SEATTLE — Now that its road losing streak is history, the Utah Jazz is ready to make a little playoff history.
The Jazz got its first playoff road victory in more than a year Tuesday night, an 89-83 defeat of Seattle, and are one victory from getting into the Western Conference final for the first time.
Jeff Malone scored 24 points and Karl Malone 22, and Tyrone Corbin made six crucial free throws in the final minute Tuesday night as the Jazz took a 3-1 lead in their conference semifinal series.
Game 5 will be played Thursday night at Salt Lake City, where Utah has lost only four games this season. A sixth game, if necessary, is scheduled at Seattle on Saturday. Portland leads Phoenix, 3-1, in the other conference semifinal series.
"This is a great win because it sets up the biggest game in this franchise's history," Karl Malone said. "If we win Thursday, we'll go where this franchise has never been before."
Said Jeff Malone: "Being up 3-1 puts us one step away from where we want to get to."
From Corbin: "We showed a lot of poise in the waning minutes, and on the road that makes this win extra special."
Utah Coach Jerry Sloan issued a warning to his players.
"This series isn't over," he said. "A 3-1 lead doesn't mean anything."
Ricky Pierce led Seattle with 21 points, including 11 in the fourth quarter, in the lowest-scoring game of the series.
The SuperSonics, who upset Golden State in a first-round series, are one defeat away from having their season ended by a team they beat three of four times during the regular season. Seattle had two regular-season victories at Salt Lake City.
"We have to keep our heads up, go down there and shoot the ball a lot better," Pierce said.
Utah had lost seven consecutive playoff games on the road since a 129-90 victory at Phoenix on April 25, 1991.
The Jazz led only 79-77 after Pierce made two free throws with 2:16 left.
But Utah got an 18-footer from Corbin on the left wing with 1:59 to go and a dunk from Karl Malone with 1:25 left for an 83-77 lead. Corbin made two free throws with 52 seconds left.