to do,"Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said ofMalone. "As great as he's be-come, it's due to hard work.Work has never been somethinghe's shied away from."a A 12-year veteran, Malonewent over 2$00 points for anNBA record 10th consecutiveseason and moved ahead of Jer-ry West into* 10th place on thecareer scoring list. He is one ofjust five players who have25,000 points ^and 10,000 re-bounds. The others are WiltChamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Moses Malone and El-vin Hayes."He's played great all yearand he came into this year withthe attitude that we're going totake that next step,'* Jazz guardJeff Hornacek said. "Karl wasdefinitely the leader, the onewho's carried us."Malone, 33, is the oldest play-er to capture the MVP since theNBA first awarded the honor in1956. He said he thought aboutthe award and his personal sta-tistics early in his career, butlater took the advice of hismother, Shirley Turner, that"•'When you stop thinking abbutit, it will happen.' And the oneyear I've had the most fun I'veever had ... all of a sudden Iwin the award," he said.Jwenty players had at leastone vote from the 115 panelmembers.'fllepbotoKarl Malone says he "borrowed" th®-MVP title from Hlchae! Jordan.The Associated PressAlonzo Heurning celebrates after Mslate three-pointer in Game 6 helpedforce Game 7 in Niami.Continued from Page 32pointers, and his point total was a fran-chise playoff record. He had 18 points inthe third quarter, when Miami's leadreached 71-50 even with Alonzo Mourn-ing on the bench because of foul trouble."When I'm in that zone, you're at mymercy," Hardaway said."We said all along that he's the headof this basketball team," Williams said."We tried to sever the head and hope thebody would die. But tbday Hardawayshot the ball like he wa"s on theplayground."When New York closed to 92-85 with1:13 left, Miami hit nine »of 12 freethrows the rest of the way.Patrick Ewing led New York with 37points and 17 rebounds. But Ewing, whohad promised a championship this year,instead remains without a ring after 12NBA seasons."In a way I feel robbed, but that!*life," said Ewing, who was suspendedfor Game 6 because he left the benchduring the Game 5 melee that saw Mi-ami's P.J. Brown suspended for twogames. "I don't feel like I,did anythingto deserve to be suspended, but that'sthe way the NBA is/' 'With New York shorthanded, the Heatbecame just the second team in 16 yearsto overeorne a 3-1 series deficit. Houstondid it against Phoenix in 1995."All I know," Riley said, "is the lastteam that came 
                            

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