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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- HOUSTON 20 24 20 32 96 ORLANDO 27 31 23 31 112 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: HOU - SHANDON ANDERSON 35, CUTTINO MOBLEY 19, STEVE FRANCIS 12 ORL - DARRELL ARMSTRONG 21, RON MERCER 14, MONTY WILLIAMS 14

HIGH REBOUND: HOU - SHANDON ANDERSON 9, KENNY THOMAS 9 ORL - BEN WALLACE 14, BO OUTLAW 11

HIGH ASSISTS: HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 6, MOOCHIE NORRIS 6 ORL - DARRELL ARMSTRONG 9, BO OUTLAW 7

ATT: 14,109


Extended Box

HOUSTON (96) AT ORLANDO (112)

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

ANDERSON F 46 11-21 8-10 0 9 9 5 2 0 5 35 THOMAS F 27 2-5 0-0 2 7 9 1 3 0 1 4 CATO C 22 0-4 0-0 1 3 4 1 5 0 1 0 FRANCIS G 38 2-9 7-8 1 4 5 6 5 1 6 12 MOBLEY G 38 7-22 3-3 1 4 5 4 3 4 4 19 ROGERS 21 2-5 1-1 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 5 MILLER 17 3-4 3-4 2 3 5 2 1 0 0 9 NORRIS 21 1-3 6-6 1 2 3 6 1 0 1 8 DREW 8 1-1 0-0 1 1 2 1 0 0 0 2 GRAY 2 0-1 2-2 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 BULLARD DNP - COACH'S DECISION WILLIAMS DNP - THIGH BRUISE

TOTALS 240 29-75 30-34 9 34 43 26 22 5 18 96 (.387) (.882) TEAM REBS: 8 TOTAL TO: 18(29 PTS)

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

OUTLAW F 28 2-4 2-4 5 6 11 7 1 2 0 6 WALLACE F 25 5-9 1-1 5 9 14 0 0 1 0 11 AMAECHI C 15 3-10 0-0 1 1 2 1 2 1 1 6 D ARMSTRONG G 31 8-19 1-1 0 2 2 9 0 2 2 21 MERCER G 29 5-15 4-5 1 1 2 0 0 0 1 14 DOLEAC 16 2-7 0-0 4 4 8 0 4 1 0 4 ATKINS 22 5-13 0-0 1 1 2 4 1 0 0 10 WILLIAMS 25 7-11 0-0 1 2 3 1 4 0 0 14 MAGGETTE 19 2-5 7-8 2 3 5 1 4 2 3 11 P GARRITY 21 5-8 0-0 1 2 3 0 6 0 1 13 STRONG 7 1-1 0-0 1 1 2 0 2 0 1 2 JOHNSON 2 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0

TOTALS 240 45-102 15-19 22 32 54 23 25 9 9 112 (.441) (.789) TEAM REBS: 6 TOTAL TO: 10(10 PTS)

HOUSTON 20 24 20 32 - 96 ORLANDO 27 31 23 31 - 112

BLOCKED SHOTS: HOUSTON - FRANCIS 3, CATO 2, ROGERS 2, THOMAS, ANDERSON. ORLANDO - WALLACE 4, WILLIAMS, OUTLAW. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: HOUSTON 8-24 (.333), ANDERSON 5-10, THOMAS 0-2, FRANCIS 1-4, MOBLEY 2-7, NORRIS 0-1. ORLANDO 7-11 (.636), D ARMSTRONG 4-7, P GARRITY 3-4. TECHNICALS: HOUSTON - CATO, ORLANDO - ILLEGAL DEFENSE. OFFICIALS: JACK NIES, RON OLESIAK, GEORGE TOLIVER. A - 14,109. T - 2:07.


Box Score

HOUSTON (96) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Anderson 46 11-21 8-10 0-9 5 2 35 Thomas 27 2-5 0-0 2-9 1 3 4 Cato 22 0-4 0-0 1-4 1 5 0 Francis 38 2-9 7-8 1-5 6 5 12 Mobley 38 7-22 3-3 1-5 4 3 19 Rogers 21 2-5 1-1 0-1 0 1 5 Miller 17 3-4 3-4 2-5 2 1 9 Norris 21 1-3 6-6 1-3 6 1 8 Drew 8 1-1 0-0 1-2 1 0 2 Gray 2 0-1 2-2 0-0 0 1 2 Bullard DNP - coach's decision Williams DNP - thigh bruise _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 29-75 30-34 9-43 26 22 96 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.387, FT-.882. 3-Point Goals: 8-24, .333 (Anderson 5-10, Thomas 0-2, Francis 1-4, Mobley 2-7, Norris 0-1). Team rebounds: 8. Blocked shots: 9 (Francis 3, Cato 2, Rogers 2, Thomas, Anderson). Turnovers: 18 (Francis 6, Anderson 5, Mobley 4, Cato, Norris, Thomas). Steals: 5 (Mobley 4, Francis).

ORLANDO (112) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Outlaw 28 2-4 2-4 5-11 7 1 6 Wallace 25 5-9 1-1 5-14 0 0 11 Amaechi 15 3-10 0-0 1-2 1 2 6 D Armstrong 31 8-19 1-1 0-2 9 0 21 Mercer 29 5-15 4-5 1-2 0 0 14 Doleac 16 2-7 0-0 4-8 0 4 4 Atkins 22 5-13 0-0 1-2 4 1 10 Williams 25 7-11 0-0 1-3 1 4 14 Maggette 19 2-5 7-8 2-5 1 4 11 P Garrity 21 5-8 0-0 1-3 0 6 13 Strong 7 1-1 0-0 1-2 0 2 2 Johnson 2 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 0 _______________________________________________ TOTALS 24045-102 15-19 22-54 23 25 112 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.441, FT-.789. 3-Point Goals: 7-11, .636 (D Armstrong 4-7, P Garrity 3-4). Team rebounds: 6. Blocked shots: 6 (Wallace 4, Williams, Outlaw). Turnovers: 10 (Maggette 3, D Armstrong 2, Amaechi, Mercer, P Garrity, Strong). Steals: 9 (D Armstrong 2, Maggette 2, Outlaw 2, Amaechi, Doleac, Wallace). ____________________________________________ Houston 20 24 20 32 - 96 Orlando 27 31 23 31 - 112 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: Houston 1 (Cato, 3:47 3rd). Orlando 1 (Illegal Defense, 4:23 2nd). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 14,109. T: 2:07. Officials: Jack Nies, Ron Olesiak, George Toliver.


Game Story

ORLANDO, Florida (Ticker) -- The Orlando Magic made it 2-for-2 on their pivotal eight-game homestand.

Darrell Armstrong paced seven players in double figures with 21 points as the Magic led virtually from start to finish en route to their 11th straight regular-season win over the undermanned Houston Rockets, 112-96.

Ron Mercer and reserve Monty Williams had 14 points apiece and Pat Garrity chipped in 13 for Orlando, which moved one game ahead of eighth-place Milwaukee in the Eastern Conference playoff race. The Magic have won seven in a row at home and at 34-36 surpassed their victory total for all of last season, when they had a much more recognizable roster.

"I didn't think we played really well tonight," Orlando coach Doc Rivers said. "We played really well in spurts, I thought our defense was great. I thought offensively we were a little bit out of sync. I want us to be really ready each game."

Shandon Anderson scored a season-high 35 points to lead the Rockets, who were without center Hakeem Olajuwon and starting guard Walt Williams. Olajuwon is on the injured list with respiratory problems, while Williams sat out with a deep thigh bruise.

"We are forced to go with a small lineup, missing Walt and Matt (Bullard)," Houston coach Rudy Tomjanovich said. "The way they play, they are going to double-team everything, give you spot shots we did not have. We made a couple minor runs at them and we just did not have enough."

Houston has lost nine of its last 10 games with only a victory over the lowly Los Angeles Clippers since March 4. The Rockets have lost seven straight on the road and have not defeated Orlando in the regular season since March 1, 1994. Houston did sweep Orlando in the 1995 NBA Finals.

A layup by Anderson with 9:41 left in the first quarter gave Houston its last lead, 4-2. The Magic answered with a 9-2 run, opening an 11-6 cushion with 6:54 to go in the period on a three-point play by Ben Wallace, who finished with 11 points, 14 rebounds and four blocked shots

"I feel I played pretty good," Wallace said. "I established my presence on the boards and played help defense."

Anderson had 14 points in the opening period, but Orlando came away with a 27-20 lead, thanks to an 18-8 rebounding advantage.

The Rockets got within 43-40 on a pair of free throws by vaunted rookie Steve Francis with 4:47 left in the second quarter. But the Magic closed the half with a 15-4 burst.

Williams and Armstrong sandwiched layups around a technical free throw by Houston's Cuttino Mobley. Mercer had a dunk and a layup before Anderson's 3-pointer ended the Rockets' drought from the field at just under three minutes.

Wallace dunked, Mercer nailed a 16-foot jumper and Armstrong drilled a 3-pointer to send the Magic to the locker room with a 58-44 lead.

Houston was unable to get the deficit under double digits thereafter.

Rookie Corey Maggette had 11 points and Chucky Atkins 10 for Orlando, which shot 44 percent (45-of-102), committed only nine turnovers and had a 54-43 edge on the boards. On Sunday, the Magic host Atlantic Division-leading Miami.

"It's going to be a very big game for us," said Armstrong, who also had nine assists. "We just have to be ready, it's going to be intense. We just need to come out and play aggressive, like we did tonight."

Mobley finished with 19 points, but Francis was held to 12 on 2-of-9 shooting and committed six turnovers and five fouls.

"I was really focusing on watching the double-team," Francis said. "I knew I was going to get double-teamed and was just trying to move the ball around the pick-and-roll. They were a really fast team and they were with us every step of the way."

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