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Malone delivers knockout punch in Jazz victory

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- Karl Malone is forgiving. He just
hopes the NBA isn't when it comes to Kenyon Martin of the New
Jersey Nets.

Malone's 31-point performance in the Utah Jazz's 104-90 win over
the Nets on Saturday night was overshadowed when Martin used a
sweeping forearm to knock Malone to the floor with 1:37 to play.

"I don't sit here and toot my own horn," Malone said. "I just
go out and play the game. You play physical. Some things don't have
any place in it. It will be interesting. It was unfortunate."

Malone, who got into a shoving match with Nets coach Byron Scott
on Nov. 21 in Utah, was running up the left wing when he took a
pass from John Stockton and went for the basket.

Martin came from behind and hit Malone with his right forearm
across the face. The blow knocked Malone off balance and he fell to
the floor face first, hurting his left knee and elbow. He was down
for a couple of minutes but got up and finished the game.

Had he made that type of play, Malone said the NBA would have
suspended him four or five games. He doesn't expect the league to
do that to Martin.

"Rod Thorn used to be the police," Malone said of the current
Nets president and former NBA senior executive vice president.
"He's got a pipeline."

Martin got a flagrant foul and was ejected. He smiled walking
off the court and threw a wrist band to a fan. He refused to
discuss the foul after the game.

Scott said he didn't see the play clearly, but "it sounded

Nets guard Jason Kidd felt Martin was trying to block the shot.

"He's the only one who really knows," said Stockton, who had
15 points and 10 assists. "He's the only one who can tell you if
it was intentional. I thought he was playing hard."

Jazz coach Jerry Sloan, who screamed at Martin, wasn't so sure,
noting that Martin also knocked down Donyell Marshall with a shot
to the head in the first half. Marshall hurt his wrist.

"I thought he was going to get me with the body and he hit me
in the head," Marshall said.

Malone had the last word after the Jazz ended a five-game road
trip by snapping a two-game losing streak.

"I'm a forgiving guy, but I never forget," he said. "I don't
hold grudges at all. That's what is wrong with our society,
everyone wants to make a negative and hold grudges. I'm not a
grudge-holding guy."

Keith Van Horn scored 24 points as the Nets lost their second
straight after a four-game winning steak and fell out of first
place in the Atlantic Division for the first time this season. Kidd
added 17 points and eight assists.

The Jazz's reserves outscored New Jersey's backups 34-19, with
rookie Andrei Kirilenko scoring 14. Greg Ostertag added seven
points and nine rebounds.

Ostertag and Kirilenko gave the Jazz a big boost in the first

Ostertag replaced Jarron Collins at center early and prevented
the Nets from going inside, while Kirilenko helped spark a 33-13
run that spanned the end of the first quarter and the most of the
second, giving Utah 52-42 lead.

The Nets got within five points on a number of occasions in the
second half but Stockton, Byron Russell and Kirilenko hit big

Utah has a seven-game winning streak in New Jersey. The Nets'
last win over the Jazz here was on Jan. 16, 1994.

Game notes
The Jazz were 2-3 on their annual holiday road trip. It
marked only the third time since 1991-92 they've had a losing
record on the trip. ... This was the second NBA game between the
Collins' twins -- Jarron of the Jazz and Jason of the Nets -- but the
first time each played. Jarron did not play in the earlier game on
Nov. 21. It was the first time twins brothers played in an NBA game
since Horace and Harvey Grant on April 25, 1999. ... The win was
the 797th of Sloan's coaching career.