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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- NEW JERSEY 26 20 33 25 104 HOUSTON 30 22 32 31 115 FINAL


NEW JERSEY (104) AT HOUSTON (115)

NEW JERSEY REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == ===

GILL F 25 3-12 3-4 1 0 1 3 3 0 0 9 GATLING F 30 5-10 1-2 2 1 3 2 5 2 1 11 CAGE C 35 1-1 0-0 4 9 13 2 2 3 1 2 KITTLES G 39 12-22 1-1 1 6 7 2 1 4 2 27 CASSELL G 42 12-27 8-8 2 4 6 14 4 4 2 32 EVANS 19 4-9 0-0 0 0 0 3 1 0 1 11 VAUGHN 26 2-2 0-0 3 5 8 0 4 0 4 4 HARRIS 10 1-4 1-2 1 0 1 1 1 0 0 4 MACLEAN 4 0-2 0-0 0 0 0 0 2 0 1 0 DOUGLAS 10 2-3 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 VAN HORN DNP - BROKEN TOE

TOTALS 240 42-92 14-17 14 25 39 27 23 13 12 104 (.457) (.824) TEAM REBS: 4 TOTAL TO: 12(7 PTS)

HOUSTON REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == ===

ELIE F 37 5-11 4-4 1 4 5 11 1 0 1 17 WILLIS F 22 4-9 1-3 2 2 4 0 5 2 2 9 OLAJUWON C 39 5-15 6-8 5 12 17 3 3 3 3 16 DREXLER G 37 12-19 4-4 1 2 3 1 4 1 3 33 MALONEY G 41 6-11 0-0 1 4 5 6 1 0 5 15 BARKLEY 35 3-7 7-9 8 8 16 5 2 0 3 13 JOHNSON 19 2-8 2-2 0 2 2 1 1 0 2 7 PRICE 10 2-5 0-0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 5 BULLARD DNP - COACH'S DECISION DAVIS DNP - COACH'S DECISION HARRINGTON DNP - COACH'S DECISION RHODES DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 39-85 24-30 18 34 52 27 18 6 20 115 (.459) (.800) TEAM REBS: 10 TOTAL TO: 21(21 PTS)

NEW JERSEY 26 20 33 25 - 104 HOUSTON 30 22 32 31 - 115

BLOCKED SHOTS: NEW JERSEY - VAUGHN 3, EVANS, GILL. HOUSTON - OLAJUWON 3, WILLIS, DREXLER. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: NEW JERSEY 6-12 (.500), KITTLES 2-5, CASSELL 0-1, EVANS 3-5, HARRIS 1-1. HOUSTON 13-26 (.500), ELIE 3-5, DREXLER 5-7, MALONEY 3-7, BARKLEY 0-1, JOHNSON 1-4, PRICE 1-2. TECHNICALS: NEW JERSEY - VAUGHN, HOUSTON - MALONEY, ILLEGAL DEFENSE. OFFICIALS: JOE CRAWFORD, NOLAN FINE, JOE BORGIA. A - 16,285. T - 2:11.


NEW JERSEY (104) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Gill 25 3-12 3-4 1-1 3 3 9 Gatling 30 5-10 1-2 2-3 2 5 11 Cage 35 1-1 0-0 4-13 2 2 2 Kittles 39 12-22 1-1 1-7 2 1 27 Cassell 42 12-27 8-8 2-6 14 4 32 Evans 19 4-9 0-0 0-0 3 1 11 Vaughn 26 2-2 0-0 3-8 0 4 4 Harris 10 1-4 1-2 1-1 1 1 4 Maclean 4 0-2 0-0 0-0 0 2 0 Douglas 10 2-3 0-0 0-0 0 0 4 Van Horn DNP - broken toe _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 42-92 14-17 14-39 27 23 104 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.457, FT-.824. 3-Point Goals: 6-12, .500 (Kittles 2-5, Cassell 0-1, Evans 3-5, Harris 1-1). Team rebounds: 4. Blocked shots: 5 (Vaughn 3, Evans, Gill). Turnovers: 12 (Vaughn 4, Cassell 2, Kittles 2, Cage, Evans, Gatling, Maclean). Steals: 13 (Cassell 4, Kittles 4, Cage 3, Gatling 2).

HOUSTON (115) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Elie 37 5-11 4-4 1-5 11 1 17 Willis 22 4-9 1-3 2-4 0 5 9 Olajuwon 39 5-15 6-8 5-17 3 3 16 Drexler 37 12-19 4-4 1-3 1 4 33 Maloney 41 6-11 0-0 1-5 6 1 15 Barkley 35 3-7 7-9 8-16 5 2 13 Johnson 19 2-8 2-2 0-2 1 1 7 Price 10 2-5 0-0 0-0 0 1 5 Bullard DNP - coach's decision Davis DNP - coach's decision Harrington DNP - coach's decision Rhodes DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 39-85 24-30 18-52 27 18 115 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.459, FT-.800. 3-Point Goals: 13-26, .500 (Elie 3-5, Drexler 5-7, Maloney 3-7, Barkley 0-1, Johnson 1-4, Price 1-2). Team rebounds: 10. Blocked shots: 5 (Olajuwon 3, Willis, Drexler). Turnovers: 21 (Maloney 5, Barkley 3, Drexler 3, Olajuwon 3, Johnson 2, Willis 2, Elie, Price). Steals: 6 (Olajuwon 3, Willis 2, Drexler). ____________________________________________ New Jersey 26 20 33 25 - 104 Houston 30 22 32 31 - 115 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: New Jersey 1 (Vaughn, 4:33 3rd). Houston 2 (Maloney, 7:49 3rd; Illegal Defense, 7:54 4th). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 16,285. T: 2:11. Officials: Joe Crawford, Nolan Fine, Joe Borgia.


GAME RECAP

Clyde Drexler scored 33 points and Mario Elie added 17 and a season-high 11 assists in a rare start as the Houston Rockets moved back over the .500 mark with a 115-104 victory over the fading New Jersey Nets.

Hakeem Olajuwon collected 16 points and 17 rebounds and Charles Barkley added 13 and 16 for the Rockets, who have won three of their last four games to move over the break-even mark for the first time since they were 27-26 on February 20th.

Former Rocket Sam Cassell poured in 32 points for New Jersey, but the banged-up Nets were dealt their seventh straight loss. New Jersey was without two-thirds of its frontcourt as Keith Van Horn sat out with a broken toe, joining Jayson Williams -- who is on the injured list -- on the sideline.

The Rockets have won the last eight meetings in Houston, dating back to New Jersey's victory on December 8th, 1989. The Nets' losing streak is their longest since April 5th-16th, 1996.

"They are giving us their heart and their soul," New Jersey coach John Calipari said. "What else can they give us and our fans? What we need is a break. We've got to get a break somewhere along the way but we'll only get it by playing hard. Right now we have no margin for error. One or two plays are killing us. But I love this team, they're giving us everything they can."

Houston had the lead since early in the second quarter, but Cassell's three-pointer with 2:46 left in the fourth brought the Nets within 99-96. Elie answered with a three-pointer and, after a jumper by Cassell, Olajuwon knocked down a 15-footer and Drexler buried a three-pointer for a 107-98 advantage with 58 seconds remaining.

"It felt good to play extended minutes tonight," Elie said. "Coach told me at the shootaround that I was going to start. I was a little surprised but I was ready to play. All I want to do is play and for us to win."

Lucious Harris nailed a three-pointer for the Nets, but Drexler dunked and Barkley hit a pair of free throws for a 10-point cushion with 21 seconds to play. Brian Evans drilled another three-pointer for New Jersey before Drexler scored the final four points.

The Nets had a 12-8 lead after a jumper by Cassell with 7:20 remaining in the first quarter. The Rockets answered with a 10-0 burst, capped by Elie's three-pointer with 5:52 left in the period.

"I looked at their small lineup and decided yesterday that he was going to start," Houston coach Rudy Tomjanovich said of Elie. "I didn't tell him 'til this morning at the shootaround. He was outstanding for us, he gave us a lot of energy out there. This has been a tough deal for him this year but he had a great attitude this morning."

Houston's lead was 30-26 entering the second quarter. New Jersey got the first four points of the period to tie it for the final time before two free throws by Olajuwon gave the Rockets the lead for good, 32-30, with 10:47 to go in the half.

During the period, Olajuwon grabbed his 12,000th career rebound, joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Wilt Chamberlain as the only players in NBA history with 24,000 points, 12,000 rebounds and 2,500 assists.

The Rockets shot 46 percent (39-of-85) from the floor, including 13-of-26 (50 percent) from three-point range. Houston also held a 52-39 rebounding advantage.

Kerry Kittles scored 27 points and Chris Gatling and Evans finished with 11 apiece for the Nets, who also shot 46 percent (42-of-92). Michael Cage grabbed a season-high 13 rebounds.

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