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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- HOUSTON 23 18 26 38 105 DETROIT 26 20 34 29 109 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: HOU - KELVIN CATO 23, BRYCE DREW 20, TWO PLAYERS WITH 16 DET - GRANT HILL 36, JERRY STACKHOUSE 23, CHRISTIAN LAETTNER 17

HIGH REBOUND: HOU - KELVIN CATO 12, HAKEEM OLAJUWON 7 DET - JEROME WILLIAMS 9, TWO PLAYERS WITH 7

HIGH ASSISTS: HOU - BRYCE DREW 6, TWO PLAYERS WITH 3 DET - JERRY STACKHOUSE 7, LINDSEY HUNTER 5

ATT: 15,388


Extended Box

HOUSTON (105) AT DETROIT (109)

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

BULLARD F 14 1-2 0-0 1 2 3 1 2 0 2 3 WILLIAMS F 16 1-5 0-0 1 4 5 1 4 0 1 2 CATO C 33 9-16 5-8 5 7 12 3 5 1 2 23 ANDERSON G 30 5-10 3-5 0 1 1 2 4 1 3 13 DREW G 48 8-16 2-2 1 2 3 6 2 2 4 20 THOMAS 31 6-10 2-4 3 1 4 1 4 1 1 16 MOBLEY 37 4-12 7-7 2 3 5 3 1 1 0 16 OLAJUWON 18 3-9 1-1 0 7 7 0 1 2 2 7 GRAY 13 1-3 3-3 0 1 1 1 1 1 0 5 FRANCIS DNP - RIGHT KNEE SPRAIN MILLER DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 38-83 23-30 13 28 41 18 24 9 15 105 (.458) (.767) TEAM REBS: 11 TOTAL TO: 18(18 PTS)

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

HILL F 40 15-24 6-8 2 5 7 3 2 0 6 36 LAETTNER F 34 7-11 3-5 3 4 7 3 4 1 4 17 MILLS C 22 1-3 0-0 1 4 5 0 4 0 0 3 HUNTER G 40 3-5 0-0 0 4 4 5 3 4 1 6 STACKHOUSE G 40 10-21 2-2 0 1 1 7 1 0 2 23 WILLIAMS 27 6-9 4-4 2 7 9 0 3 1 0 16 VAUGHT 12 0-3 0-0 0 2 2 0 2 0 1 0 CURRY 17 2-5 4-4 0 0 0 2 2 0 0 8 CROTTY 8 0-2 0-0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 BUECHLER DNP - COACH'S DECISION MONTROSS DNP - COACH'S DECISION REID DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 44-83 19-23 8 27 35 22 21 6 14 109 (.530) (.826) TEAM REBS: 8 TOTAL TO: 14(21 PTS)

HOUSTON 23 18 26 38 - 105 DETROIT 26 20 34 29 - 109

BLOCKED SHOTS: HOUSTON - CATO, ANDERSON. DETROIT - HUNTER, LAETTNER. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: HOUSTON 6-21 (.286), BULLARD 1-1, WILLIAMS 0-1, CATO 0-1, ANDERSON 0-3, DREW 2-7, THOMAS 2-4, MOBLEY 1-4. DETROIT 2-9 (.222), HILL 0-2, MILLS 1-2, STACKHOUSE 1-3, CROTTY 0-2. TECHNICALS: DETROIT - ILLEGAL DEFENSE 2, HEAD COACH GENTRY. OFFICIALS: TIM DONAGHY, RONNIE NUNN, GARY BENSON. A - 15,388. T - 2:21.


Box Score

HOUSTON (105) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Bullard 14 1-2 0-0 1-3 1 2 3 Williams 16 1-5 0-0 1-5 1 4 2 Cato 33 9-16 5-8 5-12 3 5 23 Anderson 30 5-10 3-5 0-1 2 4 13 Drew 48 8-16 2-2 1-3 6 2 20 Thomas 31 6-10 2-4 3-4 1 4 16 Mobley 37 4-12 7-7 2-5 3 1 16 Olajuwon 18 3-9 1-1 0-7 0 1 7 Gray 13 1-3 3-3 0-1 1 1 5 Francis DNP - right knee sprain Miller DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 38-83 23-30 13-41 18 24 105 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.458, FT-.767. 3-Point Goals: 6-21, .286 (Bullard 1-1, Williams 0-1, Cato 0-1, Anderson 0-3, Drew 2-7, Thomas 2-4, Mobley 1-4). Team rebounds: 11. Blocked shots: 2 (Cato, Anderson). Turnovers: 18 (Drew 4, Anderson 3, Bullard 2, Cato 2, Olajuwon 2, Thomas, Williams). Steals: 9 (Drew 2, Olajuwon 2, Anderson, Cato, Gray, Mobley, Thomas).

DETROIT (109) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Hill 40 15-24 6-8 2-7 3 2 36 Laettner 34 7-11 3-5 3-7 3 4 17 Mills 22 1-3 0-0 1-5 0 4 3 Hunter 40 3-5 0-0 0-4 5 3 6 Stackhouse 40 10-21 2-2 0-1 7 1 23 Williams 27 6-9 4-4 2-9 0 3 16 Vaught 12 0-3 0-0 0-2 0 2 0 Curry 17 2-5 4-4 0-0 2 2 8 Crotty 8 0-2 0-0 0-0 2 0 0 Buechler DNP - coach's decision Montross DNP - coach's decision Reid DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 44-83 19-23 8-35 22 21 109 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.530, FT-.826. 3-Point Goals: 2-9, .222 (Hill 0-2, Mills 1-2, Stackhouse 1-3, Crotty 0-2). Team rebounds: 8. Blocked shots: 2 (Hunter, Laettner). Turnovers: 14 (Hill 6, Laettner 4, Stackhouse 2, Hunter, Vaught). Steals: 6 (Hunter 4, Laettner, Williams). ____________________________________________ Houston 23 18 26 38 - 105 Detroit 26 20 34 29 - 109 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: Detroit 3 (Illegal Defense 2, 1:48 2nd, 7:22 3rd; Head Coach Gentry, 0:40 3rd). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 15,388. T: 2:21. Officials: Tim Donaghy, Ronnie Nunn, Gary Benson.


Game Story

AUBURN HILLS, Michigan (Ticker) -- Grant Hill scored 36 points in his return to the lineup as the Detroit Pistons survived a late rally and comeback, posting a 109-105 victory over the Houston Rockets, who were without high-scoring rookie Steve Francis.

Hill, who had missed five of the last seven contests with a bruised hip, made 15-of-24 shots and grabbed seven rebounds in 40 minutes for the Pistons, who have won four straight home meetings from the Rockets.

"I'm a little sore," Hill said. "I expect that it will stay that way for a little while. But it isn't hindering me at all. The first time I tried, it still limited me a lot, but isn't today. The real test was a hard practice yesterday and then not being very sore when I got up this morning."

Detroit looked to be in control, leading 103-92 after Jerome Williams tapped in Jerry Stackhouse's miss with 1:48 remaining. But Houston went on a 9-0 run capped by rookie Kenny Thomas' two free throws with 40 seconds left.

After a 20-second timeout, Hill hit a crucial 17-footer with 25 seconds to go, giving the Pistons a 105-101 lead. The Rockets twice pulled within two points but Stackhouse and Michael Curry converted two free throws apiece to seal the victory.

"I was very impressed with the comeback," Houston coach Rudy Tomjanovich said. "We got a reason, we've got plenty of excuses to give up. These guys haven't given up all year. They played great and we still hung in the game. You look at what happened out there and you say, `How the hell did you do it?' You look at it, and it's reality. They were just playing hard."

Francis leads the Rockets in scoring at 18.3 points per game but has missed the last two games with knee and groin injuries. For the second straight game, Bryce Drew started in his place and scored a career-high 20 points.

"Wins are hard to come by, so you never want to complain," Detroit coach Alvin Gentry said. "We have to do a better job of finishing teams off. That's a hard team to defend, but we can't play like we did in the last minute and a half."

Houston was down by five points to start the second half and cut the deficit to 47-45 after Drew hit a running jumper early in the period. However, Hill scored nine points in an 11-4 spurt to give Detroit a 60-49 lead with 8:12 to go.

The Rockets narrowed the deficit once again, this time to 60-54 midway through the period. But the Pistons answered right back with a 9-0 burst capped by Williams' layup with just over five minutes remaining.

Hill paced Detroit in the quarter, netting 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting, as the Pistons expanded the lead to 16 points and held an 80-67 advantage and the end of the period.

"Stackhouse and Hill hit a bunch of jumpers," Drew said. "It seemed like they didn't miss any. They got really hot. We turned the ball over too many times and missed a couple of shots. They just kept hitting and we looked up and we were down a big deficit."

"It was good to have Grant back," Stackhouse said. "That gives everyone an edge. He played pretty well and that let me rest a little bit for a change."

Hill still has not made up his mind on whether he will go to next week's All-Star Game, where he was voted as a starter.

"I haven't made up my mind, we'll see how it (the hip) feels," Hill said. "It would be great to play, but the real honor is to get voted in."

Kelvin Cato finished with 23 points and a career-high 12 rebounds for Houston, which outrebounded Detroit, 41-35. He scored 14 points in the opening period, but the Rockets still trailed, 26-23.

Stackhouse added 23 points and Williams 16 for the Pistons, who shot 53 percent (44-of-83) from the field.

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