SECOND- FAST-GAME POINTS IN BIGGEST CHANCE BREAK

SCORE THE PAINT LEAD POINTS POINTS

Sonics 93 38 8 17 14

Jazz 104 30 17 16 16

KEY MATCHUP

Game 1

Position: POINT GUARD

JOHN STOCKTON GARY PAYTON

Minutes 33 48

Points 13 24

Field Goals 4-10 11-29

3-pointers 2-2 1-4

Rebounds 3 11

Fouls 5 1

Assists 10 6

Turnovers 2 3

Jeff Hornacek figured it out at the end, when he heard the Delta Center crowd urging him to get Karl Malone the ball for his 50th point.

For other members of the Jazz, however, Malone's 50-point performance in Utah's 104-93 victory over Seattle in Game 1 of their Western Conference series was one of those baffling things that just sort of happens.

John Stockton and Greg Ostertag, for instance, insisted they hardly knew the points were piling up.

"I knew he had been playing very well," Stockton said, "but I didn't know the number was that big.'

The Jazz, naturally, tried to not make a big deal about. And, in a way, it's easy to understand why, especially after listening to Stockton: "We've gotten to expect so much out of him," Stockton said of Malone, that even something like one of the only 26 50-or-more-point NBA playoff scoring performances goes largely unnoticed.

Don't for a minute, though, think everyone was oblivious to what was happened. Sonics coach Paul Westphal was wise enough to know just how much Malone's 50 hurt. "The thing that is most disconcerting about it," Westphal said, "is that he didn't seem to be any hotter than usually is."

"I don't know what he was on, but I hope he'll be on that again Monday." Bryon Russell, Jazz Forward on Karl Malone's 50 point performance