- The Washington Times - Friday, March 24, 2006

Last night at Delta Center in Salt Lake City

SEEN AND HEARD

At halftime, the Utah Jazz retired the number of arguably the greatest power forward in the history of the game.

Karl Malone, who led the Jazz to back-to-back NBA Finals appearances in 1997 and 1998, saw his No. 32 hung from the rafters. In 18 seasons with the Jazz — he ended his career in Los Angeles in 2004 — Malone became Utah’s all-time leader in points (36,377), minutes played (53,479), field goals made (13,335) and attempted (25,810), free throws made (9,622) and attempted (12,965) and rebounds (14,601).

“I’m sitting here today because of the man above and people who game me opportunities,” Malone said when a bronze statue was unveiled outside before the game. “I played with the best, the man at my right [former teammate John Stockton], and my coach [Jerry Sloan] to my right. All in all, this isn’t just my day. It’s an NBA day, and it’s an NBA fan’s day. I believe I am a better person because of the NBA, and so is my family.”

BY THE NUMBERS

2 Jerseys Washington’s Gilbert Arenas had delivered by FedEx to Utah to get them autographed by Karl Malone and John Stockton.

KEY TO THE GAME

The Wizards connected on a franchise-record 16 3-pointers, including six by Gilbert Arenas and a career-high seven by Antawn Jamison.

— John N. Mitchell

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