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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- SEATTLE 22 19 17 30 88 HOUSTON 22 25 30 14 91 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: SEA - GARY PAYTON 20, VIN BAKER 20, RUBEN PATTERSON 12 HOU - CUTTINO MOBLEY 21, KENNY THOMAS 17, STEVE FRANCIS 16

HIGH REBOUND: SEA - RASHARD LEWIS 11, PATRICK EWING 7 HOU - KENNY THOMAS 10, HAKEEM OLAJUWON 7

HIGH ASSISTS: SEA - GARY PAYTON 6, EMANUEL DAVIS 6 HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 7, SHANDON ANDERSON 5

ATT: 11,700


Extended Box

SEATTLE (88) AT HOUSTON (91)

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

LEWIS F 31 3-8 1-2 2 9 11 2 1 0 1 7 MCCOY F 16 1-2 0-0 0 4 4 0 2 1 1 2 EWING C 19 1-6 3-4 1 6 7 0 3 0 3 5 DAVIS G 27 2-6 0-0 3 1 4 6 1 1 0 4 PAYTON G 45 10-21 0-0 1 4 5 6 2 0 4 20 PATTERSON 25 4-10 4-5 2 1 3 1 0 0 3 12 BAKER 27 10-16 0-0 2 2 4 1 4 0 1 20 B BARRY 24 3-7 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 9 MASON 17 2-4 0-0 1 1 2 0 0 1 0 5 S WILLIAMS 9 2-2 0-0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 4 OYEDEJI DNP - COACH'S DECISION WOLKOWYSKI DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 38-82 8-11 12 28 40 19 13 3 13 88 (.463) (.727) TEAM REBS: 11 TOTAL TO: 14(16 PTS)

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

ANDERSON F 40 7-14 0-0 2 2 4 5 2 3 0 15 THOMAS F 36 8-12 1-2 3 7 10 1 3 2 1 17 OLAJUWON C 33 3-14 1-4 2 5 7 3 4 0 1 7 FRANCIS G 43 7-14 2-4 1 1 2 7 1 3 4 16 MOBLEY G 41 7-17 2-3 0 3 3 2 1 0 0 21 CATO 13 2-3 0-0 1 1 2 1 4 0 0 4 NORRIS 22 2-3 0-0 0 2 2 4 1 0 2 4 WILLIAMS 12 3-4 0-0 0 3 3 2 0 1 1 7 BULLARD DNP - COACH'S DECISION S COLSON DNP - COACH'S DECISION LANGHI DNP - COACH'S DECISION ROGERS DNP - CONJUNCTIVITIS

TOTALS 240 39-81 6-13 9 24 33 25 16 9 9 91 (.481) (.462) TEAM REBS: 12 TOTAL TO: 10(13 PTS)

SEATTLE 22 19 17 30 - 88 HOUSTON 22 25 30 14 - 91

BLOCKED SHOTS: SEATTLE - EWING 2, MCCOY, LEWIS. HOUSTON - OLAJUWON 2, THOMAS 2, ANDERSON. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: SEATTLE 4-10 (.400), LEWIS 0-1, DAVIS 0-1, PAYTON 0-2, B BARRY 3-5, MASON 1-1. HOUSTON 7-14 (.500), ANDERSON 1-3, THOMAS 0-1, FRANCIS 0-2, MOBLEY 5-7, WILLIAMS 1-1. TECHNICALS: SEATTLE - MCCOY. OFFICIALS: BOB DELANEY, LEON WOOD, SCOTT FOSTER. A - 11,700. T - 2:08.


Box Score

SEATTLE (88) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Lewis 31 3-8 1-2 2-11 2 1 7 Mccoy 16 1-2 0-0 0-4 0 2 2 Ewing 19 1-6 3-4 1-7 0 3 5 Davis 27 2-6 0-0 3-4 6 1 4 Payton 45 10-21 0-0 1-5 6 2 20 Patterson 25 4-10 4-5 2-3 1 0 12 Baker 27 10-16 0-0 2-4 1 4 20 B Barry 24 3-7 0-0 0-0 1 0 9 Mason 17 2-4 0-0 1-2 0 0 5 S Williams 9 2-2 0-0 0-0 2 0 4 Oyedeji DNP - coach's decision Wolkowyski DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 38-82 8-11 12-40 19 13 88 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.463, FT-.727. 3-Point Goals: 4-10, .400 (Lewis 0-1, Davis 0-1, Payton 0-2, B Barry 3-5, Mason 1-1). Team rebounds: 11. Blocked shots: 4 (Ewing 2, Mccoy, Lewis). Turnovers: 14 (Payton 4, Ewing 3, Patterson 3, Baker, Lewis, Mccoy). Steals: 3 (Davis, Mason, Mccoy).

HOUSTON (91) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Anderson 40 7-14 0-0 2-4 5 2 15 Thomas 36 8-12 1-2 3-10 1 3 17 Olajuwon 33 3-14 1-4 2-7 3 4 7 Francis 43 7-14 2-4 1-2 7 1 16 Mobley 41 7-17 2-3 0-3 2 1 21 Cato 13 2-3 0-0 1-2 1 4 4 Norris 22 2-3 0-0 0-2 4 1 4 Williams 12 3-4 0-0 0-3 2 0 7 Bullard DNP - coach's decision S Colson DNP - coach's decision Langhi DNP - coach's decision Rogers DNP - conjunctivitis _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 39-81 6-13 9-33 25 16 91 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.481, FT-.462. 3-Point Goals: 7-14, .500 (Anderson 1-3, Thomas 0-1, Francis 0-2, Mobley 5-7, Williams 1-1). Team rebounds: 12. Blocked shots: 5 (Olajuwon 2, Thomas 2, Anderson). Turnovers: 10 (Francis 4, Norris 2, Olajuwon, Thomas, Williams). Steals: 9 (Anderson 3, Francis 3, Thomas 2, Williams). ____________________________________________ Seattle 22 19 17 30 - 88 Houston 22 25 30 14 - 91 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: Seattle 1 (Mccoy, 6:49 1st). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 11,700. T: 2:08. Officials: Bob Delaney, Leon Wood, Scott Foster.


Game Story

HOUSTON (Ticker) -- Kenny Thomas looked like Hakeem Olajuwon and Patrick Ewing used to.

Thomas had a key block and dunk in the final 10 seconds as the Houston Rockets moved closer to eliminating the Seattle SuperSonics from postseason contention with a 91-88 victory.

With a pair of future Hall of Famers and two of NBA's 50 Greatest Players doing little more than occupying space on the floor, Thomas had one of his best games of the season.

"Kenny was tremendous. He made some explosive plays on offense and he made the big block at the end," Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich said.

The Rockets were clinging to an 89-88 lead when the 6-7 Thomas blocked Ruben Patterson's shot in the lane. He took an outlet pass from Walt Williams for an uncontested dunk to make it a three-point lead with 6.8 seconds left.

"I thought I heard a whistle but it was so loud, I couldn't tell," Thomas said. "The next thing I know, the ball was in my hand and I stuffed it. I didn't know how much time was left when it happened. I was surprised it was only six seconds left."

"I don't want to make a comment but I got fouled and I didn't get the call," Patterson said. "It was a situation that I wanted and I guess the refs didn't want to make a call like that in crunch time, but I got fouled."

Following a timeout, the SuperSonics had one-last chance but Brent Barry -- who leads the NBA in 3-point percentage -- missed a fadeway 3-pointer as time expired.

Thomas finished with 17 points, one shy of his season high, and added 10 rebounds. He finished 8-of-12 from the field.

Meanwhile, Olajuwon and Ewing looked like shadows of themselves. Houston's Olajuwon scored seven points on 3-of-14 shooting in 33 minutes and Seattle's Ewing had five on 1-of-6 shooting in 19 minutes.

Ewing indicated a back problem may have contributed to his poor game.

"I'm all about battling. I went out the and gave it the best job I could," he said. "But I missed shots I normally make and I didn't feel right making my move."

Gary Payton and Vin Baker each scored 20 points for the Sonics, who are five games behind Minnesota for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Seattle has four games left while Minnesota has eight remaining.

"We didn't play with any effort. I thought we played loose like we're already in the playoffs," Sonics coach Nate McMillan said. "Every time you step on the floor, you've got to compete. We didn't play the way the game the way it's supposed to be played tonight."

Houston is 3 1/2 games behind Minnesota with five games left.

Leading most of the way, the Rockets held an 84-76 advantage with 4:26 remaining on a layup by Thomas. But the Sonics were able to battle back and make things interesting.

Patterson and Payton had baskets before Baker scored four straight points, tying the contest with 2:22 remaining.

One day after being thrown out of practice by coach Nate McMillan, Baker responded with a big game and made 10-of-16 shots from the field.

Cuttino Mobley answered with a 3-pointer to give the Rockets the lead for good.

Mobley scored 21 points and backcourt mate Steve Francis added 16 for Houston, which shot 48 percent (39-of-81).

"We had the lead most of the game but you can't keep a team like that down the whole game," Francis said. "They made their run at us late but we came out OK."

Seattle held a three-point lead midway through the second quarter but Houston used a 15-2 burst, capped by one of Olajuwon's three baskets, to take a 46-36 advantage with 2:22 to play before intermission. The Rockets held a 47-41 lead at the break.

It was still close early in the third when the Rockets used an 11-3 spurt to open a 62-49 advantage on a basket by Francis, who made 7-of-14 shots.

Seattle, which received just 18 points from its four starters other than Payton, shot 46 percent (38-of-82) and held a 40-33 rebounding advantage.

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