Down by 11 in the final quarter of the fifth game of a long road trip, the Utah Jazz could have been excused if they'd rolled over for the Philadelphia 76ers here Tuesday.

But if the Jazz have gained one thing from winning nine straight road games and 15 of 19 overall, it's a belief in themselves, and each other."You never allow yourself to think you're out of the ballgame," said Utah's Karl Malone, after the Jazz's 91-88 victory.

Utah's John Stockton said that winning is becoming a habit for this team.

"It helped that we won the previous four," Stockton said. "You always have more energy, you feel more confident, when you're winning."

It was just the opposite story in the home locker room. The Sixers, who outplayed the Jazz for most of the game, were left shaking their heads after losing their fourth straight, their fifth this season in the final minute.

"We just need to learn how to go out and finish," said Philadelphia's Shawn Bradley. "With maturity, we'll start winning."

Down the stretch, the Sixers' immaturity showed. They led the Jazz by 11, 78-67, with 8:20 left to play. That score says a lot about Utah's execution; the Jazz generally have hit the 67-point mark midway through the third quarter.

Utah put on a 6-0 spurt at that point to cut the Sixers' lead to five, but they couldn't get closer until there was less than three minutes left. With Philly up 88-83, Utah's Felton Spencer grabbed a missed shot and jammed it. Scott Williams missed for the Sixers, and Malone, fouled by Dana Barros, made both free throws to trim the lead to one.

After a Barros miss, a turnover by Stockton and another Barros miss, Stockton drove the lane and went up for the shot. "I saw Bradley coming across there and I tried to get it high off the glass," Stockton said. The ball barely cleared Bradley's fingertips and nestled into the net, and the Jazz had their first lead since the opening moments of the second quarter.

Philly's Clarence Weatherspoon then missed a turnaround jumper, but Bradley snatched the long rebound. Barros drove the lane and tried a scoop shot that hit the front of the rim, and Bradley fouled Spencer. The Jazz center made one of two, and Utah led by two.

After a Sixer timeout, Barros lost Stockton on a screen and drove the right baseline, only to meet Utah's Jeff Hornacek. Barros tried a tough fallaway shot over Hornacek, but it was an airball and Hornacek grabbed it. Stockton was then fouled and made one of two free throws, giving Philly one final shot, but Weatherspoon's long three missed.

In the final 2:37, the Sixers missed all seven of their field-goal attempts. For the quarter, they were six of 22.

One of the keys to the Jazz's comeback was their execution of the pick-and-roll. Spencer scored 10 points in the final period, twice on uncontested dunks, and Adam Keefe also had an open dunk. Bradley said that Spencer scoring like that made him look bad, but it wasn't necessarily his fault.

"They (his teammates) were doubling the ball, and I was rotating to Karl Malone, and the rotation was supposed to pick up my man," he said. "I was getting tired of getting dunked on."

That play, Bradley said, points out the difference between an experienced team and an inexperienced team.

"We should have been able to stop that," he said. "We knew it was going to happen."

Sloan was, naturally, happy with the win, but less than pleased with the way his team performed in the second and third quarters.

"We looked like we'd been on the road for a year," he said. "The unforced turnovers were terrible."

The Jazz committed 22 turnovers, and they shot their lowest percentage in a while (48.5), but their biggest problem was an unexpected one - Greg Graham. The 6-foot-4 guard has occupied Sixer coach John Lucas' doghouse for most of the season, having appeared in seven games and played all of 45 minutes prior to Tuesday. He'd shot 38.5 percent from the field, while attempting all of 13 field goals. And he hadn't played in three games.

But with Jeff Malone (bruised heel) and Willie Burton (ankle sprain) out, Lucas was forced to go to Graham. All the second-year player from Indiana did was drill seven of nine shots, including three of four three-pointers, for a career-high 20 points.

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Barros led the Sixers with 24 points (7 of 20), and he played a solid game until the final minutes, when a flurry of missed shots spoiled his stats. He had 11 assists. Weatherspoon had 19 points. Bradley played 43 minutes, totaling six points, seven rebounds andfour blocked shots.

Karl Malone led the Jazz with 24 points (7 of 11); he also had 10 rebounds. Spencer had 16 points, 12 rebounds. Hornacek scored 17 and Stockton had 11 points, 14 assists.

The Jazz now travel to Atlanta for their last game before a five-day Christmas break.

GAME NOTES: Utah's David Benoit left five minutes into the game after stretching ligaments in his right ankle. Benoit had just dunked. He said Bradley bumped him, causing him to land badly . . . Utah's Jay Humphries sat out the game, resting a sore knee . . . The Sixer numbers people have created a new stat for Bradley: "Intimidations." Whatever they are, he had six of them . . . Former Sixer Hornacek went up the tunnel at halftime, took two steps into the Philly locker room, said "Oops" and headed down to the Jazz's room.

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