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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- CHARLOTTE 17 27 25 14 83 HOUSTON 30 21 24 24 99 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: CHA - EDDIE JONES 20, DERRICK COLEMAN 14, BARON DAVIS 14 HOU - CUTTINO MOBLEY 23, STEVE FRANCIS 22, WALT WILLIAMS 14

HIGH REBOUND: CHA - DERRICK COLEMAN 11, EDDIE JONES 8 HOU - KELVIN CATO 8, HAKEEM OLAJUWON 8

HIGH ASSISTS: CHA - BARON DAVIS 5, TWO PLAYERS WITH 4 HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 8, SHANDON ANDERSON 6

ATT: 14,391


Extended Box

CHARLOTTE (83) AT HOUSTON (99)

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

COLEMAN F 31 6-17 2-3 3 8 11 1 3 0 1 14 MASON F 23 1-5 0-2 2 5 7 2 1 0 1 2 CAMPBELL C 20 2-4 2-4 2 3 5 0 1 1 2 6 JONES G 42 7-22 4-4 3 5 8 4 2 0 2 20 WESLEY G 26 1-10 1-2 0 0 0 2 1 0 1 4 ROBINSON 30 5-8 2-2 0 2 2 1 0 3 1 12 B DAVIS 28 6-10 0-1 0 2 2 5 6 0 4 14 ELLIS 8 0-2 0-0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 R DAVIS 15 1-3 0-0 1 3 4 4 0 1 2 2 MILLER 17 3-6 3-3 0 7 7 0 2 0 1 9 FULLER DNP - COACH'S DECISION HAWKINS DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 32-87 14-21 11 36 47 19 17 5 15 83 (.368) (.667) TEAM REBS: 14 TOTAL TO: 16(27 PTS)

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

BULLARD F 26 3-8 0-0 0 3 3 2 3 0 1 9 WILLIAMS F 23 5-9 2-2 0 4 4 2 2 0 1 14 MILLER C 11 1-1 1-2 0 2 2 0 2 0 1 3 ANDERSON G 30 3-9 0-0 2 3 5 6 2 2 1 6 FRANCIS G 42 7-24 6-6 2 5 7 8 2 5 1 22 THOMAS 30 3-7 0-0 3 4 7 3 3 0 0 6 OLAJUWON 16 4-10 0-2 3 5 8 2 1 0 1 8 CATO 21 3-5 2-4 1 7 8 0 1 1 0 8 MOBLEY 27 9-15 4-5 1 3 4 2 2 2 1 23 DREW 14 0-1 0-0 0 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 CURLEY DNP - COACH'S DECISION GRAY DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 38-89 15-21 12 37 49 26 19 10 8 99 (.427) (.714) TEAM REBS: 9 TOTAL TO: 8(9 PTS)

CHARLOTTE 17 27 25 14 - 83 HOUSTON 30 21 24 24 - 99

BLOCKED SHOTS: CHARLOTTE - COLEMAN 3, MILLER 2, ROBINSON, JONES, WESLEY, CAMPBELL. HOUSTON - BULLARD 3, MILLER 2, CATO 2, WILLIAMS, FRANCIS. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: CHARLOTTE 5-15 (.333), JONES 2-3, WESLEY 1-6, B DAVIS 2-6. HOUSTON 8-18 (.444), BULLARD 3-5, WILLIAMS 2-2, FRANCIS 2-6, MOBLEY 1-4, DREW 0-1. TECHNICALS: NONE. OFFICIALS: ED F RUSH, BENNIE ADAMS, JIM CAPERS. A - 14,391. T - 2:01.


Box Score

CHARLOTTE (83) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Coleman 31 6-17 2-3 3-11 1 3 14 Mason 23 1-5 0-2 2-7 2 1 2 Campbell 20 2-4 2-4 2-5 0 1 6 Jones 42 7-22 4-4 3-8 4 2 20 Wesley 26 1-10 1-2 0-0 2 1 4 Robinson 30 5-8 2-2 0-2 1 0 12 B Davis 28 6-10 0-1 0-2 5 6 14 Ellis 8 0-2 0-0 0-1 0 1 0 R Davis 15 1-3 0-0 1-4 4 0 2 Miller 17 3-6 3-3 0-7 0 2 9 Fuller DNP - coach's decision Hawkins DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 32-87 14-21 11-47 19 17 83 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.368, FT-.667. 3-Point Goals: 5-15, .333 (Jones 2-3, Wesley 1-6, B Davis 2-6). Team rebounds: 14. Blocked shots: 9 (Coleman 3, Miller 2, Robinson, Jones, Wesley, Campbell). Turnovers: 16 (B Davis 4, Campbell 2, Jones 2, R Davis 2, Coleman, Mason, Miller, Robinson, Wesley). Steals: 5 (Robinson 3, Campbell, R Davis).

HOUSTON (99) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Bullard 26 3-8 0-0 0-3 2 3 9 Williams 23 5-9 2-2 0-4 2 2 14 Miller 11 1-1 1-2 0-2 0 2 3 Anderson 30 3-9 0-0 2-5 6 2 6 Francis 42 7-24 6-6 2-7 8 2 22 Thomas 30 3-7 0-0 3-7 3 3 6 Olajuwon 16 4-10 0-2 3-8 2 1 8 Cato 21 3-5 2-4 1-8 0 1 8 Mobley 27 9-15 4-5 1-4 2 2 23 Drew 14 0-1 0-0 0-1 1 1 0 Curley DNP - coach's decision Gray DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 38-89 15-21 12-49 26 19 99 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.427, FT-.714. 3-Point Goals: 8-18, .444 (Bullard 3-5, Williams 2-2, Francis 2-6, Mobley 1-4, Drew 0-1). Team rebounds: 9. Blocked shots: 9 (Bullard 3, Miller 2, Cato 2, Williams, Francis). Turnovers: 8 (Anderson, Bullard, Drew, Francis, Miller, Mobley, Olajuwon, Williams). Steals: 10 (Francis 5, Anderson 2, Mobley 2, Cato). ____________________________________________ Charlotte 17 27 25 14 - 83 Houston 30 21 24 24 - 99 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: None. Flagrant fouls: None. A: 14,391. T: 2:01. Officials: Ed F Rush, Bennie Adams, Jim Capers.


Game Story

HOUSTON (Ticker) -- The backcourt combination of rookie Steve Francis and second-year guard Cuttino Mobley is not only establishing a reputation as one of the most electrifying in the NBA, it's quickly becoming one of the most dangerous.

The enthusiastic, high-flying duo combined to score 45 points and the Houston Rockets never trailed in posting the latest in their recent rash of impressive wins, 99-83 over the road-weary Charlotte Hornets.

Mobley scored 13 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter and Francis had 15 of his 22 in the second half when the Rockets kept the Hornets at bay after opening a big first-half lead.

"At the end of the game, I didn't notice the youth on the court," Francis said. "We're not thinking about our lack of experience. We just notice that we have the opportunity to get the game and we took it."

Charlotte pulled within 86-82 on Derrick Coleman's jumper with 5:43 to play, but Francis and Mobley helped Houston run away with it down the stretch. Mobley made a layup before Francis stripped Coleman and fed his backcourt mate, who drew a foul and sank two free throws to stretch the margin to eight.

The duo put on a highlight show in the last two minutes. Francis knocked down a 3-pointer and Mobley was good from 18 feet before Francis fed Mobley for an alley-oop dunk that opened a 99-83 cushion with just over a minute to play.

"Winning these games is the biggest change between now and the first half of the year," Francis said. "That has to do with our coaches. They've been working really hard with us and doing the things to help us out. They deserve a lot of credit."

While the Hornets called timeout, Francis jumped on Mobley's back in celebration as Houston ran away with its eighth win in 11 games. The Rockets have beaten elite teams Portland, Miami and the Los Angeles Lakers over the previous two weeks.

"We're young and we like having fun on the court," Mobley said. "It's as simple as that. Sometimes the mental aspects of the game go out the window but Steve and I are leaders and the more experience we get, the more we will lead."

Francis has strengthened his case for Rookie of the Year honors during Houston's recent run, while Mobley's game continues to show signs of maturity after an up-and-down rookie campaign.

Eddie Jones scored 20 points for Charlotte, which slipped to 6-16 on the road. The Hornets lost for the 10th time in their last 11 road decisions with the lone victory during that stretch coming at league-worst Chicago on January 19.

"We fought back. We were down by 19 and went on a 13-0 to get back in it but the road has been tough on us," Charlotte coach Paul Silas said. "We've got to find a way to win on the road. It's been disappointing. We've got to keep working and the wins will come."

"We are all aware of what we have to do to win," Jones added. "Sometimes we do it and sometimes we don't. We had a lapse tonight. We missed too many shots and we didn't get to the line."

Walt Williams scored 14 points for the Rockets, who snapped a four-game losing streak against the Hornets.

Although he was just 7-of-24 from the field, Francis showed off the other facets of his game with seven rebounds, eight assists, five steals and just one turnover in 42 minutes. Mobley sank 9-of-15 shots in 27 minutes off the bench for the Rockets, who shot 43 percent (38-of-89) and held a 49-47 advantage on the boards.

"I love our young talent," Houston coach Rudy Tomjanovich said. "It's not just the guards, it's the big guys, too. This sort of play is what I envisioned when we got Steve. With his personality and his work ethic, the odds are pretty good he's going to succeed."

Hakeem Olajuwon had eight points and eight rebounds for Houston, which scored a whopping 27 points off turnovers while yielding just nine.

Coleman had 14 points and 11 boards and rookie Baron Davis added a season-high 14 points for the Hornets, who shot 37 percent (32-of-87). Eddie Robinson had 12 points off the bench for Charlotte, which dug itself a big hole in the first half and was never able to crawl back out.

Coleman's 20-footer pulled the Hornets within 22-17 with 2:41 remaining in the opening period. Matt Bullard answered with back-to-back 3-pointers and rookie Kenny Thomas made a layup to stretch the margin to 30-17 entering the second quarter.

Mobley opened the second period by knocking down consecutive jumpers and Thomas' dunk capped the 14-0 run, giving Houston its biggest lead of the night, 36-17, with nine minutes left in the half.

"They are a very different team than last year," Coleman said. "They are very up-tempo, they have a lot of individual talent and quickness and they play well together and shoot the ball well. Francis is a very exciting player to watch."

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