. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Late Quiet Spell Dooms Utah's Jazz

COMBINED REPORTS


SEATTLE, Washington -- The Seattle SuperSonics got all they could handle from Utah for 47 and 1/2 minutes. Then the Jazz decided to stand around for 20 seconds, and the Sonics walked away with a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference finals.


Detlef Schrempf made two foul shots with 1.6 seconds left to lock up Seattle's 91-87 victory Monday night after Utah let the Sonics run out most of the clock in the final half-minute of the game.


It provided a strange finish to a closely fought game that featured a remarkable third quarter by Karl Malone, a strong fourth quarter by Gary Payton and a go-ahead basket by Shawn Kemp after he was hampered by foul trouble most of the night.


The final standing-around sequence was set up after Kemp put Seattle ahead 89-87 on a hanging shot in the lane with 38.8 seconds left. John Stockton dribbled into a double-team at the other end and left his feet, then threw a weak, off-balance cross-court pass that was intercepted by Kemp.


"I just read the play, stayed in between them, got a hand on the ball and it worked out fine," Kemp said.


When the Sonics got the ball upcourt, the Jazz stayed back on defense rather than foul intentionally and send Seattle to the line despite the four-second differential between the shot clock and the game clock.


Schrempf missed from the corner with the game clock ticking down to six seconds. The shot was short and hit the rim, bouncing out of bounds off Jeff Hornacek's hand. Schrempf was fouled on the inbounds pass, and he sank the two free throws to lock up the win.


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Michael Jordan, who led the Chicago Bulls to the best regular-season record in NBA history, won the league's Most Valuable Player award for the fourth time.


Jordan, the NBA's top scorer (30.4 average) for a record eighth season, received 96.5 percent of Monday's first-place votes -- the highest percentage since the media began selecting the winner in 1980-81.


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Orlando Magic Coach Brian Hill said Horace Grant, who hyperextended his left elbow Sunday in a collision with teammate Shaquille O'Neal, will sit out Tuesday night's Game 2, and is only "50-50" for game 3. Orlando will start Jon Koncak in Grant's place.


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