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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- WASHINGTON 27 20 18 24 89 HOUSTON 25 29 24 21 99 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: WAS - RICHARD HAMILTON 24, JUWAN HOWARD 15, MITCH RICHMOND 12 HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 29, SHANDON ANDERSON 17, MAURICE TAYLOR 16


Extended Box

WASHINGTON (89) AT HOUSTON (99)

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

HOWARD F 37 5-14 5-6 1 4 5 3 1 1 6 15 MICHAEL SMITH F 17 2-2 1-2 3 1 4 0 3 2 0 5 J WHITE C 27 1-7 3-6 3 6 9 0 3 0 0 5 HAMILTON G 41 9-23 6-6 2 1 3 1 5 2 3 24 C WHITNEY G 31 1-9 2-2 0 2 2 3 3 1 4 4 RICHMOND 31 4-15 3-3 0 2 2 3 0 0 1 12 NESBY 24 4-10 2-2 1 2 3 4 3 2 1 10 P JONES 21 4-7 2-2 6 7 13 2 5 2 1 10 KING 11 2-3 0-0 1 2 3 0 3 0 0 4 BOOTH DNP - LEFT ELBOW STRAIN LOPEZ DNP - COACH'S DECISION STRICKLAND DNP - SORE HAMSTRINGS

TOTALS 240 32-90 24-29 17 27 44 16 26 10 16 89 (.356) (.828) TEAM REBS: 12 TOTAL TO: 16(13 PTS)

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

ANDERSON F 36 6-8 5-6 0 6 6 4 2 1 3 17 TAYLOR F 27 6-12 4-4 2 3 5 2 5 1 1 16 OLAJUWON C 34 6-13 3-4 5 15 20 1 5 4 3 15 FRANCIS G 46 10-20 6-8 1 2 3 5 3 4 4 29 MOBLEY G 44 7-20 1-2 1 2 3 4 1 1 1 16 THOMAS 22 0-2 0-0 0 5 5 0 4 0 3 0 COLLIER 5 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 WILLIAMS 13 1-2 2-2 0 3 3 0 3 0 1 4 BULLARD 11 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 NORRIS 2 0-0 2-2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 LANGHI DNP - COACH'S DECISION ROGERS DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 36-78 23-28 9 36 45 16 23 12 16 99 (.462) (.821) TEAM REBS: 9 TOTAL TO: 17(24 PTS)

WASHINGTON 27 20 18 24 - 89 HOUSTON 25 29 24 21 - 99

BLOCKED SHOTS: WASHINGTON - NESBY, HOWARD, RICHMOND, J WHITE. HOUSTON - OLAJUWON 3, ANDERSON 2, THOMAS 2. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: WASHINGTON 1-10 (.100), HAMILTON 0-1, C WHITNEY 0-5, RICHMOND 1-3, P JONES 0-1. HOUSTON 4-11 (.364), ANDERSON 0-1, FRANCIS 3-6, MOBLEY 1-2, THOMAS 0-2. TECHNICALS: NONE. OFFICIALS: BENNETT SALVATORE, DAVID JONES, DEREK RICHARDSON. A - 11,384. T - 2:11.


Box Score

WASHINGTON (89) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Howard 37 5-14 5-6 1-5 3 1 15 Michael Smith 17 2-2 1-2 3-4 0 3 5 J White 27 1-7 3-6 3-9 0 3 5 Hamilton 41 9-23 6-6 2-3 1 5 24 C Whitney 31 1-9 2-2 0-2 3 3 4 Richmond 31 4-15 3-3 0-2 3 0 12 Nesby 24 4-10 2-2 1-3 4 3 10 P Jones 21 4-7 2-2 6-13 2 5 10 King 11 2-3 0-0 1-3 0 3 4 Booth DNP - left elbow strain Lopez DNP - coach's decision Strickland DNP - sore hamstrings _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 32-90 24-29 17-44 16 26 89 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.356, FT-.828. 3-Point Goals: 1-10, .100 (Hamilton 0-1, C Whitney 0-5, Richmond 1-3, P Jones 0-1). Team rebounds: 12. Blocked shots: 4 (Nesby, Howard, Richmond, J White). Turnovers: 16 (Howard 6, C Whitney 4, Hamilton 3, Nesby, P Jones, Richmond). Steals: 10 (Hamilton 2, Michael Smith 2, Nesby 2, P Jones 2, C Whitney, Howard).

HOUSTON (99) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Anderson 36 6-8 5-6 0-6 4 2 17 Taylor 27 6-12 4-4 2-5 2 5 16 Olajuwon 34 6-13 3-4 5-20 1 5 15 Francis 46 10-20 6-8 1-3 5 3 29 Mobley 44 7-20 1-2 1-3 4 1 16 Thomas 22 0-2 0-0 0-5 0 4 0 Collier 5 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 Williams 13 1-2 2-2 0-3 0 3 4 Bullard 11 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 Norris 2 0-0 2-2 0-0 0 0 2 Langhi DNP - coach's decision Rogers DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 36-78 23-28 9-45 16 23 99 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.462, FT-.821. 3-Point Goals: 4-11, .364 (Anderson 0-1, Francis 3-6, Mobley 1-2, Thomas 0-2). Team rebounds: 9. Blocked shots: 7 (Olajuwon 3, Anderson 2, Thomas 2). Turnovers: 17 (Francis 4, Anderson 3, Olajuwon 3, Thomas 3, Mobley, Taylor, Williams). Steals: 12 (Francis 4, Olajuwon 4, Anderson, Bullard, Mobley, Taylor). ____________________________________________ Washington 27 20 18 24 - 89 Houston 25 29 24 21 - 99 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: None. Flagrant fouls: None. A: 11,384. T: 2:11. Officials: Bennett Salvatore, David Jones, Derek Richardson.


Game Story

HOUSTON (Ticker) -- Steve Francis scored 29 points as the Houston Rockets won their fourth straight game, a 99-89 victory over the Washington Wizards.

Shandon Anderson scored 17 points and a resurgent Hakeem Olajuwon scored 15 points and pulled down a season-high 20 rebounds as Houston (26-25) climbed over the .500 mark for the first time since January 18.

Olajuwon's rebounds was his most since grabbing 20 against the Clippers. No Rocket had more than 15 rebounds in a game this season before Olajuwon's big night.

"He is the anchor," Houston coach Rudy Tomjonovich said. "He's doing a real good job of is when we're running, he is knifing in and slashing to a good post position. If he does the things that he does well, with his quickness, we can be really tough."

"As a team, we are trying to do things the natural way," Olajuwon said. "I feel comfortable psychologically. I've always tried to be a complete player, an all-around player."

Two free throws by Chris Whitney and a basket by Richard Hamilton pulled Washington within 54-51 a minute into the second half.

Houston responded with a jumper by Olajuwon that triggered 10 straight points for a 64-51 lead with 7:26 left in the third quarter. The Rockets led, 78-65, entering the final period.

Houston maintained its lead throughout the fourth quarter and the closest the Wizards got thereafter was 94-87 on two free throws by Popeye Jones with 68 seconds to play.

The Rockets matched their longest winning streak of the season and improved to 15-3 against teams from the Eastern Conference.

Maurice Taylor and Cuttino Mobley scored 16 points apiece as the Rockets had all five starters in double figures. Houston shot 46 percent (36-of-78) and made 23-of-28 free throws.

"He took like seven of my rebounds away from me," Francis said about Olajuwon. "He probably didn't score a whole lot of points, but he did the little things, got rebounds, blocked some shots and intimidated a lot of shots."

"He's been playing great," Taylor added. "That's the reason we played so well lately."

Washington led for most of the first half and had a 47-45 advantage with three minutes to play in the second quarter after Michael Smith made 1-of-2 from the line.

But the Rockets scored the final nine points of the half, capped by a dunk by Francis, for a 54-47 lead heading into the locker room.

Hamilton scored 24 points before fouling out and Juwan Howard contributed 18 for Washington, which lost its fourth in a row. Jones came off the bench and recorded a double-double with 10 points and a season-high 13 rebounds.

"As a team we didn't play in a good rhythm and we weren't in an offensive flow," Washington coach Leonard Hamilton said. "We need to have all our cylinders going to be a successful team on the road. I don't think it was a lack of effort by our team. We made unforced turnovers but we just had a horrendous shooting game."

Mitch Richmond scored 12 points and Tyrone Nesby had 10 as Washington's reserves enjoyed a 36-6 edge. The Wizards shot just 36 percent (32-of-90) amd made only 1-of-10 from beyond the arc.

Chris Whitney and Jahidi White combined to shoot 2-of-16 from the floor.

"The whole game we didn't have our normal flow and that led to some turnovers that got us behind," Whitney said. "When you get down, you get away from the team concept and it hurt us."

The Wizards have lost 12 of their last 13 on the road.

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