SALT LAKE CITY - Karl Malone made an All-Star statement in superstar fashion last night, scoring 61 points in only 33 minutes as the Utah Jazz handed the Milwaukee Bucks their worst defeat ever, 144-96.
``When you get put into the situation that I'm in, it's hard. You get hurt,'' said Malone, who was not voted as a starter for the All-Star game although he's the second-leading scorer in the NBA. ``Everyone has a sense of pride, but I've had time to think about it and I think I will go if I'm asked.''
Malone, who threatened to boycott the Feb. 11 game if he is named as a reserve, backed away from that threat before the game last night.
``If I go, I'm going for the dedicated fans, my teammates and myself,'' he said. ``I really want to be there.''
Milwaukee Coach Del Harris said Malone's timing was bad as far as the Bucks were concerned.
``I knew Karl wanted to make a statement,'' he said. ``I just didn't know he was going to write a whole book.''
Malone was 21-of-26 from the field and 19-of-23 from the free-throw line as the Jazz won their ninth straight. He also had 18 rebounds, three steals and two assists in only 33 minutes.
The 61 points was the highest total since Chicago's Michael Jordan scored 61 against Atlanta April 16, 1987. Malone's previous high was 52 earlier this season against Charlotte. He is the 13th player in NBA history to score 60 or more points in a game.
The 48-point loss was the worst in Bucks' history. It surpassed their 136-92 loss at Philadelphia on Nov. 16, 1968.
Darrell Griffith added 19 points for the Jazz, including four three-pointers, and John Stockton had 16 assists in 26 minutes.
Malone played only three minutes in the fourth quarter, but scored 11 points in that span, helping the Jazz build a 119-81 advantage with 5:58 left.
A three-pointer by Griffith with 50 seconds gave Utah its largest lead, 141-92.
-- PHILADELPHIA - Charles Barkley had 29 points and 18 rebounds as Philadelphia won their eighth straight game. Hersey Hawkins added 28.
-- CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Wayman Tisdale scored 28 points as Sacramento snapped a 10-game road losing streak.
-- ORLANDO, Fla. - Dominique Wilkins scored 25 points as Atlanta continued its dominance over Orlando.
Moses Malone and Spud Webb each added 20 points for the Hawks, who are 4-0 against the expansion Magic, by an average margin of 18 points.
-- INDIANAPOLIS - John Williams scored 22 points, including nine in a fourth-quarter comeback, as Cleveland rallied to beat Indiana.
A pair of three-pointers by Reggie Miller helped the Pacers take a 68-63 lead with 9:41 left, but Cleveland outscored Indiana 14-2 over the next five minutes to go up 77-70.
-- MINNEAPOLIS - Joe Dumars made his first basket of the second half with 1:40 to play, snapping a tie and lifting Detroit.
Scott Roth missed a three-point shot with two seconds left and Pooh Richardson missed a 15-footer at the buzzer that would have tied it.
Isiah Thomas scored 14 of his 26 points in the third quarter.
-- CHICAGO - Michael Jordan scored 39 points as Chicago defeated New Jersey despite blowing a 15-point halftime lead.
A three-point goal by Scottie Pippen 19 seconds later put Chicago ahead for good. Jordan scored six points in the final 1:18 to seal the outcome.
-- HOUSTON - Derek Harper scored 21 points and Dallas got a big boost from its bench, outscoring Houston's reserves 36-6, as the Mavericks won their fifth straight.
Akeem Olajuwon led Houston with 32 points and 20 rebounds.
-- DENVER - Patrick Ewing scored 12 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter and Charles Oakley had 25 points as New York broke a five-game losing streak.
Trail Blazers 118
-- LOS ANGELES - Terry Porter and Kevin Duckworth scored 27 points apiece to offset a career-high 39 by Danny Manning as Portland handed Los Angeles Clippers its fourth straight loss.