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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- HOUSTON 20 17 30 19 86 LA CLIPPERS 23 22 24 24 93 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 23, CUTTINO MOBLEY 21, WALT WILLIAMS 14 LAC - MICHAEL OLOWOKANDI 26, ELTON BRAND 20, JEFF MCINNIS 15

HIGH REBOUND: HOU - KELVIN CATO 11, JASON COLLIER 7, KENNY THOMAS 4 LAC - ELTON BRAND 12, MICHAEL OLOWOKANDI 11, TREMAINE FOWLKES 6

HIGH ASSISTS: HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 9, MOOCHIE NORRIS 3, KENNY THOMAS 3 LAC - JEFF MCINNIS 8, QUENTIN RICHARDSON 3, ERIC PIATKOWSKI 2


Extended Box

HOUSTON (86) AT LA CLIPPERS (93)

HOUSTON

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

W WILLIAMS F 32 6-11 0-0 0 0 0 2 3 0 3 14 K THOMAS F 20 2-4 0-0 2 2 4 3 0 2 0 4 K CATO C 20 2-5 0-2 3 8 11 0 5 0 0 4 S FRANCIS G 44 9-18 4-5 1 1 2 9 1 2 4 23 C MOBLEY G 41 9-20 2-2 1 0 1 3 2 1 5 21 M NORRIS 24 4-8 0-0 1 2 3 3 3 2 0 8 D LANGHI 5 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 E GRIFFIN 9 0-3 0-0 0 2 2 1 0 1 0 0 T MORRIS 22 4-7 0-0 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 8 J COLLIER 23 2-3 0-1 2 5 7 0 3 0 1 4 T BROWN DNP - COACH'S DECISION O TORRES DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 38-80 6-10 10 21 31 21 19 8 14 86 (.475) (.6) TEAM REBS: 5 TOTAL TO:14 (14 PTS)

LA CLIPPERS

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

T FOWLKES F 20 1-4 3-6 3 3 6 2 3 1 2 5 E BRAND F 45 7-10 6-7 6 6 12 1 0 0 1 20 M OLOWOKANDI C 39 12-18 2-4 3 8 11 1 5 2 3 26 J MCINNIS G 42 5-14 4-5 0 3 3 8 1 0 3 15 E PIATKOWSKI G 32 2-8 5-5 2 3 5 2 4 2 2 9 D MILES 28 2-5 1-2 0 5 5 0 1 1 2 5 Q RICHARDSON 22 3-10 2-2 1 1 2 3 2 0 1 8 D OVERTON 7 2-3 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 5 S ROOKS 5 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 E BOYKINS DNP - COACH'S DECISION H JAMISON DNP - COACH'S DECISION O EKEZIE DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 34-72 23-31 15 30 45 17 17 6 16 93 (.472) (.742) TEAM REBS: 11 TOTAL TO:17 (18 PTS)

HOUSTON 20 17 30 19 - 86 LA CLIPPERS 23 22 24 24 - 93

BLOCKED SHOTS: HOUSTON - K CATO, S FRANCIS. LA CLIPPERS - E BRAND 3, M OLOWOKANDI 2, D MILES. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: HOUSTON 4-13 (.308), W WILLIAMS 2-4, S FRANCIS 1-3, C MOBLEY 1-4, E GRIFFIN 0-2. LA CLIPPERS 2-14 (.143), J MCINNIS 1-3, E PIATKOWSKI 0-2, Q RICHARDSON 0-7, D OVERTON 1-2. TECHNICAL FOULS: HOUSTON - C MOBLEY, DEFENSIVE THREE 2, K CATO. LA CLIPPERS - DEFENSIVE THREE. FLAGRANT FOULS: NONE. A: 19,208.T: 2:15. OFFICIALS: BERNIE FRYER, RODNEY MOTT, TOM WASHINGTON.


Box Score

HOUSTON (86)

fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp T Brown 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 O Torres 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 W Williams 32 6-11 0-0 0-0 2 3 14 K Thomas 20 2-4 0-0 2-4 3 0 4 K Cato 20 2-5 0-2 3-11 0 5 4 S Francis 44 9-18 4-5 1-2 9 1 23 C Mobley 41 9-20 2-2 1-1 3 2 21 M Norris 24 4-8 0-0 1-3 3 3 8 D Langhi 5 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 1 0 E Griffin 9 0-3 0-0 0-2 1 0 0 T Morris 22 4-7 0-0 0-1 0 1 8 J Collier 23 2-3 0-1 2-7 0 3 4 T Brown DNP - COACH'S DECISION O Torres DNP - COACH'S DECISION

_____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 38-80 6-10 10-31 21 19 86 _____________________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.475, FT-.600. 3-Point Goals: 4-13, .308 (W Williams 2-4, S Francis 1-3, C Mobley 1-4, E Griffin 0-2). Team Rebounds: 5. Blocked Shots:2 (K Cato, S Francis). Turnovers:14 (C Mobley 5, S Francis 4, W Williams 3, J Collier, T Morris). Steals: 8 (M Norris 2, S Francis 2, K Thomas 2, C Mobley, E Griffin).

LA CLIPPERS (93)

fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp T Fowlkes 20 1-4 3-6 3-6 2 3 5 E Brand 45 7-10 6-7 6-12 1 0 20 M Olowokandi 39 12-18 2-4 3-11 1 5 26 J McInnis 42 5-14 4-5 0-3 8 1 15 E Piatkowski 32 2-8 5-5 2-5 2 4 9 D Miles 28 2-5 1-2 0-5 0 1 5 Q Richardson 22 3-10 2-2 1-2 3 2 8 D Overton 7 2-3 0-0 0-0 0 0 5 S Rooks 5 0-0 0-0 0-1 0 1 0 E Boykins DNP - COACH'S DECISION H Jamison DNP - COACH'S DECISION O Ekezie DNP - COACH'S DECISION

_____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 34-72 23-31 15-45 17 17 93 _____________________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.472, FT-.742. 3-Point Goals: 2-14, .143 (J McInnis 1-3, E Piatkowski 0-2, Q Richardson 0-7, D Overton 1-2). Team Rebounds: 11. Blocked Shots:6 (E Brand 3, M Olowokandi 2, D Miles). Turnovers:16 (J McInnis 3, M Olowokandi 3, E Piatkowski 2, T Fowlkes 2, D Miles 2, D Overton, S Rooks, Q Richardson, E Brand). Steals: 6 (E Piatkowski 2, M Olowokandi 2, D Miles, T Fowlkes).

------------------------------------------- HOUSTON 20 17 30 19 - 86 LA CLIPPERS 23 22 24 24 - 93 -------------------------------------------

Technical fouls: Houston - 4 (W Williams, 3:49 1st; C Mobley, 7:39 1st; K Cato, 1:39 4th; W Williams, 4:33 4th). La Clippers - (M Olowokandi, 8:03 1st). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 19,208. T: 1:33. Officials: Bernie Fryer, Rodney Mott, Tom Washington.


Game Story

LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- The Houston Rockets had no answer for the Los Angeles Clippers' inside attack.

Michael Olowokandi had 26 points and 11 rebounds and Elton Brand 20 and 12 as the Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Rockets, 93-86, to pull within two games of Utah for the eighth and final Western Conference playoff spot.

After Houston pulled within 85-83 on a pair of free throws by Cuttino Mobley with 2:10 remaining, Darius Miles hit 1-of-2 free throws to give the Clippers a three-point edge. Brand then blocked Walt Williams' 3-point attempt and the Clippers scored the next three points on a technical free throw by Jeff McInnis and a jumper in the paint by reserve Doug Overton with 25 seconds left.

"He's a guy that has confidence with himself," Clippers coach Alvin Gentry said of Overton, who backed down Steve Francis before turning around and nailing his jumper. "That's why I stuck him in there. I told him he was going to have to create a play. The play at the end of the game, I think that's a veteran play."

Pleased with Overton's play, the Clippers recently signed the guard to a second 10-day contract.

Mobley hit a rainbow 3-pointer three seconds after Overton's jumper to make it 89-86, but McInnis and Brand iced the game with a pair of free throws apiece.

Los Angeles made 23-of-31 free throws, while Houston made just 6-of-10.

"I don't even want to talk about the game," Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich said. "I think we've been playing good, but we have had a tough week. We have had a real rough week."

On Saturday, the Rockets lost at home to Chicago in overtime, 114-112, when Jalen Rose hit a jumper at the buzzer.

In this one, Francis had 23 points and Mobley 21 for the Rockets, who lost forwards Kenny Thomas (left quardriceps strain) and Eddie Griffin (left ankle sprain) in the second quarter. Neither player returned.

Without their big men, the Rockets were outrebounded, 45-31.

The Clippers led at the half, 45-37, after Olowokandi scored 20 points on 10-of-15 shooting.

"When he is going that well, we need to find a way to get him the ball more, especially if he's going the way he started out," Gentry said.

"I thought our defense was pretty good tonight," Francis said. "(But) Mike Olowokandi had the best game I've ever seen him play."

Los Angeles was up by 11 in the third quarter before the Rockets rallied to take its first lead, 55-54, midway through the period.

"You're going to be down in games," Francis said. "It's the way you respond, the way you react to getting back in the game. We reacted but we weren't able to make the shots."

Los Angeles reclaimed the lead for good on a tip by Quentin Richardson to make it 67-65 in the final minute of the quarter.

Los Angeles has won eight of its last 11 games, while Houston dropped its second straight contest after a three-game winning streak.

"It's a great win for us," Gentry said. "Anytime you can get a win at this stage of the game, it is going to be a great win. Everything is going to be tough from here on out, and every win is crucial."

"It was very critical that we won tonight, and that we go up to Golden State (on Tuesday) and we play well," Brand said. "We have some tough games, and mostly back-to-backs. We have to really hone down and win if we want to keep chasing Utah and (seventh-place) Seattle."

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