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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- HOUSTON 25 19 29 34 107 SEATTLE 28 24 26 32 110 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 27, CUTTINO MOBLEY 19, HAKEEM OLAJUWON 16 SEA - GARY PAYTON 26, VERNON MAXWELL 24, GREG FOSTER 17

HIGH REBOUND: HOU - CHARLES BARKLEY 11, CARLOS ROGERS 10 SEA - RUBEN PATTERSON 9, HORACE GRANT 9

HIGH ASSISTS: HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 5, CUTTINO MOBLEY 5 SEA - GARY PAYTON 10, HORACE GRANT 4

ATT: 15,816


Extended Box

HOUSTON (107) AT SEATTLE (110)

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

BARKLEY F 33 3-13 3-5 3 8 11 4 2 1 2 9 WILLIAMS F 21 1-5 0-0 0 5 5 3 3 0 1 3 OLAJUWON C 32 8-13 0-0 2 2 4 1 5 2 1 16 ANDERSON G 28 6-13 2-2 4 1 5 4 3 0 3 14 FRANCIS G 42 10-20 2-2 2 5 7 5 5 1 7 27 CATO 9 0-3 0-0 1 4 5 0 1 0 2 0 ROGERS 22 3-6 4-6 3 7 10 1 2 0 0 10 MOBLEY 29 7-13 1-2 2 1 3 5 3 0 0 19 BULLARD 18 3-5 0-2 0 2 2 2 1 0 0 9 DREW 6 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 MASSENBURG DNP - COACH'S DECISION THOMAS DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 41-91 12-19 17 35 52 25 25 4 17 107 (.451) (.632) TEAM REBS: 8 TOTAL TO: 17(14 PTS)

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

FOSTER F 34 7-14 3-6 0 7 7 0 5 0 3 17 PATTERSON F 31 5-6 4-6 4 5 9 3 2 1 0 14 GRANT C 39 5-8 2-3 3 6 9 4 3 1 0 12 B BARRY G 21 1-5 0-0 0 0 0 2 2 1 0 2 PAYTON G 37 9-24 7-8 1 4 5 10 3 3 5 26 STEPANIA 14 3-4 0-1 2 0 2 0 3 0 1 6 MAXWELL 31 8-18 5-5 1 1 2 3 2 3 1 24 PERSON 9 0-0 0-0 0 2 2 1 0 0 0 0 LEWIS 11 1-4 0-0 1 3 4 0 1 0 0 2 DAVIS 13 3-4 1-2 0 1 1 2 0 2 1 7 BAKER DNP - FLU BORRELL DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 42-87 22-31 12 29 41 25 21 11 11 110 (.483) (.710) TEAM REBS: 10 TOTAL TO: 11(6 PTS)

HOUSTON 25 19 29 34 - 107 SEATTLE 28 24 26 32 - 110

BLOCKED SHOTS: HOUSTON - MOBLEY 2, WILLIAMS, OLAJUWON. SEATTLE - B BARRY 2, PATTERSON, STEPANIA, FOSTER. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: HOUSTON 13-32 (.406), BARKLEY 0-3, WILLIAMS 1-3, ANDERSON 0-3, FRANCIS 5-13, MOBLEY 4-6, BULLARD 3-4. SEATTLE 4-10 (.400), B BARRY 0-2, PAYTON 1-2, MAXWELL 3-5, DAVIS 0-1. TECHNICALS: NONE. OFFICIALS: DICK BAVETTA, NOLAN FINE, PHIL ROBINSON. A - 15,816. T - 2:22.


Box Score

HOUSTON (107) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Barkley 33 3-13 3-5 3-11 4 2 9 Williams 21 1-5 0-0 0-5 3 3 3 Olajuwon 32 8-13 0-0 2-4 1 5 16 Anderson 28 6-13 2-2 4-5 4 3 14 Francis 42 10-20 2-2 2-7 5 5 27 Cato 9 0-3 0-0 1-5 0 1 0 Rogers 22 3-6 4-6 3-10 1 2 10 Mobley 29 7-13 1-2 2-3 5 3 19 Bullard 18 3-5 0-2 0-2 2 1 9 Drew 6 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 Massenburg DNP - coach's decision Thomas DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 41-91 12-19 17-52 25 25 107 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.451, FT-.632. 3-Point Goals: 13-32, .406 (Barkley 0-3, Williams 1-3, Anderson 0-3, Francis 5-13, Mobley 4-6, Bullard 3-4). Team rebounds: 8. Blocked shots: 4 (Mobley 2, Williams, Olajuwon). Turnovers: 17 (Francis 7, Anderson 3, Barkley 2, Cato 2, Drew, Olajuwon, Williams). Steals: 4 (Olajuwon 2, Barkley, Francis).

SEATTLE (110) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Foster 34 7-14 3-6 0-7 0 5 17 Patterson 31 5-6 4-6 4-9 3 2 14 Grant 39 5-8 2-3 3-9 4 3 12 B Barry 21 1-5 0-0 0-0 2 2 2 Payton 37 9-24 7-8 1-5 10 3 26 Stepania 14 3-4 0-1 2-2 0 3 6 Maxwell 31 8-18 5-5 1-2 3 2 24 Person 9 0-0 0-0 0-2 1 0 0 Lewis 11 1-4 0-0 1-4 0 1 2 Davis 13 3-4 1-2 0-1 2 0 7 Baker DNP - flu Borrell DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 42-87 22-31 12-41 25 21 110 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.483, FT-.710. 3-Point Goals: 4-10, .400 (B Barry 0-2, Payton 1-2, Maxwell 3-5, Davis 0-1). Team rebounds: 10. Blocked shots: 5 (B Barry 2, Patterson, Stepania, Foster). Turnovers: 11 (Payton 5, Foster 3, Davis, Maxwell, Stepania). Steals: 11 (Maxwell 3, Payton 3, Davis 2, B Barry, Grant, Patterson). ____________________________________________ Houston 25 19 29 34 - 107 Seattle 28 24 26 32 - 110 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: None. Flagrant fouls: Houston 1 (Williams, 4:21 3rd). A: 15,816. T: 2:22. Officials: Dick Bavetta, Nolan Fine, Phil Robinson.


Game Story

SEATTLE (Ticker) -- The Houston Rockets are heading where the Seattle SuperSonics wound up last year -- out of the playoffs. And a former Rocket drove that point home tonight.

Vernon Maxwell put on a one-man show down the stretch, scoring 15 of his team's final 24 points as the SuperSonics pulled out their fourth straight win, 110-97 over the floundering Rockets.

Maxwell, who was a member of back-to-back NBA championship teams in Houston during the mid-1990s, had an answer for every big basket by the Rockets during the closing moments. The fiery shooting guard has excelled off the bench for the Sonics and did so once again tonight with 24 points.

"I play the same way I play every night," Maxwell said. "If the shots there I take it. Luckily, I hit some big ones. They went down for us. I just tried to concentrate. Guys did a good job of getting me the ball. It's just a big win for us."

Houston sharpshooter Cuttino Mobley put on a 3-point shooting clinic in the fourth quarter and gave the Rockets a 94-93 lead on a 25-footer with 3:22 to play.

Maxwell came back and buried a 20-footer from the left corner before Mobley again hit from deep, knocking down a 3-pointer to give Houston a 97-95 lead with 2:48 left.

"I've been in a slump the last four or five games," Mobley said. "I've been hurting us in the fourth quarter and I wasn't delivering. (Me and Maxwell) were hitting our shots. Vernon is just a really good player."

Gary Payton, who led the Sonics with 26 points and 10 assists, made a pair of free throws to forge a 97-97 tie before Maxwell decided matters.

The 6-4 shooting guard put his team ahead to stay, 100-97, with 2:11 remaining when he sank a 27-footer from the left sideline. Greg Foster sank a free throw before a 3-pointer by Matt Bullard shaved the deficit to one.

But Maxwell responded with a three-point play off a driving layup and answered Hakeem Olajuwon's five-foot hook with another 3-pointer to make it 107-102 with 22 seconds left.

The Sonics, who failed to reach the playoffs for the first time in nine seasons during the lockout-shortened campaign, improved to 9-2 and are just one game behind league-leading Portland in the Pacific Division.

"It was a fantastic win," Seattle coach Paul Westphal said. "They were shooting the ball like the Rockets usually shoot. They would have beaten most teams tonight the way they were shooting. I'm thrilled."

The Rockets dropped their fourth straight game and are tied with New Jersey for the most losses in the league at 2-9.

"We made great strides today," Houston coach Rudy Tomjanovich said. "Our shooting, that's whats been missing. I ain't never gonna give up -- somewhere down the line, it's gotta sink in."

Houston rookie Steve Francis matched his season high with 27 points on 10-of-20 shooting to go with five assists and seven rebounds. Mobley, who drained 4-of-7 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, finished with 19 points and Olajuwon added 16 for the Rockets, who shot 45 percent (41-of-91) and held a 52-41 advantage on the boards.

Seattle forward Vin Baker did not play after finding out he had an irregular heartbeat earlier today. Although he was cleared to play prior to gametime, the veteran decided to sit the game out and the club listed him as having flu-like symptoms.

"I'm not sure of the expert diagnosis," Seattle coach Paul Westphal said. "He was light-headed and had a fast heartbeat. He went to the hospital today and the doctors checked him out and said he was OK. He got here, he was warming up and it happened again. They think it might be something as simple as the flu, but they want to make sure. He was not feeling well at all."

Horace Grant had 12 points and nine rebounds for the Sonics, who shot 48 percent (42-of-87) and yielded only six points off turnovers.

"We're starting to jell together right now, starting to hit the big shots when we need it and starting to play that aggressive defense down the stretch that we need," Grant said.

Payton and Maxwell combined for 33 second-half points as the Sonics' duo continued lighting up the opposition.

"I can't say enough about (Payton) and (Maxwell), two of the most prolific scoring tandems in the league right now and the biggest mouths," Grant added.

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