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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- HOUSTON 23 22 26 32 103 PHOENIX 23 33 23 21 100 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: HOU - CUTTINO MOBLEY 26, KENNY THOMAS 16, STEVE FRANCIS 13 PHO - PENNY HARDAWAY 31, STEPHON MARBURY 27, JAKE TSAKALIDIS 11

HIGH REBOUND: HOU - KENNY THOMAS 8, KEVIN WILLIS 8 PHO - PENNY HARDAWAY 9, TWO PLAYERS WITH 7

HIGH ASSISTS: HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 7, MOOCHIE NORRIS 6 PHO - PENNY HARDAWAY 5, STEPHON MARBURY 5

ATT: 13,562


Extended Box

HOUSTON (103) AT PHOENIX (100)

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

RICE F 26 5-11 0-0 1 2 3 0 1 0 0 10 THOMAS F 33 7-11 2-6 2 6 8 5 1 1 2 16 CATO C 26 3-5 1-3 0 5 5 0 4 0 0 7 FRANCIS G 39 4-11 4-5 0 4 4 7 4 0 3 13 MOBLEY G 43 9-16 2-2 0 3 3 3 4 1 3 26 TORRES 5 1-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 NORRIS 19 4-5 0-0 0 3 3 6 0 1 1 9 K WILLIS 22 5-9 2-3 3 5 8 0 1 0 0 12 W WILLIAMS 22 2-5 0-0 1 1 2 3 1 0 0 5 GRIFFIN 5 1-3 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 BROWN DNP - COACH'S DECISION MORRIS DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 41-77 11-19 7 29 36 24 16 3 10 103 (.532) (.579) TEAM REBS: 4 TOTAL TO: 10(12 PTS)

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

GUGLIOTTA F 27 4-8 2-2 2 5 7 0 5 0 1 10 SH MARION F 37 4-12 0-1 2 4 6 2 4 0 0 8 VOSKUHL C 10 0-3 3-4 2 3 5 0 0 0 0 3 HARDAWAY G 46 13-23 4-5 2 7 9 5 5 2 3 31 ST MARBURY G 45 11-18 5-9 0 1 1 5 1 0 4 27 TSAKALIDIS 27 4-6 3-4 1 3 4 0 2 1 1 11 ROGERS 7 1-2 0-0 1 1 2 1 4 1 0 2 BELL 5 1-2 0-0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 2 WALLACE 24 3-7 0-0 1 6 7 3 0 0 1 6 BUECHLER 12 0-0 0-0 1 2 3 1 0 0 0 0 T DELK DNP - STRAINED CALF FORD DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 41-81 17-25 12 33 45 18 21 4 10 100 (.506) (.680) TEAM REBS: 7 TOTAL TO: 10(12 PTS)

HOUSTON 23 22 26 32 - 103 PHOENIX 23 33 23 21 - 100

BLOCKED SHOTS: HOUSTON - CATO 2, K WILLIS 2, THOMAS, MOBLEY. PHOENIX - GUGLIOTTA 2, HARDAWAY. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: HOUSTON 10-16 (.625), RICE 0-4, FRANCIS 1-1, MOBLEY 6-7, NORRIS 1-1, W WILLIAMS 1-1, GRIFFIN 1-2. PHOENIX 1-7 (.143), HARDAWAY 1-2, ST MARBURY 0-3, ROGERS 0-1, BELL 0-1. TECHNICALS: HOUSTON - DEFENSIVE THREE 2, PHOENIX - DEFENSIVE THREE. OFFICIALS: MIKE MATHIS, GEORGE TOLIVER, JOE FORTE. A - 13,562. T - 2:07.


Box Score

HOUSTON (103) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Rice 26 5-11 0-0 1-3 0 1 10 Thomas 33 7-11 2-6 2-8 5 1 16 Cato 26 3-5 1-3 0-5 0 4 7 Francis 39 4-11 4-5 0-4 7 4 13 Mobley 43 9-16 2-2 0-3 3 4 26 Torres 5 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 2 Norris 19 4-5 0-0 0-3 6 0 9 K Willis 22 5-9 2-3 3-8 0 1 12 W Williams 22 2-5 0-0 1-2 3 1 5 Griffin 5 1-3 0-0 0-0 0 0 3 Brown DNP - coach's decision Morris DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 41-77 11-19 7-36 24 16 103 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.532, FT-.579. 3-Point Goals: 10-16, .625 (Rice 0-4, Francis 1-1, Mobley 6-7, Norris 1-1, W Williams 1-1, Griffin 1-2). Team rebounds: 4. Blocked shots: 6 (Cato 2, K Willis 2, Thomas, Mobley). Turnovers: 10 (Francis 3, Mobley 3, Thomas 2, Griffin, Norris). Steals: 3 (Mobley, Norris, Thomas).

PHOENIX (100) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Gugliotta 27 4-8 2-2 2-7 0 5 10 Sh Marion 37 4-12 0-1 2-6 2 4 8 Voskuhl 10 0-3 3-4 2-5 0 0 3 Hardaway 46 13-23 4-5 2-9 5 5 31 St Marbury 45 11-18 5-9 0-1 5 1 27 Tsakalidis 27 4-6 3-4 1-4 0 2 11 Rogers 7 1-2 0-0 1-2 1 4 2 Bell 5 1-2 0-0 0-1 1 0 2 Wallace 24 3-7 0-0 1-7 3 0 6 Buechler 12 0-0 0-0 1-3 1 0 0 T Delk DNP - strained calf Ford DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 41-81 17-25 12-45 18 21 100 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.506, FT-.680. 3-Point Goals: 1-7, .143 (Hardaway 1-2, St Marbury 0-3, Rogers 0-1, Bell 0-1). Team rebounds: 7. Blocked shots: 3 (Gugliotta 2, Hardaway). Turnovers: 10 (St Marbury 4, Hardaway 3, Gugliotta, Tsakalidis, Wallace). Steals: 4 (Hardaway 2, Rogers, Tsakalidis). ____________________________________________ Houston 23 22 26 32 - 103 Phoenix 23 33 23 21 - 100 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: Houston 2 (Defensive Three 2, 10:30 2nd, 3:37 4th). Phoenix 1 (Defensive Three, 7:10 3rd). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 13,562. T: 2:07. Officials: Mike Mathis, George Toliver, Joe Forte.


Game Story

PHOENIX (Ticker) -- Moochie Norris made sure the Houston Rockets did not need overtime this time.

Norris drilled a 3-pointer at the buzzer off a feed from Steve Francis to give the Rockets a 103-100 victory over the Phoenix Suns.

Houston set up for one final shot with the game tied at 100-100 with 14 seconds to go. Francis began his drive to the basket with six seconds left and met traffic in the paint before dishing to a wide-open Norris near the top of the key. Norris swished his shot as time expired.

"We were talking about the mismatch we could get on the 1-on-1," Norris said. "I personally knew that they were going to leave me. This is something you dream of, hitting the game-winning shot in the NBA. As soon as I shot it, I knew it was good."

Houston had won its first two games this season in overtime. The game-winner was not a new experience for Norris, who banked home a 34-footer at the buzzer at Golden State for a 98-95 victory last December 14.

Norris' 3-pointer capped a closing 30-12 run by Houston, which trailed 88-73 with 8:31 to go. The final 3 1/2 minutes featured three lead changes and two ties.

Walt Williams nailed a 3-pointer to give the Rockets their first lead of the quarter at 92-91. He assisted on a three-point play by Kevin Willis for a 95-93 edge with 2:32 to go before Tom Gugliotta answered with a baseline jumper.

"We were just trying to keep it together, at the end we were starting to look more solid," Williams said. "Yesterday against Minnesota, we did not play smart, especially down the stretch. Tonight, we did not make those mistakes."

A dunk by Willis gave Houston a 100-98 lead before Penny Hardaway's reverse dunk tied it with 61 seconds to go. Cuttino Mobley missed a jumper for the Rockets, but Hardaway missed and Jake Tsakalidis' follow attempt was blocked by Willis with 15 seconds to go.

Mobley led Houston with 26 points. He made 6-of-7 3-pointers as the Rockets made 10-of-16 from the arc. Kenny Thomas scored 16 points and Willis chipped in 12 off the bench.

"A big three by Walt, a big three by Cuttino, interior passing and pretty good defense on the interior," Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich said. "A big win for us, for our morale, and we made so many mistakes in the last quarter but it could not have worked out better."

Hardaway scored 31 points and Stephon Marbury added 27 for the Suns. But the duo combined for just 11 points in the fourth quarter.

"They became the aggressors and we became passive on defense," Hardaway said. "They made a lot of jump shots. It seems like the one pick-and-roll they kept running with Moochie Norris, Walt Williams and Kevin Willis rolling into the post just killed us."

Gugliotta was the only other Sun in double figures with 10 points. Shawn Marion struggled to get untracked, making just 4-of-12 shots for eight points.

"I had a funny feeling the whole time, 'cause our defense was poor," Suns coach Scott Skiles said. "They made 14-of-17 (actually 13-of-19 in the fourth) and the last few were layups."

Marbury made 11-of-18 shots and Hardaway made 13-of-23 but the duo failed to defend Houston's pick-and-roll well.

"Both players had good offensive games," Skiles said. "But for whatever reason, as a team, we're not able to stop anybody."

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