Stockton Jolted In Crash -- Auto Totaled, But Jazz Point Guard Receives Just Two Stitches
SALT LAKE CITY - The Utah Jazz received a scare when the car driven by their star point guard, John Stockton, was hit on the passenger's side about 10 blocks away from their practice facility.
Both cars involved in the accident were totaled, but Stockton suffered only minor bruises and cuts, the worst of which was a puncture wound on his lower right hand that required two stitches to close.
Stockton was treated and observed at Holy Cross Hospital, and was released before the Jazz concluded their workout. The other driver, Carrie Drown, 39, a resident of Park City, Utah, was treated and released at LDS Hospital.
Jazz Coach Jerry Sloan said he expects Stockton to play tonight in Game 3 of Utah's best-of-five series against Seattle.
Stockton, a Spokane native and the NBA's leader in assists the past six years, was on his way to practice at Westminster College yesterday morning. Both he and Drown approached a major intersection controlled by a traffic light. According to the police report, there were "conflicting stories as to the color of the light; both said it was green."
Drown, driving westbound in a 1991 Audi, attempted to make a left turn and struck Stockton's northbound, 1990 Lexus coupe. Stockton's vehicle spun, according to the police report, and struck a fire hydrant. Lt. Marty Vuyk of the Salt Lake City Police Department said determination of fault "is pending further investigation," and would probably take a day or two.
Team officials said Drown is believed to be a Jazz season-ticket holder. That prompted Karl Malone to quip, "We might have to check on drivers' status before we hand out our season tickets."
Stockton called Sloan, then later stopped by the team's practice facility to say he was OK. He and teammate Mike Brown usually alternate driving to practice, but both drove their own cars yesterday.
Brown happened across the accident scene and took photographs.
-- Utah's Jeff Malone betrayed a little glee in the shift of momentum in this series.
"We get that game (tonight), and we'll be in the driver's seat," he said. "That'd be a nice sight to see, because they're a real cocky team."
Malone based that assessment partly on the fact that Seattle's Eddie Johnson went on TNT after last year's Golden State series and said the Sonics "wanted" Utah.
"Well, they got us," Malone said, referring to the Jazz's 4-1 second-round knockout last season.
-- Jazz forward Larry Krystkowiak, who played eight minutes in Game One but didn't dress for Game Two, is out for the rest of the series with a partially torn right arch muscle, suffered on March 31.
-- After two games of playoff action, Seattle's Shawn Kemp ranked third in the NBA with an average of 13 rebounds a game. Nate McMillan was eighth in assists (8.0). For Utah, John Stockton was fourth in assists (9.5) and Karl Malone was eighth in scoring (25.0 points).
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