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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- HOUSTON 30 23 23 25 101 LA LAKERS 26 33 32 23 114 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 27, CUTTINO MOBLEY 18, MATT BULLARD 16 LAL - SHAQUILLE ONEAL 41, KOBE BRYANT 29, ISAIAH RIDER 13

HIGH REBOUND: HOU - SHANDON ANDERSON 10, STEVE FRANCIS 8 LAL - SHAQUILLE ONEAL 11, BRIAN SHAW 7

HIGH ASSISTS: HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 7, TWO PLAYERS WITH 5 LAL - BRIAN SHAW 5, THREE PLAYERS WITH 4

ATT: 18,997


Extended Box

HOUSTON (101) AT LA LAKERS (114)

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

ANDERSON F 45 4-9 2-4 2 8 10 0 4 1 2 10 WILLIAMS F 28 3-4 2-2 1 3 4 5 4 0 0 9 THOMAS C 22 3-6 0-0 0 3 3 0 3 0 2 7 FRANCIS G 39 11-24 1-1 1 7 8 7 2 1 3 27 MOBLEY G 38 3-14 12-13 2 1 3 4 3 0 1 18 BULLARD 25 6-11 0-0 1 3 4 1 5 0 0 16 LANGHI 13 3-6 4-5 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 10 NORRIS 15 0-0 1-2 0 1 1 5 1 0 1 1 COLLIER 15 1-3 1-2 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 3 CATO DNP - STRAINED SHOULDER ROGERS DNP - PERSONAL REASONS TAYLOR DNP - FLU

TOTALS 240 34-77 23-29 7 27 34 22 22 3 10 101 (.442) (.793) TEAM REBS: 12 TOTAL TO: 10(17 PTS)

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

FOX F 24 2-7 0-0 0 1 1 4 1 0 0 5 GRANT F 21 0-4 0-0 2 3 5 2 2 0 0 0 ONEAL C 31 17-23 7-18 4 7 11 2 2 0 0 41 BRYANT G 39 12-22 4-5 2 4 6 4 3 3 1 29 HARPER G 18 3-4 0-0 0 1 1 2 1 0 0 6 HORRY 25 1-3 1-2 2 1 3 1 3 0 1 3 SHAW 23 1-2 0-0 1 6 7 5 3 0 1 2 RIDER 24 5-8 2-2 0 2 2 4 0 0 0 13 LUE 14 2-5 0-0 1 3 4 1 2 0 0 4 MADSEN 10 2-3 1-1 1 3 4 0 3 0 0 5 FOSTER 9 3-6 0-0 1 1 2 1 0 1 1 6 GEORGE 2 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0

TOTALS 240 48-88 15-28 14 32 46 26 21 4 4 114 (.545) (.536) TEAM REBS: 10 TOTAL TO: 4(5 PTS)

HOUSTON 30 23 23 25 - 101 LA LAKERS 26 33 32 23 - 114

BLOCKED SHOTS: HOUSTON - THOMAS. LA LAKERS - RIDER, ONEAL, HARPER, FOSTER. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: HOUSTON 10-23 (.435), ANDERSON 0-2, WILLIAMS 1-2, THOMAS 1-3, FRANCIS 4-7, MOBLEY 0-2, BULLARD 4-7. LA LAKERS 3-11 (.273), FOX 1-4, BRYANT 1-4, HORRY 0-1, RIDER 1-2. TECHNICALS: HOUSTON - HEAD COACH TOMJANOVICH. OFFICIALS: JOE CRAWFORD, NOLAN FINE, DEE KANTNER. A - 18,997. T - 2:12.


Box Score

HOUSTON (101) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Anderson 45 4-9 2-4 2-10 0 4 10 Williams 28 3-4 2-2 1-4 5 4 9 Thomas 22 3-6 0-0 0-3 0 3 7 Francis 39 11-24 1-1 1-8 7 2 27 Mobley 38 3-14 12-13 2-3 4 3 18 Bullard 25 6-11 0-0 1-4 1 5 16 Langhi 13 3-6 4-5 0-0 0 0 10 Norris 15 0-0 1-2 0-1 5 1 1 Collier 15 1-3 1-2 0-1 0 0 3 Cato DNP - strained shoulder Rogers DNP - personal reasons Taylor DNP - flu _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 34-77 23-29 7-34 22 22 101 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.442, FT-.793. 3-Point Goals: 10-23, .435 (Anderson 0-2, Williams 1-2, Thomas 1-3, Francis 4-7, Mobley 0-2, Bullard 4-7). Team rebounds: 12. Blocked shots: 1 (Thomas). Turnovers: 10 (Francis 3, Anderson 2, Thomas 2, Langhi, Mobley, Norris). Steals: 3 (Anderson, Collier, Francis).

LA LAKERS (114) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Fox 24 2-7 0-0 0-1 4 1 5 Grant 21 0-4 0-0 2-5 2 2 0 Oneal 31 17-23 7-18 4-11 2 2 41 Bryant 39 12-22 4-5 2-6 4 3 29 Harper 18 3-4 0-0 0-1 2 1 6 Horry 25 1-3 1-2 2-3 1 3 3 Shaw 23 1-2 0-0 1-7 5 3 2 Rider 24 5-8 2-2 0-2 4 0 13 Lue 14 2-5 0-0 1-4 1 2 4 Madsen 10 2-3 1-1 1-4 0 3 5 Foster 9 3-6 0-0 1-2 1 0 6 George 2 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 1 0 _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 48-88 15-28 14-46 26 21 114 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.545, FT-.536. 3-Point Goals: 3-11, .273 (Fox 1-4, Bryant 1-4, Horry 0-1, Rider 1-2). Team rebounds: 10. Blocked shots: 4 (Rider, Oneal, Harper, Foster). Turnovers: 4 (Bryant, Foster, Horry, Shaw). Steals: 4 (Bryant 3, Foster). ____________________________________________ Houston 30 23 23 25 - 101 La Lakers 26 33 32 23 - 114 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: Houston 1 (Head Coach Tomjanovich, 7:00 1st). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 18,997. T: 2:12. Officials: Joe Crawford, Nolan Fine, Dee Kantner.


Game Story

LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- Although the soap opera surrounding the Los Angeles Lakers may not end anytime soon, Kobe Bryant has done his best to make Shaquille O'Neal happy since their well-chronicled dispute went public.

O'Neal scored a season-high 41 points and led the Lakers in that category for the fifth straight game as Los Angeles cruised to a 114-101 rout of the Houston Rockets.

After reports that O'Neal went to general manager Mitch Kupchak and demanded a trade based on his displeasure with Bryant's penchant for shooting at will, the 7-1 center once again has become the focal point of the defending world champions' universe.

"We need to play together as a team," O'Neal said after breaking a week-long silence with the media. "We win as a team, we lose as a team. Everybody needs to understand that we need to play team ball."

He has scored at least 30 points in each of the last five contests and Friday was no different. O'Neal knocked down 17-of-23 shots while continuing his futility from the line by misfiring on 11-of-18 free throws.

"I think Shaq did a better job of coming across the paint aggressively and posting up strong," Bryant said. "I think he had a good time. He's breaking down the lane, posting up hard in the lane and getting some Chamberlain-type finger rolls."

The reigning NBA Most Valuable Player also grabbed 11 rebounds and played just 31 minutes as the Lakers had their way with the Rockets for the third time in four meetings this season.

Bryant was not all that unselfish, scoring 29 points on 12-of-22 shooting for Los Angeles, which is 3-2 since O'Neal has retaken the leading role. After a 101-98 victory over Cleveland here on January 12, Bryant admitted that he had made a "conscious effort" to get O'Neal the ball early and often.

That commitment to pleasing his fellow All-Star was apparent in the first half as O'Neal scored 25 points on 12-of-17 shooting, helping the Lakers to a 59-53 advantage at intermission.

Houston, which already without injured center Hakeem Olajuwon, also tried to stop O'Neal minus forwards Carlos Rogers (personal reasons), Maurice Taylor (flu) and Kelvin Cato (strained left shoulder).

"(Lakers coach Phil Jackson) stressed that they give me the ball," O'Neal said. "Because they didn't have a lot of big bodies. And the guys did a good job of giving me the ball. I was taking my high percentage shots and they were falling like they usually do."

The Rockets led 30-26 after one period thanks to 12 points from 6-3 point guard Steve Francis but the Lakers' big man soon took over.

"Shaq. It's that simple," Francis explained when asked why his team failed to win. "It he gets 30 we win, if he gets 41, we don't have a shot. We need more than one guy to be able to neutralize him."

O'Neal made a layup and Isaiah Rider, who scored 13 points off the bench, drilled a 21-footer as the Lakers forged a 30-30 tie. O'Neal sandwiched a 3-pointer by Rider with a 10-footer and a slam as the Lakers took the lead for good, 39-35, with 8:59 left in the first half.

O'Neal scored the Lakers' first six points in the second half and Bryant's ensuing basket made it 67-63 with 7:39 remaining in the third quarter. Francis cut the margin to two with a 3-pointer less than a minute later but Ron Harper answered with a layup and Bryant and Rick Fox buried back-to-back 3-pointers to make it 77-67 with 5:21 left in the period.

"Not having the big people, we hung in there for a long time but Shaq is just too strong," Houston coach Rudy Tomjanovich said.

O'Neal made three free throws and a basket during a 14-6 burst as Los Angeles opened a 91-73 bulge with 25 seconds left in the third quarter.

"We played a depleted Rockets team, who have no big men in the middle," former Houston forward Robert Horry said.

Francis had 27 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for the Rockets, who shot 44 percent (34-of-77) and lost the battle on the boards, 46-34.

The Lakers shot 54.5 percent (48-of-88) and committed only four turnovers.

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