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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- HOUSTON 23 30 21 18 92 PHOENIX 20 25 21 28 94 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 22, CUTTINO MOBLEY 21, MAURICE TAYLOR 20 PHO - JASON KIDD 19, CLIFF ROBINSON 17, SHAWN MARION 17

HIGH REBOUND: HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 14, KENNY THOMAS 9 PHO - TOM GUGLIOTTA 9, JASON KIDD 8

HIGH ASSISTS: HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 4, MOOCHIE NORRIS 4 PHO - JASON KIDD 16, RODNEY ROGERS 3

ATT: 19,023


Extended Box

HOUSTON (92) AT PHOENIX (94)

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

ANDERSON F 26 0-1 1-2 0 3 3 1 1 0 2 1 TAYLOR F 27 8-13 4-4 3 4 7 1 4 0 2 20 CATO C 18 1-1 2-2 0 0 0 0 2 3 0 4 FRANCIS G 46 8-16 5-5 4 10 14 4 4 1 4 22 MOBLEY G 46 8-20 4-4 1 6 7 1 3 0 3 21 THOMAS 23 2-4 4-6 2 7 9 0 1 0 3 8 ROGERS 3 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 WILLIAMS 27 4-10 1-1 1 2 3 1 3 0 3 12 NORRIS 24 2-7 0-0 0 1 1 4 1 1 3 4 COLLIER DNP - COACH'S DECISION LANGHI DNP - COACH'S DECISION OLAJUWON DNP - STRAINED RIGHT CALF

TOTALS 240 33-72 21-24 11 33 44 12 19 5 20 92 (.458) (.875) TEAM REBS: 6 TOTAL TO: 22(21 PTS)

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

MARION F 31 7-17 3-4 0 4 4 0 2 2 1 17 ROBINSON F 39 7-14 3-4 1 3 4 2 3 1 1 17 TSAKALIDIS C 13 1-2 0-0 3 2 5 1 2 0 3 2 KIDD G 43 8-16 2-3 2 6 8 16 3 2 3 19 ELIE G 25 2-5 0-0 1 1 2 1 1 1 0 5 ROGERS 22 1-8 0-0 1 4 5 3 3 0 1 2 T DELK 28 5-10 2-2 3 0 3 1 1 2 1 13 GUGLIOTTA 26 5-11 2-4 3 6 9 0 4 0 2 12 V DEL NEGRO 8 0-1 2-2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 PERRY 5 2-4 1-1 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 5 SANTIAGO DNP - COACH'S DECISION DUDLEY DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 38-88 15-20 14 26 40 24 20 9 13 94 (.432) (.750) TEAM REBS: 7 TOTAL TO: 13(7 PTS)

HOUSTON 23 30 21 18 - 92 PHOENIX 20 25 21 28 - 94

BLOCKED SHOTS: HOUSTON - FRANCIS, THOMAS, WILLIAMS. PHOENIX - ROBINSON 2, MARION, ROGERS. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: HOUSTON 5-14 (.357), FRANCIS 1-4, MOBLEY 1-3, WILLIAMS 3-7. PHOENIX 3-6 (.500), ROBINSON 0-1, KIDD 1-1, ELIE 1-2, ROGERS 0-1, T DELK 1-1. TECHNICALS: HOUSTON - WILLIAMS, HEAD COACH TOMJANOVICH, PHOENIX - ILLEGAL DEFENSE, V DEL NEGRO, HEAD COACH SKILES. OFFICIALS: BOB DELANEY, SCOTT FOSTER, DEREK RICHARDSON. A - 19,023. T - 2:16.


Box Score

HOUSTON (92) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Anderson 26 0-1 1-2 0-3 1 1 1 Taylor 27 8-13 4-4 3-7 1 4 20 Cato 18 1-1 2-2 0-0 0 2 4 Francis 46 8-16 5-5 4-14 4 4 22 Mobley 46 8-20 4-4 1-7 1 3 21 Thomas 23 2-4 4-6 2-9 0 1 8 Rogers 3 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 Williams 27 4-10 1-1 1-3 1 3 12 Norris 24 2-7 0-0 0-1 4 1 4 Collier DNP - coach's decision Langhi DNP - coach's decision Olajuwon DNP - strained right calf _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 33-72 21-24 11-44 12 19 92 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.458, FT-.875. 3-Point Goals: 5-14, .357 (Francis 1-4, Mobley 1-3, Williams 3-7). Team rebounds: 6. Blocked shots: 3 (Francis, Thomas, Williams). Turnovers: 22 (Francis 4, Mobley 3, Norris 3, Thomas 3, Williams 3, Anderson 2, Taylor 2). Steals: 5 (Cato 3, Francis, Norris).

PHOENIX (94) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Marion 31 7-17 3-4 0-4 0 2 17 Robinson 39 7-14 3-4 1-4 2 3 17 Tsakalidis 13 1-2 0-0 3-5 1 2 2 Kidd 43 8-16 2-3 2-8 16 3 19 Elie 25 2-5 0-0 1-2 1 1 5 Rogers 22 1-8 0-0 1-5 3 3 2 T Delk 28 5-10 2-2 3-3 1 1 13 Gugliotta 26 5-11 2-4 3-9 0 4 12 V Del Negro 8 0-1 2-2 0-0 0 0 2 Perry 5 2-4 1-1 0-0 0 1 5 Santiago DNP - coach's decision Dudley DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 38-88 15-20 14-40 24 20 94 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.432, FT-.750. 3-Point Goals: 3-6, .500 (Robinson 0-1, Kidd 1-1, Elie 1-2, Rogers 0-1, T Delk 1-1). Team rebounds: 7. Blocked shots: 4 (Robinson 2, Marion, Rogers). Turnovers: 13 (Kidd 3, Tsakalidis 3, Gugliotta 2, Marion, Perry, Robinson, Rogers, T Delk). Steals: 9 (Kidd 2, Marion 2, T Delk 2, Elie, Perry, Robinson). ____________________________________________ Houston 23 30 21 18 - 92 Phoenix 20 25 21 28 - 94 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: Houston 2 (Williams, 10:08 4th; Head Coach Tomjanovich, 6:35 4th). Phoenix 3 (Illegal Defense, 7:04 2nd; V Del Negro, 4:50 2nd; Head Coach Skiles, 4:50 2nd). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 19,023. T: 2:16. Officials: Bob Delaney, Scott Foster, Derek Richardson.


Game Story

PHOENIX (Ticker) -- Tom Gugliotta added some joy to a sorrowful season, hitting a 20-foot jumper with 1.3 seconds left to give the Phoenix Suns a 94-92 victory over the Houston Rockets.

Already having rallied from 16 points down, the Suns erased a seven-point deficit in the final 3 1/2 minutes and gained their first lead since early in the second quarter when Gugliotta sank his shot.

After a timeout with 8.1 seconds to play, the Suns got the ball to Jason Kidd, who drove the lane and passed back to Gugliotta after Steve Francis slipped. From near the top of the key, Gugliotta buried the jumper for the lead.

"The ball was to be in Jason's hands and we were going to let him make the decision," Gugliotta said. "He flipped it back. I was open."

"Regardless of if I fell or not, he made the shot," said Francis, who was guarding Kidd. "That's it. Case closed, slam the hammer. Whatever, that's it."

Gugliotta scored 12 points -- all in the second half. He went 0-for-6 from the floor in the first half and 5-for-5 in the second.

"I wasn't worried about it, even though I was 0-for-6," said Gugliotta, a former All-Star. "I still felt confident I was going to knock them down."

After returning from a torn ACL and MCL, Gugliotta had averaged only 6.3 points per game in a season marred by his mother's death.

He also has been part of a team that has played most of an injury-plagued season without guard Penny Hardaway, one of three Suns to have had a brush with the law this year.

"A lot of things have happened to these guys this year," coach Scott Skiles said. "These are good guys out there and good players as well."

Kidd had 19 points and 16 assists and Shawn Marion and Cliff Robinson added 17 points apiece for the Suns, who moved one-half game ahead of Minnesota for seventh place in the Western Conference.

"Down 16, we could have thrown in the towel, but we know what's at stake here," said Kidd, who added eight rebounds. "We did it for a quarter and a half. That's a good sign.

"We know what Houston's capable of doing and we know they're chasing us. We've got to win the games we're supposed to win and tonight, we had to."

Behind Francis and a red-hot Cuttino Mobley, the Rockets seemed to be in control down the stretch but missed their last four shots and fell 2 1/2 games behind the Timberwolves for the final playoff spot in the West.

Francis scored 22 points and Mobley added 21, including 13 straight in the fourth quarter for Houston, which had an 89-82 lead with 3:39 remaining.

After the game, coach Rudy Tomjanovich and Mobley blamed officials Bob Delaney and Derek Richardson for missing calls down the stretch. They claimed they did the same in a 100-95 loss at Dallas last week.

"Those two guys got us again," said Tomjanovich, who likely will be fined after a profanity-filled tirade after the game. ... I can't believe it, twice in a row. What a bunch of (crap)."

"I know people are human beings," Mobley added. "But there's a lot of grudge-taking out there."

Despite the complaints, Houston attempted four more free throws than Phoenix, going 21-of-24 from the line. The Suns were 15-of-20.

The Rockets had a 92-88 lead after Walt Williams hit a 3-pointer with 2:04 to play. But after a tough jumper by Marion, Francis missed a layup and Maurice Taylor failed on an easy follow shot.

Phoenix followed with a backcourt violation before Mobley missed a baseline floater. Marion then tied it at 92-92 with a banker on the baseline and Mobley was too strong on a drive with 33 seconds to play.

Marion had tied it with 53 seconds left when he drove the left side of the baseline, held on to the ball after Mobley nearly stripped him and hit a banker.

"Marion made some really big shots," Tomjanovich said. "He made one on the baseline when Cuttino got his hand on the ball. He just made some big plays."

The Suns had two chances on the decisive possession. Marion had a baseline jumper rim out but the Rockets lost the ball out of bounds under the basket.

Houston won the battle of the boards, 44-40, led by Francis' 14. Kenny Thomas added nine off the bench and Taylor and Mobley had seven each.

But Mobley did his damage in the scoring column. After Gugliotta sank an 18-footer to cap a 9-0 run and get Phoenix within 76-75 with 7:39 to play, Mobley scored 13 straight points for Houston.

Taking advantage of constant double-teams on Francis, Mobley helped stretch the Rockets' lead to 89-82 by hitting a pair of free throws with 3:39 to play.

Francis made 8-of-16 shots. He had 13 points in the third quarter as the Rockets built a 70-54 lead 5:33 before the fourth.

"Their not stupid enough to play me 1-on-1," Francis said. "That would be stupid."

The Suns scored the next 10 points to get within 70-64 and used a 9-0 run to get within 76-75 with 7:39 to play.

"We made a lot of good plays, had a lot of opportunities," Skiles said. "We fought back every time and got big plays from a lot of different guys."

Taylor scored 20 points and Williams added 12 for the Rockets, who suffered just their fourth loss in the last 17 games. They shot 46 percent from the field (33-of-72) while holding the Suns to 43 percent (38-of-88).

"I have a bad taste in my mouth," Tomjanovich said. "It has nothing to do with that (missed shots). It has to do with those other outsiders."

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