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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- HOUSTON 19 20 32 33 104 ATLANTA 29 30 18 21 98 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 31, CUTTINO MOBLEY 21, WALT WILLIAMS 17 ATL - TONI KUKOC 26, JASON TERRY 20, LORENZEN WRIGHT 18

HIGH REBOUND: HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 9, KELVIN CATO 9 ATL - LORENZEN WRIGHT 15, TONI KUKOC 11

HIGH ASSISTS: HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 6, CUTTINO MOBLEY 6 ATL - TONI KUKOC 7, BREVIN KNIGHT 7

ATT: 15,937


Extended Box

HOUSTON (104) AT ATLANTA (98)

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

ANDERSON F 42 5-16 4-6 1 7 8 2 3 3 2 15 WILLIAMS F 38 4-12 6-6 0 7 7 2 4 1 1 17 OLAJUWON C 10 0-2 0-0 1 2 3 0 0 0 1 0 FRANCIS G 44 10-17 8-9 3 6 9 6 3 2 7 31 MOBLEY G 44 8-19 4-7 2 2 4 6 1 1 2 21 THOMAS 14 0-1 2-2 1 2 3 2 1 1 0 2 ROGERS 7 0-0 0-2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 NORRIS 11 1-5 2-2 1 0 1 0 1 1 1 4 CATO 29 5-6 4-5 5 4 9 0 4 0 2 14 S COLSON 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 LANGHI DNP - COACH'S DECISION TAYLOR DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 33-78 30-39 14 30 44 18 17 9 16 104 (.423) (.769) TEAM REBS: 8 TOTAL TO: 16(17 PTS)

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

CRAWFORD F 24 5-8 2-2 1 3 4 0 6 1 1 12 KUKOC F 44 9-15 4-5 3 8 11 7 4 0 2 26 WRIGHT C 33 7-13 4-8 5 10 15 2 4 0 3 18 KNIGHT G 29 3-10 0-0 1 3 4 7 5 3 1 6 TERRY G 46 8-23 2-2 0 3 3 5 3 2 4 20 MOHAMMED 15 1-5 2-2 1 2 3 0 3 0 2 4 D JOHNSON 31 4-6 0-1 2 2 4 1 0 1 1 8 HENDERSON 4 0-2 0-0 1 1 2 1 0 0 0 0 MOTTOLA 5 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 3 0 1 0 GLOVER 9 2-5 0-0 1 0 1 1 2 1 1 4 C BOWDLER DNP - COACH'S DECISION SANCHEZ DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 39-88 14-20 15 32 47 24 30 8 16 98 (.443) (.700) TEAM REBS: 10 TOTAL TO: 17(19 PTS)

HOUSTON 19 20 32 33 - 104 ATLANTA 29 30 18 21 - 98

BLOCKED SHOTS: HOUSTON - CATO 2. ATLANTA - CRAWFORD 3, GLOVER. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: HOUSTON 8-22 (.364), ANDERSON 1-5, WILLIAMS 3-6, FRANCIS 3-5, MOBLEY 1-5, NORRIS 0-1. ATLANTA 6-21 (.286), KUKOC 4-8, TERRY 2-8, D JOHNSON 0-2, MOTTOLA 0-1, GLOVER 0-2. TECHNICALS: HOUSTON - ILLEGAL DEFENSE 2, ATLANTA - ILLEGAL DEFENSE 4. OFFICIALS: ED F RUSH, MONTY MCCUTCHEN, RODNEY MOTT. A - 15,937. T - 2:20.


Box Score

HOUSTON (104) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Anderson 42 5-16 4-6 1-8 2 3 15 Williams 38 4-12 6-6 0-7 2 4 17 Olajuwon 10 0-2 0-0 1-3 0 0 0 Francis 44 10-17 8-9 3-9 6 3 31 Mobley 44 8-19 4-7 2-4 6 1 21 Thomas 14 0-1 2-2 1-3 2 1 2 Rogers 7 0-0 0-2 0-0 0 0 0 Norris 11 1-5 2-2 1-1 0 1 4 Cato 29 5-6 4-5 5-9 0 4 14 S Colson 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 Langhi DNP - coach's decision Taylor DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 33-78 30-39 14-44 18 17 104 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.423, FT-.769. 3-Point Goals: 8-22, .364 (Anderson 1-5, Williams 3-6, Francis 3-5, Mobley 1-5, Norris 0-1). Team rebounds: 8. Blocked shots: 2 (Cato 2). Turnovers: 16 (Francis 7, Anderson 2, Cato 2, Mobley 2, Norris, Olajuwon, Williams). Steals: 9 (Anderson 3, Francis 2, Mobley, Norris, Thomas, Williams).

ATLANTA (98) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Crawford 24 5-8 2-2 1-4 0 6 12 Kukoc 44 9-15 4-5 3-11 7 4 26 Wright 33 7-13 4-8 5-15 2 4 18 Knight 29 3-10 0-0 1-4 7 5 6 Terry 46 8-23 2-2 0-3 5 3 20 Mohammed 15 1-5 2-2 1-3 0 3 4 D Johnson 31 4-6 0-1 2-4 1 0 8 Henderson 4 0-2 0-0 1-2 1 0 0 Mottola 5 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 3 0 Glover 9 2-5 0-0 1-1 1 2 4 C Bowdler DNP - coach's decision Sanchez DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 39-88 14-20 15-47 24 30 98 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.443, FT-.700. 3-Point Goals: 6-21, .286 (Kukoc 4-8, Terry 2-8, D Johnson 0-2, Mottola 0-1, Glover 0-2). Team rebounds: 10. Blocked shots: 4 (Crawford 3, Glover). Turnovers: 17 (Terry 4, Wright 3, Kukoc 2, Mohammed 2, Crawford, D Johnson, Glover, Knight, Mottola). Steals: 8 (Knight 3, Terry 2, Crawford, D Johnson, Glover). ____________________________________________ Houston 19 20 32 33 - 104 Atlanta 29 30 18 21 - 98 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: Houston 2 (Illegal Defense 2, 6:15 3rd, 2:02 4th). Atlanta 4 (Illegal Defense 4, 5:07 1st, 2:28 1st, 6:41 3rd, 7:22 4th). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 15,937. T: 2:20. Officials: Ed F Rush, Monty Mccutchen, Rodney Mott.


Game Story

ATLANTA (Ticker) -- Steve Francis scored 17 of his 31 points in the fourth quarter as the Houston Rockets rallied from a 23-point deficit and closed a successful road trip with a 104-98 victory over the Atlanta Hawks.

Francis nailed three 3-pointers in the final quarter, including a dagger with 25 seconds left that gave Houston the lead for good. He made 10-of-17 shots, collected nine rebounds and six assists and compiled a highlight reel of his own in the second half.

"It's almost as if he wills us to victory," Houston coach Rudy Tomjanovich said. "He's a special player. He had a tremenodus game and that three was gigantic."

The Rockets trailed by 20 points after a miserable first half but dominated the final 24 minutes and snapped a four-game losing streak in Atlanta.

"We were dead in the water," Tomjanovich said. "We came out very flat, they came out with energy. We weren't in the mood to play defense in the first half. The good news was we were only down 20. We should have been down more."

The Rockets stormed back in the second half as Kelvin Cato scored six of his season-high 14 points during an 18-6 run that brought Houston within 75-71 with 47 seconds left in the third period.

Houston trailed, 77-71, heading into the final quarter but Cato completed a three-point play after he was fouled on a dunk and Francis had fast-break slam to make it a one-point game with 10:30 to go.

"We've been against the wall many times before and we didn't give up one bit," Francis said. "I knew we weren't going to just die like that. I knew we would come back."

Cuttino Mobley gave the Rockets their first lead, 81-79, on a layup with 8:45 left. Francis' second 3-pointer of the quarter gave Houston an 88-83 lead with 7:11 to go but Lorenzen Wright led the Hawks on an 11-4 run and gave them back the lead with a layup at 3:07.

Atlanta held a three-point lead twice in the final three minutes, but Francis singlehandedly erased the final one with two free throws and the game-clinching 3-pointer.

Houston held a huge advantage at the line, scoring 30 points while Atlanta only was only 14-of-20 on its home floor.

"I knew they were going to make a run, but we didn't know it was going to be like that from the line," Hawks guard Jason Terry said. "Thirty-nine free throws to 20 is a big difference."

Mobley had 21 points and six assists in his first game back from a strained ankle.

"I just tried to get in a rhythm," he said. ""The ankle was a little sore but I can't sit out, I have to play on it."

Cato collected nine rebounds and two blocks off the bench for Houston, which improved to 11-2 on the road against the Eastern Conference.

Walt Williams added 17 points and seven rebounds and Shandon Anderson had 15 and eight for the Rockets. Houston's Hakeem Olajuwon left the game in the first quarter and did not return after straining his calf muscle 10 minutes into the game.

"I don't know what happened, it's just swelling," he said. "I went to the doctors because of the history of this leg. I wanted to see if it was a blod clot, but it wasn't."

Atlanta raced out to 59-39 halftime lead behind 23 first-half points from Toni Kukoc. Kukoc nailed 4-of-6 from the arc in the first half but finished with 26 and did not score in the final 12 minutes.

Terry scored 20 points but made just 8-of-23 shots for Atlanta, which has lost nine straight for the first time since March 30-April 14, 2000.

"We have to just keep working, make progress and learn from a very difficult experience," Atlanta coach Lon Kruger said.

Wright scored 11 of his 18 points in the final period and pulled down 15 rebounds, but the Hawks fell to 0-14 when they allow 100 points.

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