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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- HOUSTON 21 28 22 18 89 MINNESOTA 26 12 27 18 83 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: HOU - MAURICE TAYLOR 21, HAKEEM OLAJUWON 13, TWO PLAYERS WITH 12 MIN - KEVIN GARNETT 23, WALLY SZCZERBIAK 20, TERRELL BRANDON 16

HIGH REBOUND: HOU - HAKEEM OLAJUWON 13, KENNY THOMAS 9 MIN - KEVIN GARNETT 15, LAPHONSO ELLIS 9

HIGH ASSISTS: HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 12, TWO PLAYERS WITH 3 MIN - ANTHONY PEELER 6, WALLY SZCZERBIAK 4

ATT: 16,541


Extended Box

HOUSTON (89) AT MINNESOTA (83)

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

ANDERSON F 24 3-5 1-3 0 3 3 2 3 1 1 7 TAYLOR F 29 8-13 5-7 1 7 8 1 3 0 1 21 OLAJUWON C 35 6-10 1-2 0 13 13 3 2 2 1 13 FRANCIS G 41 4-17 3-4 4 3 7 12 2 1 3 12 MOBLEY G 42 2-13 5-7 0 4 4 2 2 1 3 10 THOMAS 24 1-5 1-1 1 8 9 1 4 0 2 3 NORRIS 13 1-1 3-3 0 0 0 3 1 0 1 5 CATO 8 3-4 0-0 0 1 1 0 2 1 0 6 WILLIAMS 24 5-8 0-0 1 4 5 0 1 0 1 12 BULLARD DNP - BACK SPASMS LANGHI DNP - COACH'S DECISION ROGERS DNP - BRONCHITIS

TOTALS 240 33-76 19-27 7 43 50 24 20 6 13 89 (.434) (.704) TEAM REBS: 11 TOTAL TO: 17(20 PTS)

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

K GARNETT F 43 9-20 5-7 4 11 15 2 2 4 1 23 SZCZERBIAK F 40 7-18 6-7 1 7 8 4 1 0 2 20 NESTEROVIC C 27 1-5 0-0 3 2 5 3 4 0 0 2 BRANDON G 29 8-16 0-0 0 2 2 2 4 0 2 16 PEELER G 38 4-12 0-0 0 2 2 6 3 0 1 10 ELLIS 22 0-4 1-2 3 6 9 3 6 2 2 1 BILLUPS 25 4-9 1-2 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 9 D GARRETT 3 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 MITCHELL 8 0-3 0-0 0 1 1 1 2 0 0 0 AVERY 5 1-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 DAY DNP - COACH'S DECISION SLATER DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 34-89 13-18 11 31 42 22 22 7 9 83 (.382) (.722) TEAM REBS: 8 TOTAL TO: 9(13 PTS)

HOUSTON 21 28 22 18 - 89 MINNESOTA 26 12 27 18 - 83

BLOCKED SHOTS: HOUSTON - OLAJUWON 3, TAYLOR 2, MOBLEY, ANDERSON. MINNESOTA - K GARNETT 3, ELLIS, BILLUPS. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: HOUSTON 4-16 (.250), ANDERSON 0-1, FRANCIS 1-7, MOBLEY 1-5, WILLIAMS 2-3. MINNESOTA 2-7 (.286), PEELER 2-3, BILLUPS 0-2, MITCHELL 0-2. TECHNICALS: MINNESOTA - ILLEGAL DEFENSE. OFFICIALS: HANK ARMSTRONG, TERRY DURHAM, TIM DONAGHY. A - 16,541. T - 2:09.


Box Score

HOUSTON (89) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Anderson 24 3-5 1-3 0-3 2 3 7 Taylor 29 8-13 5-7 1-8 1 3 21 Olajuwon 35 6-10 1-2 0-13 3 2 13 Francis 41 4-17 3-4 4-7 12 2 12 Mobley 42 2-13 5-7 0-4 2 2 10 Thomas 24 1-5 1-1 1-9 1 4 3 Norris 13 1-1 3-3 0-0 3 1 5 Cato 8 3-4 0-0 0-1 0 2 6 Williams 24 5-8 0-0 1-5 0 1 12 Bullard DNP - back spasms Langhi DNP - coach's decision Rogers DNP - bronchitis _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 33-76 19-27 7-50 24 20 89 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.434, FT-.704. 3-Point Goals: 4-16, .250 (Anderson 0-1, Francis 1-7, Mobley 1-5, Williams 2-3). Team rebounds: 11. Blocked shots: 7 (Olajuwon 3, Taylor 2, Mobley, Anderson). Turnovers: 17 (Francis 3, Mobley 3, Thomas 2, Anderson, Norris, Olajuwon, Taylor, Williams). Steals: 6 (Olajuwon 2, Anderson, Cato, Francis, Mobley).

MINNESOTA (83) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp K Garnett 43 9-20 5-7 4-15 2 2 23 Szczerbiak 40 7-18 6-7 1-8 4 1 20 Nesterovic 27 1-5 0-0 3-5 3 4 2 Brandon 29 8-16 0-0 0-2 2 4 16 Peeler 38 4-12 0-0 0-2 6 3 10 Ellis 22 0-4 1-2 3-9 3 6 1 Billups 25 4-9 1-2 0-0 1 0 9 D Garrett 3 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 Mitchell 8 0-3 0-0 0-1 1 2 0 Avery 5 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 2 Day DNP - coach's decision Slater DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 34-89 13-18 11-42 22 22 83 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.382, FT-.722. 3-Point Goals: 2-7, .286 (Peeler 2-3, Billups 0-2, Mitchell 0-2). Team rebounds: 8. Blocked shots: 5 (K Garnett 3, Ellis, Billups). Turnovers: 9 (Brandon 2, Ellis 2, Szczerbiak 2, Billups, K Garnett, Peeler). Steals: 7 (K Garnett 4, Ellis 2, Billups). ____________________________________________ Houston 21 28 22 18 - 89 Minnesota 26 12 27 18 - 83 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: Minnesota 1 (Illegal Defense, 4:26 1st). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 16,541. T: 2:09. Officials: Hank Armstrong, Terry Durham, Tim Donaghy.


Game Story

MINNEAPOLIS (Ticker) -- Maurice Taylor scored 21 points and grabbed eight rebounds as the Houston Rockets sent the Minnesota Timberwolves to their fifth straight defeat with an 89-83 victory.

The Rockets used a 17-5 run to close the first half to help snap a six-game losing streak to the Timberwolves. Walt Williams scored eight points and Moochie Norris had five in the decisive spurt as Houston took a 49-38 lead into the locker room.

"It's a big win," Houston coach Rudy Tomjanovich said. "I'm glad that streak is over, because I'm tired of it. I would say, consistently throughout the year, we've gotten a really good effort from these guys."

Minnesota staged a rally in the fourth quarter and got within 84-81 with 1:45 left on back-to-back baskets by Wally Szczerbiak. But Houston got three free throws by Taylor and a pair from Cuttino Mobley to close out the Timberwolves.

"The last couple of games, I've been looked upon to score a little more," Taylor said. "I'm very comfortable in the offense. I know how to get my shots, as well as getting shots for other guys."

Hakeem Olajuwon continued his strong play with 13 points and 13 rebounds for Houston, which has won seven of its last eight. Williams and Steve Francis each added 12.

"I think Mo Taylor has really been playing solid basketball," Tomjanovich said. "He came up with some big offensive plays and free throws. Dream (Olajuwon) had a very solid all-around effort, solid on the boards."

The Rockets survived poor shooting nights from their starting backcourt of Francis and Mobley. Francis shot 4-of-17 while Mobley made just 2-of-13 and finished with 10 points.

"It's a real big win for us, to get a victory like this," Francis said. "With me and Cuttino, that's a bad percentage. I also thought our big guys came in and were ready to play, and that's what really won the game for us."

Kevin Garnett scored 23 points and grabbed 15 rebounds to lead Minnesota, which has not won since a franchise-record 11-game winning streak. Szczerbiak added 20 points while Terrell Brandon scored 16 but dished out only two assists.

"We're not playing very well right now," Minnesota coach Flip Saunders said. "We're very similar to a football team that's a ball-control team. You've got to get in the flow early and get a little bit of a lead. When we fall behind by huge amounts, it cuts down our ability to run our offense and execute."

Minnesota's bench was outscored, 26-12. The Timberwolves were dominated inside as the Rockets outscored them in the paint, 44-26.

"They're a great isolation team," Garnett said. "I try to take something good out of the bad. In the second quarter, we put ourselves in such a bind, that we had to play nearly a perfect game in the second half."

The Timberwolves shot just 38 percent (34-of-89) and were outrebounded, 50-42.

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