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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- HOUSTON 22 18 19 15 74 LA CLIPPERS 21 18 16 22 77 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 21, SHANDON ANDERSON 19, CUTTINO MOBLEY 9 LAC - LAMAR ODOM 13, JEFF MCINNIS 12, QUENTIN RICHARDSON 11

HIGH REBOUND: HOU - HAKEEM OLAJUWON 12, TWO PLAYERS WITH 7 LAC - MICHAEL OLOWOKANDI 8, LAMAR ODOM 7

HIGH ASSISTS: HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 6, TWO PLAYERS WITH 3 LAC - LAMAR ODOM 6, JEFF MCINNIS 5

ATT: 10,797


Extended Box

HOUSTON (74) AT LA CLIPPERS (77)

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

TAYLOR F 31 3-11 1-2 0 6 6 0 4 1 1 7 WILLIAMS F 22 2-8 0-0 1 2 3 2 2 0 1 4 OLAJUWON C 34 2-9 0-0 3 9 12 3 3 2 0 4 ANDERSON G 39 6-12 5-7 3 4 7 2 2 1 2 19 FRANCIS G 38 8-18 3-4 3 4 7 6 4 3 3 21 BULLARD 12 2-5 0-0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 4 THOMAS 19 2-5 0-0 0 2 2 0 1 2 4 4 COLLIER 6 0-1 0-0 0 1 1 0 2 0 0 0 MOBLEY 27 4-13 0-0 1 1 2 3 2 1 1 9 NORRIS 12 0-2 2-2 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 2 CATO DNP - LEFT ANKLE SPRAIN ROGERS DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 29-84 11-15 11 29 40 18 22 12 12 74 (.345) (.733) TEAM REBS: 8 TOTAL TO: 14(12 PTS)

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

ODOM F 42 6-13 0-0 0 7 7 6 2 2 3 13 SKINNER F 25 2-5 1-4 1 4 5 1 0 0 2 5 OLOWOKANDI C 29 2-8 2-4 1 7 8 1 2 2 4 6 MCINNIS G 39 6-12 0-2 1 2 3 5 2 2 1 12 MILES G 22 3-5 0-0 1 4 5 1 0 0 4 7 MAGGETTE 6 0-3 1-4 1 0 1 1 2 0 2 1 STRONG 18 1-1 1-2 0 6 6 0 0 0 2 3 RICHARDSON 21 5-11 0-3 2 4 6 1 1 1 0 11 ROOKS 13 1-2 0-0 0 0 0 0 2 0 1 2 DOOLING 10 2-4 2-2 0 1 1 2 2 0 0 7 PIATKOWSKI 15 2-4 5-6 1 2 3 2 3 0 1 10 NESBY DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 30-68 12-27 8 37 45 20 16 7 20 77 (.441) (.444) TEAM REBS: 19 TOTAL TO: 21(20 PTS)

HOUSTON 22 18 19 15 - 74 LA CLIPPERS 21 18 16 22 - 77

BLOCKED SHOTS: HOUSTON - TAYLOR 2, OLAJUWON. LA CLIPPERS - ODOM 2, DOOLING. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: HOUSTON 5-17 (.294), WILLIAMS 0-3, ANDERSON 2-6, FRANCIS 2-4, BULLARD 0-2, MOBLEY 1-2. LA CLIPPERS 5-14 (.357), ODOM 1-3, MCINNIS 0-1, MILES 1-3, MAGGETTE 0-2, RICHARDSON 1-2, DOOLING 1-1, PIATKOWSKI 1-2. TECHNICALS: NONE. OFFICIALS: JOE CRAWFORD, DERRICK STAFFORD, RASHAN MICHEL. A - 10,797. T - 2:08.


Box Score

HOUSTON (74) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Taylor 31 3-11 1-2 0-6 0 4 7 Williams 22 2-8 0-0 1-3 2 2 4 Olajuwon 34 2-9 0-0 3-12 3 3 4 Anderson 39 6-12 5-7 3-7 2 2 19 Francis 38 8-18 3-4 3-7 6 4 21 Bullard 12 2-5 0-0 0-0 1 1 4 Thomas 19 2-5 0-0 0-2 0 1 4 Collier 6 0-1 0-0 0-1 0 2 0 Mobley 27 4-13 0-0 1-2 3 2 9 Norris 12 0-2 2-2 0-0 1 1 2 Cato DNP - left ankle sprain Rogers DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 29-84 11-15 11-40 18 22 74 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.345, FT-.733. 3-Point Goals: 5-17, .294 (Williams 0-3, Anderson 2-6, Francis 2-4, Bullard 0-2, Mobley 1-2). Team rebounds: 8. Blocked shots: 3 (Taylor 2, Olajuwon). Turnovers: 14 (Thomas 4, Francis 3, Anderson 2, Mobley, Taylor, Williams). Steals: 12 (Francis 3, Olajuwon 2, Thomas 2, Anderson, Bullard, Mobley, Norris, Taylor).

LA CLIPPERS (77) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Odom 42 6-13 0-0 0-7 6 2 13 Skinner 25 2-5 1-4 1-5 1 0 5 Olowokandi 29 2-8 2-4 1-8 1 2 6 Mcinnis 39 6-12 0-2 1-3 5 2 12 Miles 22 3-5 0-0 1-5 1 0 7 Maggette 6 0-3 1-4 1-1 1 2 1 Strong 18 1-1 1-2 0-6 0 0 3 Richardson 21 5-11 0-3 2-6 1 1 11 Rooks 13 1-2 0-0 0-0 0 2 2 Dooling 10 2-4 2-2 0-1 2 2 7 Piatkowski 15 2-4 5-6 1-3 2 3 10 Nesby DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 30-68 12-27 8-45 20 16 77 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.441, FT-.444. 3-Point Goals: 5-14, .357 (Odom 1-3, Mcinnis 0-1, Miles 1-3, Maggette 0-2, Richardson 1-2, Dooling 1-1, Piatkowski 1-2). Team rebounds: 19. Blocked shots: 3 (Odom 2, Dooling). Turnovers: 21 (Miles 4, Olowokandi 4, Odom 3, Maggette 2, Skinner 2, Strong 2, Mcinnis, Piatkowski, Rooks). Steals: 7 (Mcinnis 2, Odom 2, Olowokandi 2, Richardson). ____________________________________________ Houston 22 18 19 15 - 74 La Clippers 21 18 16 22 - 77 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: None. Flagrant fouls: None. A: 10,797. T: 2:08. Officials: Joe Crawford, Derrick Stafford, Rashan Michel.


Game Story

LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- While his younger, more inexperienced teammates were attempting to give away the game, Eric Piatkowski filled the role of veteran leader to near perfection.

Piatkowski drained a key 3-pointer with 20 seconds to go and added a free throw 18 seconds later as the Los Angeles Clippers posted their first win of the season, a 77-74 triumph over the Houston Rockets.

The young and energetic Clippers showed their good and bad sides in the fourth quarter. They scored 15 straight points early to start the period but also made just 4-of-13 free throws over the final 12 minutes.

Just as it appeared the win was about to slip away, Piatkowski took a kick-out pass from Lamar Odom and buried a 3-pointer from the left wing for a 76-71 lead.

"I just wanted to float around the perimeter and stay in his eyesight," Piatkowski said. "When he gets double- and triple-teamed, I'm willing to knock that shot down. The more he does that, the better it will make him and the entire team."

After Cuttino Mobley sank a 3-pointer at the other end, Piatkowski made 1-of-2 from the line with 2.8 seconds remaining. The Clippers were forced to sweat out a long 3-point attempt by Matt Bullard at the buzzer but hung on for just their third victory in 34 matchups with the Rockets.

"I'm very happy to go out there and get our first win," said Piatkowski. "I don't know if the young guys know how important it is to get some wins early in the season. There have been times in the past when it has taken an awfully long time to get our first victory. It seems after you get the first, the second one is easier."

Odom had 13 points and six assists for Los Angeles.

"It's important to have Pike," Odom said of Piatkowski. "We are going to go through spells where we can't score. Pike can be in any situation and score. We need those type of players."

The win was also the first for new coach Alvin Gentry, who has to quickly turn his attention to a matchup with the rival Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday.

"I'm happy for the guys more than anything, especially the young guys," Gentry said. "They are trying to change the image of the franchise. It is going to take time to do that but we have the players."

"It's great for him to get the monkey off his back," Odom said. "Now if we can compete tomorrow with the best team in the NBA it will be a huge stepping stone.

Steve Francis led Houston with 21 points and six assists.

The Clippers trailed 59-55 at the start of the fourth quarter but rookie Quentin Richardson had a layup that ignited a 15-0 burst. Fellow first-round pick Keyon Dooling tied the game with just under 11 minutes left and Piatkowski gave the Clippers the lead with 10:26 to go.

Dooling then set up a pair of baskets before burying a 3-pointer from the left wing for a 68-59 lead. The 6-3 rookie from Missouri capped the spurt with two free throws with 7:53 to go.

"We were horrible," Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich said of the 15-0 run. "I don't remember all the plays but you can't let a young team get their enthusiasm up like that. You have to keep them down."

Former Clipper Maurice Taylor got Houston within 73-69 with 2:46 remaining and the Clippers began to self-destruct. Odom had an errant pass and Jeff McInnis missed a short jumper.

Mobley converted a driving layup with 94 seconds to go and Derek Strong committed a turnover. After the Rockets' Shandon Anderson traveled on a fast break opportunity that could have tied the game, Richardson missed two free throws with 57 seconds remaining.

After Piatkowski and Mobley traded 3-pointers, Clippers swingman Corey Maggette missed a pair from the line. Mobley was off the mark with a 15-footer from the left baseline and Piatkowski came down with the rebound and was fouled.

The game marked the return of Taylor to Los Angeles, the team he spent his first three seasons with.

"I was just disappointed we lost, regardless of who it was," Taylor said. "A lot of people have been making a big thing out of this, they are just another NBA team. I'm not the only guy who ever left the Clippers. ... I came and and wanted to beat them like they were any other team."

The Rockets shot just 34 percent (29-of-84), including 5-of-17 from 3-point range.

"We didn't shoot well but we didn't take good shots," Tomjanovich added. "They are not the shots that are going to win you ballgames. They are not high percentage shots. We got what we deserved."

Los Angeles made just 12-of-27 free throws and committed 20 turnovers.

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