This Day In Utah Sports History: Karl Malone Sets Playoff Record

Apr 22, 2023, 10:28 AM

SALT LAKE CITY – On this day 23 years ago, Karl Malone set a playoff record when he scored 50 points against the Seattle SuperSonics in the first round of the 2000 NBA Playoffs.

Malone became the oldest player in NBA history to score 50+ points in a playoff game (36 years, 273 days). He finished with 50 points, 12 rebounds, and 3 steals on 18/32 shooting.

Malone’s record was previously held by Michael Jordan who scored 55 against the Washington Bullets at 34 years old in 1997.

There are just five players in NBA history who have scored 50+ points in a playoff game at age 33 or older.

Malone Wills Jazz To First-Round Win

It was clearly Malone’s night from the first quarter. He scored 12 of Utah’s first 14 points on 5/7 shooting.

Despite Malone’s heroics, the Jazz trailed for much of the first two quarters.

The 50-point mark was in sight for Malone at the half. He went into the break with 24 points. Utah led by three at home, 52-49.

Seattle had no answer for the Mailman. Whether it was mid-range jumpshots, post-ups, or fastbreak points, Malone’s shots kept finding the bottom of the net.

He even made a three-pointer despite only having 2 makes from behind the arc in his 82 games played in the regular season.

Malone finished the third quarter with 35 points as the Jazz jumped out to a commanding double-digit lead.

Malone didn’t score for the first four minutes of the final quarter.

After hitting his one three with 8 minutes left, Malone went on to score 13 straight points for Utah.

With less than a minute left in the game, Malone got the ball in the post and hit a mid-range jumpshot to reach 50 points and cap off a historical night.

The 1999-2000 Utah Jazz

The Jazz had an impressive season in 1999-2000 but ultimately fell short in the playoffs.

Utah finished with a 55-27 record which was good for the second seed in the Western Conference.

After beating the SuperSonics in the first round, the Jazz went on to lose to the Portland Trailblazers in the conference semifinals. Scottie Pippen hit a three-point shot to down the Jazz in the fifth and final game of the series.

Portland lost to Los Angeles in the following round, who went on to win the championship.

In the 1999-2000 regular season, Karl Malone passed the 30,000 career points mark. John Stockton set a record of his own as he became the longest-tenured player with one franchise in NBA history.

The 2000 NBA All-Star Game in Golden State was the last where both Karl Malone and John Stockton played.

Where Is Malone Today?

After retiring from the NBA in 2005, Malone went on to become the director of basketball promotion and assistant strength and conditioning coach at Louisiana Tech University, his alma mater. He held that position from 2007 to 2011.

Malone has lived in Northern Louisiana since leaving Salt Lake City. Malone spends his free-time hunting and working out. He owns multiple businesses in Louisiana and Utah, including a cigar shop, a restaurant, a clothing store, and an apartment complex.

Chandler Holt is a Digital Sports Producer for KSLSports.com, specializing in all things basketball and football. Follow Chandler on Twitter at @ChandlerHoltKSL.

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This Day In Utah Sports History: Karl Malone Sets Playoff Record