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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- HOUSTON 26 13 19 19 77 MIAMI 28 14 26 41 109 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: HOU - MARIO ELIE 18, HAKEEM OLAJUWON 15, KEVIN WILLIS 15 MIA - DAN MAJERLE 22, ALONZO MOURNING 16, TIM HARDAWAY 13


HOUSTON (77) AT MIAMI (109)

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

BULLARD F 26 3-12 0-0 0 1 1 2 1 0 0 7 WILLIS F 31 7-16 1-2 2 6 8 0 4 0 1 15 OLAJUWON C 33 5-13 5-9 1 3 4 3 3 2 3 15 ELIE G 34 6-9 5-6 0 1 1 2 2 1 1 18 MALONEY G 31 2-9 0-0 0 4 4 2 1 2 3 5 HARRINGTON 27 2-7 3-4 3 4 7 2 6 0 3 7 JOHNSON 23 1-6 1-1 4 5 9 3 1 0 3 3 RHODES 17 1-5 1-4 0 3 3 2 2 0 2 3 PRICE 12 1-2 0-0 1 0 1 1 2 0 2 2 DAVIS 6 0-1 2-2 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 BARKLEY DNP - LEFT SHOULDER CONTUSION DREXLER DNP - STRAINED RIGHT GROIN

TOTALS 240 28-80 18-28 11 27 38 17 23 5 18 77 (.350) (.643) TEAM REBS: 14 TOTAL TO: 20(19 PTS)

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

MAJERLE F 38 8-13 1-2 1 3 4 5 2 0 0 22 STRICKLAND F 34 6-12 1-2 0 6 6 0 3 0 4 13 MOURNING C 36 5-9 6-8 4 11 15 0 2 3 4 16 LENARD G 32 3-8 3-3 0 1 1 2 4 2 0 9 HARDAWAY G 35 6-15 1-1 0 2 2 15 1 0 2 13 BARRY 12 3-4 0-0 0 3 3 1 1 3 0 7 CONLON 14 3-5 2-2 0 2 2 1 4 3 0 8 CAUSWELL 15 0-2 3-4 1 7 8 0 4 0 2 3 MURDOCK 14 3-6 4-4 1 1 2 2 3 0 1 10 WALTERS 6 1-2 2-2 0 1 1 2 0 0 1 4 LANG 4 1-1 2-2 1 1 2 1 1 1 0 4 MILLS DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 39-77 25-30 8 38 46 29 25 12 14 109 (.506) (.833) TEAM REBS: 7 TOTAL TO: 14(10 PTS)

HOUSTON 26 13 19 19 - 77 MIAMI 28 14 26 41 - 109

BLOCKED SHOTS: HOUSTON - RHODES. MIAMI - STRICKLAND 3, LENARD 2, BARRY 2, CONLON 2, CAUSWELL 2, MAJERLE, MURDOCK. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: HOUSTON 3-16 (.188), BULLARD 1-5, ELIE 1-3, MALONEY 1-4, JOHNSON 0-3, PRICE 0-1. MIAMI 6-20 (.300), MAJERLE 5-8, LENARD 0-3, HARDAWAY 0-3, BARRY 1-2, MURDOCK 0-3, WALTERS 0-1. TECHNICALS: HOUSTON - ELIE, MIAMI - ILLEGAL DEFENSE 2. OFFICIALS: DAN CRAWFORD, TOM WASHINGTON, LEON WOOD. A - 15,200. T - 2:20.


HOUSTON (77) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Bullard 26 3-12 0-0 0-1 2 1 7 Willis 31 7-16 1-2 2-8 0 4 15 Olajuwon 33 5-13 5-9 1-4 3 3 15 Elie 34 6-9 5-6 0-1 2 2 18 Maloney 31 2-9 0-0 0-4 2 1 5 Harrington 27 2-7 3-4 3-7 2 6 7 Johnson 23 1-6 1-1 4-9 3 1 3 Rhodes 17 1-5 1-4 0-3 2 2 3 Price 12 1-2 0-0 1-1 1 2 2 Davis 6 0-1 2-2 0-0 0 1 2 Barkley DNP - left shoulder contusion Drexler DNP - strained right groin _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 28-80 18-28 11-38 17 23 77 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.350, FT-.643. 3-Point Goals: 3-16, .188 (Bullard 1-5, Elie 1-3, Maloney 1-4, Johnson 0-3, Price 0-1). Team rebounds: 14. Blocked shots: 1 (Rhodes). Turnovers: 20 (Harrington 3, Johnson 3, Maloney 3, Olajuwon 3, Price 2, Rhodes 2, Elie, Willis). Steals: 5 (Maloney 2, Olajuwon 2, Elie).

MIAMI (109) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Majerle 38 8-13 1-2 1-4 5 2 22 Strickland 34 6-12 1-2 0-6 0 3 13 Mourning 36 5-9 6-8 4-15 0 2 16 Lenard 32 3-8 3-3 0-1 2 4 9 Hardaway 35 6-15 1-1 0-2 15 1 13 Barry 12 3-4 0-0 0-3 1 1 7 Conlon 14 3-5 2-2 0-2 1 4 8 Causwell 15 0-2 3-4 1-8 0 4 3 Murdock 14 3-6 4-4 1-2 2 3 10 Walters 6 1-2 2-2 0-1 2 0 4 Lang 4 1-1 2-2 1-2 1 1 4 Mills DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 39-77 25-30 8-46 29 25 109 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.506, FT-.833. 3-Point Goals: 6-20, .300 (Majerle 5-8, Lenard 0-3, Hardaway 0-3, Barry 1-2, Murdock 0-3, Walters 0-1). Team rebounds: 7. Blocked shots: 13 (Strickland 3, Lenard 2, Barry 2, Conlon 2, Causwell 2, Majerle, Murdock). Turnovers: 14 (Mourning 4, Strickland 4, Causwell 2, Hardaway 2, Murdock, Walters). Steals: 12 (Barry 3, Conlon 3, Mourning 3, Lenard 2, Lang). ____________________________________________ Houston 26 13 19 19 - 77 Miami 28 14 26 41 - 109 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: Houston 1 (Elie, 10:01 4th). Miami 2 (Illegal Defense 2, 0:51 1st, 11:45 2nd). Flagrant fouls: Houston 1 (Willis, 7:15 4th). A: 15,200. T: 2:20. Officials: Dan Crawford, Tom Washington, Leon Wood.


GAME RECAP

The Miami Heat clinched their second straight Atlantic Division title with their sixth straight win as Dan Majerle scored 15 of his season-high 22 points on three-pointers in a 109-77 rout of the Houston Rockets.

The Heat (51-21) also clinched at least the second seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs, which means they probably will not face Central Division-leading Chicago until the conference finals. The two-time defending NBA champion Bulls have bounced Miami from the playoffs in each of the last two seasons.

The Heat also opened a 1 1/2-game lead on the Indiana Pacers in the race for the conference's second-best record. The division winners receive the top two seeds in each conference but do not have homecourt advantage if facing a team with a better record.

"Winning the division is very important to us. It was one of the first goals that we set back in training camp," Miami coach Pat Riley said. "For 6 1/2 weeks we have been chasing Indiana, and today we were able to slide ahead of them. But this is not the time to get inflated or take a step back. We have to stay on it."

"Clinching the division is a big thing for us," said Majerle, who made 5-of-8 three-pointers. "I think people were gunning for us. We were not happy winning the Atlantic Division last year and we won't be happy this year. We want to go all the way."

Majerle made 5-of-8 three-pointers and Miami's defense smothered Houston, holding the Rockets to 35 percent (28-for-80) from the field. The Heat, who shot 51 percent (39-for-77), also held a 46-38 rebounding advantage.

We're a better team than they are," Majerle said. "We kept a lot of pressure on them and got easy baskets."

"Today we were much more efficient in the second half," Riley said. "Our defense stayed consistent and we were able to open up a lead in the third quarter. This was one of our best games."

Alonzo Mourning chipped in with 16 points and 15 rebounds, Tim Hardaway had 13 points and a season-high 15 assists and Mark Strickland added 13 points and and three of Miami's season-high 13 blocks as the Heat beat the Rockets for the sixth consecutive time.

Mario Elie scored 18 points to lead Houston before being forced from the game with a jammed thumb with six minutes left in the fourth quarter. Hakeem Olajuwon added 15 points and Kevin Willis 15 and eight boards for the Houston, which again was without Charles Barkley (shoulder strain) and Clyde Drexler (groin strain).

"Their intensity wore us down both mentally and physically," Houston coach Rudy Tomjanovich said. "It's tough to stay positive and lose two games like this (Houston lost 100-75 at Orlando on Friday). Miami just keeps coming at you."

"This is frustrating for our ballclub. We're 1-3 on this road trip and we could've played better," Elie said. "They kicked our butts. That stuff you can prevent, all you have to do is get back on defense. This has been a disappointing year for us. We have to make noise in the playoffs. I hope we have enough heart to do it."

Houston trailed 42-39 at halftime but went ahead 45-42 at the 10:11 mark of the third quarter on Elie's three-point play.

But Miami answered with a 13-2 run over the next 3:47 to regain control. Hardaway, who had six points and three assists during the spurt, gave the Heat the lead for good at 46-45 with a 19-footer with 9:16 remaining. He also capped the burst with a basket that gave the Heat a 55-47 advantage with 6:24 left.

The Heat put away the game with a 26-7 spurt that began late in the third quarter. Mourning's layup with 54 seconds left in the third period opened the spurt and a pair of free throws from Eric Murdock finished it with 6:04 remaining, giving the Heat a 91-65 lead.

Miami's lead grew to as much as 109-75 on a basket by Brent Barry with 17 seconds left as the Heat recorded 41 points in the fourth quarter and 67 points in the second half, both season highs.

"Winning the division is a big accomplishment but we did also did it last year," said Mourning, who did not have a block. "It doesn't take the excitement out of it but we want bigger and better accomplishments.

"Riley is never satisfied and won't be satisfied until we win it all. That's why I admire him. He doesn't rest until he wins it all."

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