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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- PHOENIX 20 20 21 28 89 HOUSTON 24 23 19 28 94 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: PHO - CLIFF ROBINSON 23, SHAWN MARION 20, JASON KIDD 15 HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 25, HAKEEM OLAJUWON 19, CUTTINO MOBLEY 17

HIGH REBOUND: PHO - SHAWN MARION 17, CLIFF ROBINSON 5 HOU - HAKEEM OLAJUWON 10, TWO PLAYERS WITH 7

HIGH ASSISTS: PHO - JASON KIDD 9, TWO PLAYERS WITH 3 HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 8, CUTTINO MOBLEY 3

ATT: 12,694


Extended Box

PHOENIX (89) AT HOUSTON (94)

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

MARION F 43 7-15 6-6 5 12 17 0 3 1 3 20 ROBINSON F 37 8-19 6-6 1 4 5 3 6 1 2 23 BLOUNT C 15 2-3 0-0 2 0 2 0 5 1 2 4 ELIE G 25 0-2 2-2 1 3 4 3 1 1 0 2 KIDD G 45 5-15 5-8 0 3 3 9 2 2 4 15 SANTIAGO 16 1-3 2-2 2 0 2 0 1 0 1 4 ROGERS 21 3-8 6-6 1 2 3 2 3 1 4 13 DELK 28 3-8 0-0 1 2 3 2 2 0 1 6 TSAKALIDIS 8 1-2 0-0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 MCPHERSON 2 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 GARCES DNP - COACH'S DECISION GUGLIOTTA DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 30-75 27-30 14 26 40 19 23 7 17 89 (.400) (.900) TEAM REBS: 5 TOTAL TO: 17(16 PTS)

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

WILLIAMS F 26 2-6 0-0 0 7 7 2 2 0 2 4 TAYLOR F 23 4-9 0-0 1 3 4 0 5 0 2 8 OLAJUWON C 33 9-12 1-2 4 6 10 1 2 2 4 19 ANDERSON G 17 0-0 0-0 0 2 2 1 1 0 1 0 FRANCIS G 43 8-17 8-8 4 3 7 8 5 3 2 25 THOMAS 17 0-3 0-0 0 2 2 0 5 2 3 0 MOBLEY 24 6-13 5-7 2 4 6 3 4 0 3 17 COLLIER 14 2-5 2-2 1 1 2 0 1 0 1 6 NORRIS 24 2-7 5-6 1 1 2 1 3 0 1 9 BULLARD 19 2-7 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 2 0 6 LANGHI DNP - COACH'S DECISION ROGERS DNP - ILL

TOTALS 240 35-79 21-25 13 30 43 16 28 9 19 94 (.443) (.840) TEAM REBS: 8 TOTAL TO: 20(16 PTS)

PHOENIX 20 20 21 28 - 89 HOUSTON 24 23 19 28 - 94

BLOCKED SHOTS: PHOENIX - ROBINSON 2, BLOUNT, SANTIAGO, ROGERS, TSAKALIDIS. HOUSTON - OLAJUWON 3, BULLARD. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: PHOENIX 2-8 (.250), ROBINSON 1-3, ELIE 0-1, KIDD 0-3, ROGERS 1-1. HOUSTON 3-12 (.250), WILLIAMS 0-2, FRANCIS 1-2, THOMAS 0-2, NORRIS 0-1, BULLARD 2-5. TECHNICALS: PHOENIX - ROBINSON, ROGERS 2 (EJECTED), HEAD COACH SKILES, HOUSTON - DELAY OF GAME, MOBLEY. OFFICIALS: BOB DELANEY, NOLAN FINE, PHIL ROBINSON. A - 12,694. T - 2:22.


Box Score

PHOENIX (89) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Marion 43 7-15 6-6 5-17 0 3 20 Robinson 37 8-19 6-6 1-5 3 6 23 Blount 15 2-3 0-0 2-2 0 5 4 Elie 25 0-2 2-2 1-4 3 1 2 Kidd 45 5-15 5-8 0-3 9 2 15 Santiago 16 1-3 2-2 2-2 0 1 4 Rogers 21 3-8 6-6 1-3 2 3 13 Delk 28 3-8 0-0 1-3 2 2 6 Tsakalidis 8 1-2 0-0 1-1 0 0 2 Mcpherson 2 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 Garces DNP - coach's decision Gugliotta DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 30-75 27-30 14-40 19 23 89 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.400, FT-.900. 3-Point Goals: 2-8, .250 (Robinson 1-3, Elie 0-1, Kidd 0-3, Rogers 1-1). Team rebounds: 5. Blocked shots: 6 (Robinson 2, Blount, Santiago, Rogers, Tsakalidis). Turnovers: 17 (Kidd 4, Rogers 4, Marion 3, Blount 2, Robinson 2, Delk, Santiago). Steals: 7 (Kidd 2, Blount, Elie, Marion, Robinson, Rogers).

HOUSTON (94) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Williams 26 2-6 0-0 0-7 2 2 4 Taylor 23 4-9 0-0 1-4 0 5 8 Olajuwon 33 9-12 1-2 4-10 1 2 19 Anderson 17 0-0 0-0 0-2 1 1 0 Francis 43 8-17 8-8 4-7 8 5 25 Thomas 17 0-3 0-0 0-2 0 5 0 Mobley 24 6-13 5-7 2-6 3 4 17 Collier 14 2-5 2-2 1-2 0 1 6 Norris 24 2-7 5-6 1-2 1 3 9 Bullard 19 2-7 0-0 0-1 0 0 6 Langhi DNP - coach's decision Rogers DNP - ill _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 35-79 21-25 13-43 16 28 94 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.443, FT-.840. 3-Point Goals: 3-12, .250 (Williams 0-2, Francis 1-2, Thomas 0-2, Norris 0-1, Bullard 2-5). Team rebounds: 8. Blocked shots: 4 (Olajuwon 3, Bullard). Turnovers: 20 (Olajuwon 4, Mobley 3, Thomas 3, Francis 2, Taylor 2, Williams 2, Anderson, Collier, Norris). Steals: 9 (Francis 3, Bullard 2, Olajuwon 2, Thomas 2). ____________________________________________ Phoenix 20 20 21 28 - 89 Houston 24 23 19 28 - 94 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: Phoenix 4 (Robinson, 3:21 1st; Rogers 2 (ejected), 2:32 3rd; Head Coach Skiles, 10:03 4th). Houston 2 (Delay Of Game, 5:30 3rd; Mobley, 2:32 3rd). Flagrant fouls: Phoenix 1 (Rogers, 2:32 3rd). A: 12,694. T: 2:22. Officials: Bob Delaney, Nolan Fine, Phil Robinson.


Game Story

HOUSTON (Ticker) -- The sight of Hakeem Olajuwon lighting up the court with his bright smile at the end of a game brought back memories of better days for the Houston Rockets, and made those memories come to life.

Olajuwon scored 19 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and made two steals down the stretch to lead the Rockets to a 94-89 victory over the Phoenix Suns that lifted them over .500 for the first time since May 5, 1999.

"In the preseason I said that I felt good and I think I'm just starting to show that I am healthy again," he said. "The more that I play, the better I feel."

Olajuwon, who was slowed last season by a hernia and respiratory problems and has gotten off to a slow start this season, looked more like the player who led the Rockets to NBA championships in 1994 and 1995.

He showed the quick post moves that have allowed him to outshine bigger men throughout his career and flashed the smile that is as much his trademark as the unstoppable moves once were.

"He was great," Phoenix coach Scott Skiles said. "It's looked like he's been better the last few games for them. I think he's rounding into playing condition. He was a big factor in the first half and he made two critical defensive plays down the stretch."

Despite persistent rumors that the 37-year-old Nigerian center was going to retire after his abreviated 1999-2000 season, the only comment Olajuwon himself ever made was that he was returning to the game.

He has begun to eloquently silence his doubters, and tonight added another compelling line to the argument in favor of his return to the Rockets. He hit 9-of-12 from the field, grabbed four of his rebounds off the offensive glass and blocked three shots.

"He played really well," Houston coach Rudy Tomjanovich said. "The encouraging thing was that the way they were fronting him, it was hard to get him the ball and he still found ways to get free. He made some big plays, especially at the end."

"Hakeem played great," Steve Francis said. "I thought he showed some people who have been saying that he is washed up that he can still play. He did it tonight against the fastest team in the league."

It was not lost on Olajuwon's opponents, either.

"He looked good out there," Suns guard Jason Kidd said. "He looked like he was playing with a cause. Healthy, and that's good for him."

Francis led Houston with 23 points and added eight assists, seven rebounds and three steals. Cuttino Mobley added 17 points and seven rebounds.

Cliff Robinson scored 23 points, Shawn Marion 20 and Jason Kidd 15 for the Suns, who were coming off a tough 90-85 home loss to the New York Knicks the night before. They have lost two straight after a seven-game winning streak.

Olajuwon scored 10 points in the first half, helping the Rockets open their biggest lead at 47-33 late in the second quarter.

But the Suns ran off the last seven points of the first half and scored back-to-back baskets to open the third quarter, cutting the deficit to four points. Neither team had a double-digit lead the rest of the way.

The Suns were within 90-89 with 10 seconds to go but Olajuwon had a steal and Francis was fouled. He hit both free throws and Phoenix got confused about whether to look for a 3-point attempt.

In the end, Marion lost the ball to Olajuwon with five seconds left and Francis hit another pair.

"We weren't trying for a three, but we didn't execute the play properly," Skiles said. "Shawn Marion got into a bad situation and he lost the ball."

The team's playmaker saw it differently, though.

"We were going for a three," said Kidd, who had nine assists. "We would have taken a two if the opportunity had presented itself, but it didn't, so we had to go for the three. Hakeem got his hand on the ball, and that was the ballgame."

Houston extended its home winning streak to six games and is 6-1 when holding opponents under 100 points.

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