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View Sample Pages : Pacific Stars And Stripes, May 20, 1997

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Pacific Stars And Stripes (Newspaper) - May 20, 1997, Tokyo, JapanThe Associated Press SALT LAKE CITY -r way Karl Malone of me Utah Jazz sees his NBA ^W award, it's strictly a lend-lease affair from four-time winner Michael Jordan. "I thank Michael for letting me borrow it for one year," Ma- lone joked Sunday after win- ning the second-closest MVP vote since the media balloting began in 1981. Malone's victory margin was 29 points. He received 986points and 63 first-place votes while the Chicago Bulls star got 957 points arid 52 first-place ballots from a panel of sports writers and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. The only closer vote came in 1990. when Magic Johnson beat Charles Barkley by 22 points. - He may be borrowing the MVP award but Malone also earned it, carrying the Jazz into the Western Conference finals against Houston that begin Monday night. He averaged 27.4 points, 9.9 rebounds and 4.5 assists, lead- ing Utah to the best record in the conference at 64-18. He was secondt hi scoring, sixth in field goal percentage (.550) and llth in rebounding. "To have this trophy after 12 years, really and truly I never thought I'd have the opportuni- ty," Malone said- "We won 64 games and I think they looked a lot at that, tool" "He's never stopped doing the things we asked him to do," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said of Malone. "As great as he's be- come, it's due to hard work. Work has never been something he's shied away from." a A 12-year veteran, Malonewent over 2$00 points for an NBA record 10th consecutive season and moved ahead of Jer- ry West into* 10th place on the career scoring list. He is one of just five players who have 25,000 points ^and 10,000 re- bounds. The others are Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul- Jabbar, Moses Malone and El- vin Hayes. "He's played great all year and he came into this year with the attitude that we're going to take that next step,'* Jazz guard Jeff Hornacek said. "Karl was definitely the leader, the one who's carried us." Malone, 33, is the oldest play- er to capture the MVP since the NBA first awarded the honor in 1956. He said he thought about the award and his personal sta- tistics early in his career, but later took the advice of his mother, Shirley Turner, that "•'When you stop thinking abbut it, it will happen.' And the one year I've had the most fun I've ever had ... all of a sudden I win the award," he said. Jwenty players had at least one vote from the 115 panel members. 'fllepboto Karl Malone says he "borrowed" th®-MVP title from Hlchae! Jordan. The Associated Press Alonzo Heurning celebrates after Ms late three-pointer in Game 6 helped force Game 7 in Niami. Continued from Page 32 pointers, and his point total was a fran- chise playoff record. He had 18 points in the third quarter, when Miami's lead reached 71-50 even with Alonzo Mourn- ing on the bench because of foul trouble. "When I'm in that zone, you're at my mercy," Hardaway said. "We said all along that he's the head of this basketball team," Williams said. "We tried to sever the head and hope the body would die. But tbday Hardaway shot the ball like he wa"s on the playground." When New York closed to 92-85 with 1:13 left, Miami hit nine »of 12 free throws the rest of the way. Patrick Ewing led New York with 37 points and 17 rebounds. But Ewing, who had promised a championship this year, instead remains without a ring after 12 NBA seasons. "In a way I feel robbed, but that!* life," said Ewing, who was suspended for Game 6 because he left the bench during the Game 5 melee that saw Mi- ami's P.J. Brown suspended for two games. "I don't feel like I,did anything to deserve to be suspended, but that's the way the NBA is/' ' With New York shorthanded, the Heat became just the second team in 16 years to overeorne a 3-1 series deficit. Houston did it against Phoenix in 1995. "All I know," Riley said, "is the last team that came