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NBA PLAYOFFS

Notes

May 23, 1997|SCOTT HOWARD-COOPER

The Houston Rockets haven't been able to do anything about the Utah Jazz on the court, losing the first two games of the Western Conference finals by 12 and 15 points, so they have tried Plan B: dealing with the Jazz off the court.

Coach Rudy Tomjanovich said Thursday that the Rockets sent a tape to the league office detailing nine violations from the early going of the best-of-seven series that continues tonight at Houston's Summit, primarily what they claim are illegal picks by the Jazz. This after Hakeem Olajuwon called Utah a dirty team and while Charles Barkley was backing off his comment from the night before that he took on one screen late in Game 2 with the intent to separate John Stockton's shoulder or break some ribs.

"Obviously, you don't want to hurt anybody," Barkley said. "But you don't want to be at the mercy of the officials if they don't do their jobs."

Stockton's response was to beat up all of the Rockets, working over Matt Maloney in particular for 26 points and 12 assists, but also outrebounding Olajuwon, 8-5.

"I don't know," said Greg Foster, who has given the Jazz a lift off the bench in both games. "They can [complain] about the officiating, or whatever they want to do. Sooner or later, they're going to have to give us credit."

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