Nov 30, 2002 11:52 AM EST
Matt Harpring was just warming up when he scored a career-high 30 points against the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night.
The fifth-year forward topped that Friday night when he scored 33 points to help the Utah Jazz win their sixth straight with a 95-77 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
"Matt is playing awesome right now. He's really got it going, and he's doing all the little things right," said teammate Jarron Collins, who had 12 points and a season-high nine rebounds.
Harpring, who never has averaged more than 11.8 points in a season, made his first seven shots ? many of them against Kevin Garnett, who is four inches taller.
"I got into a rhythm tonight early and my teammates kept looking for me," Harpring said. "It's fun playing with those guys out there. You cut and they find you."
Nov 30, 2002 11:49 AM EST
A poor man's Wally Szczerbiak is plenty good enough when the real one isn't available.
Utah's Matt Harpring, who shares many of the same characteristics as the Timberwolves' injured swingman, had a Szczerbiak kind of night in the Jazz's 95-77 victory over the Wolves on Friday night at the Delta Center. Harpring scored a career high for the second game in a row, topping his 30 points against the Clippers three nights earlier with 33.
The scrappy 6-foot-7 player hit 13 of 18 shots, nailed all four of Utah's three-pointers and grabbed nine rebounds.
A blue-collar, well-traveled fellow -- four teams in five seasons -- Harpring several times burned the Wolves' Kevin Garnett for sagging off him, but was just as pesky releasing quickly for fast-break buckets or tipping at missed Jazz shots for second-chance points and three of his team's 17 offensive boards.
Nov 30, 2002 11:48 AM EST
That Timberwolves guard Rod Strickland ranks sixth all-time on the NBA's assists list is impressive.
That Strickland, despite his lofty status, has fewer than half as many assists as all-time leader John Stockton is astounding.
Strickland, a 14-year veteran who signed with the Wolves in October, was a solid sixth, with 7,539 assists heading into Friday night's 95-77 loss at Utah. He trailed No. 5 Isiah Thomas by 1,522, but had 147 more than Maurice Cheeks and 328 more than Lenny Wilkens. Gary Payton, the nearest active player, was No. 10 at 7,094.
"I've always prided myself on getting the ball to the right people at the right time," Strickland said before tipoff. "I've always wanted to end up on top somewhere in assists."
Nov 30, 2002 11:45 AM EST
NBA teams may want to revise their scouting reports on the Utah Jazz soon.
While defenses continue to swarm Karl Malone, Matt Harpring is running amok. The Jazz forward established a career scoring high Friday night with 33 points as Utah downed the Minnesota Timberwolves, 95-77, at the Delta Center, for their sixth win in a row.
That alone is newsworthy, considering Harpring's reputation coming into this season as a solid though unspectacular role player. But when you consider that his previous career high ? 30 ? was set in the Jazz's last game, and that Friday night he was frequently defended by All-NBA Defensive first-teamer Kevin Garnett, then you start to realize how remarkable this is.
Jazz guard Mark Jackson may have made the point best when, seeing a media crowd around Harpring's locker, he said, "Is that the Mailman over there?"
Nov 30, 2002 11:44 AM EST
The Jazz are in San Antonio tonight to face a Spurs team that can be tough when they're focused, and very beatable when they're not.
After letting an 18-point lead slip away at home in a loss to Seattle on Sunday, the Spurs were embarrassed by the Nuggets in Denver two nights later. Less than 24 hours after that loss, the Spurs had rematch with the Nuggets in San Antonio and in between games, coach Gregg Popovich ordered an early morning practice to get his players" attention, giving his team about five hours of sleep.
"We deserved it," Spurs center David Robinson said. "We've been kind of slack at the end of games.
"We had a minor crisis on our hands."
Nov 30, 2002 11:42 AM EST
The Jazz probably didn't envision getting 30 points a game from Matt Harpring when they signed him last summer, but they'll sure take it.
The new Jazz forward had his best game yet on Friday, scoring 33 points to lead the Jazz to a 95-77 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Delta Center.
It was the second game in a row Harpring set a new career-high, topping his 31-point game Tuesday against the Los Angeles Clippers.
That makes him the first Jazz player other than Karl Malone to score 30 or more in back-to- back games since Adrian Dantley did it late in the 1985-86 season.
Nov 30, 2002 11:40 AM EST
He may be young, still, but Kevin Garnett respects his elders.
Minnesota lost 12 of the first 15 games against Utah in Garnett's career, and the reason, the Wolves' superstar said, is pretty much the same reason the Jazz have won two straight against them now.
John Stockton and Karl Malone.
"They ain't lost nothing," Garnett declared after Friday's 95-77 Jazz victory.
The 40-year-old Stockton made only three of his 12 shots, but still had 10 points and nine assists. Meanwhile, 39-year-old Malone scored 20 points -- pulling his career total to 34,994 -- and eight rebounds.
But it wasn't what they did with the basketball that impressed the 26-year-old, six-year veteran. It was what the veterans did to the Timberwolves' heads.
Nov 30, 2002 11:39 AM EST
The unfairness of it all, matching a 6-foot-7 forward against a 7-foot superstar like Kevin Garnett. That mismatch practically guarantees a long, frustrating night, fairly ensures a couldn't-miss-if-he-was-blindfolded hot streak, and all but begs for a career-high scoring night.
Sure enough, Matt Harpring got it.
Three nights after his first 30-point game, Harpring set a new best-game standard Friday, blitzing the Timberwolves with 33 points, four three-pointers, nine rebounds and just five missed shots in the Delta Center. Just as important for the Jazz, he guarded Garnett so persistently -- with a whole lot of help from his teammates -- the $120-million man was muttering to himself, and Harpring, as Utah raced to its sixth straight victory, 95-77 over Minnesota.
Nov 29, 2002 | UtahJazz.com
Nov 29, 2002 | UtahJazz.com
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Nov 29, 2002 | Deseret News
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