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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- PORTLAND 17 25 17 21 80 HOUSTON 17 19 18 25 79 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: POR - BONZI WELLS 29, RASHEED WALLACE 14, SCOTTIE PIPPEN 11 HOU - CUTTINO MOBLEY 24, STEVE FRANCIS 14, EDDIE GRIFFIN 10

HIGH REBOUND: POR - RASHEED WALLACE 12, DALE DAVIS 8, BONZI WELLS 7 HOU - KELVIN CATO 7, FOUR PLAYERS WITH 6

HIGH ASSISTS: POR - DAMON STOUDAMIRE 7, SCOTTIE PIPPEN 5, TWO PLAYERS WITH 3 HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 8, MOOCHIE NORRIS 5, KENNY THOMAS 4

ATT: 12,316

PORTLAND (80)

fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp S Pippen 35 5-10 0-0 2-5 5 4 11 R Wallace 37 6-13 0-0 3-12 3 4 14 D Davis 29 4-7 1-1 2-8 0 2 9 D Stoudamire 30 0-6 1-1 0-2 7 2 1 B Wells 32 11-22 6-9 3-7 3 1 29 D Anderson 17 0-7 2-2 0-1 1 2 2 R Patterson 20 3-6 3-4 0-4 0 0 9 S Kemp 25 0-3 2-2 0-1 2 0 2 S Kerr 10 1-3 0-0 1-3 2 0 3 E Barkley 4 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 0 M Butler 1 0-0 0-0 0-1 0 0 0 R Brunson DNP - COACH'S DECISION Z Randolph DNP - COACH'S DECISION R Boumtje Boumtje DNP - COACH'S DECISION

_____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 30-77 15-19 11-44 23 16 80 _____________________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.390, FT-.789. 3-Point Goals: 5-13, .385 (S Pippen 1-2, R Wallace 2-4, D Stoudamire 0-2, B Wells 1-2, D Anderson 0-2, S Kerr 1-1). Team Rebounds: 4. Blocked Shots:4 (R Wallace 2, D Stoudamire, D Davis). Turnovers:12 (S Pippen 4, R Wallace 2, S Kerr, D Anderson, B Wells, R Patterson, D Davis, D Stoudamire). Steals: 4 (S Kerr, S Pippen, D Stoudamire, D Davis).

HOUSTON (79)

fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp O Torres 14 1-6 0-0 1-3 0 2 2 K Thomas 23 2-5 1-2 1-6 4 1 5 K Cato 24 1-4 2-4 0-7 2 2 4 S Francis 44 5-11 2-2 1-4 8 2 14 C Mobley 40 9-22 3-5 0-4 3 2 24 D Langhi 16 3-5 1-2 2-2 0 1 7 J Collier 17 1-6 0-0 3-6 1 3 2 E Griffin 27 4-12 1-2 2-6 1 0 10 M Norris 30 4-6 0-0 2-6 5 2 9 T Morris 5 1-2 0-0 1-2 0 1 2 K Willis DNP - COACH'S DECISION T Brown DNP - COACH'S DECISION

_____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 31-79 10-17 13-46 24 16 79 _____________________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.392, FT-.588. 3-Point Goals: 7-25, .280 (O Torres 0-2, K Thomas 0-1, S Francis 2-5, C Mobley 3-10, E Griffin 1-5, M Norris 1-2). Team Rebounds: 12. Blocked Shots:7 (E Griffin 3, K Cato 2, C Mobley, K Thomas). Turnovers:12 (S Francis 4, M Norris 3, J Collier 2, C Mobley, K Thomas, T Morris). Steals: 8 (C Mobley 3, M Norris 2, S Francis 2, K Thomas).

------------------------------------------- PORTLAND 17 25 17 21 - 80 HOUSTON 17 19 18 25 - 79 -------------------------------------------

Technical fouls: Houston - 1 (K Cato, 6:01 3rd). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 12,316. T: 2:10. Officials: Jess Kersey, Mark Wunderlich, Sean Corbin. 10:52PM ET


Game Story

HOUSTON (Ticker) -- The Portland Trail Blazers moved one step closer to another meeting with the two-time defending NBA champions.

Bonzi Wells capped a big game by scoring the go-ahead basket with 18 seconds remaining as the Trail Blazers stopped a three-game losing streak with an 80-79 victory over the Houston Rockets.

Portland also snapped a five-game road losing streak and assured itself of finishing no lower than sixth place in the Western Conference.

The Blazers (47-33) are 1 1/2 games behind Minnesota (48-31) with two games remaining but likely will finish sixth, where they could meet the Los Angeles Lakers -- the team that has eliminated them in the postseason in each of the last two years.

"I still feel we need to get better," Blazers forward Scottie Pippen said. "The teams we will be playing in the playoffs are better. This is not a playoff team so we must really focus on getting better."\x0D\x0A\x0D\x0AWells, whose play has been as inconsistent as his team's of late, converted on a layup with 18 seconds left, giving Portland an 80-79 lead. He finished with 29 points and seven rebounds.

Houston elected to go without a timeout and Jason Collier missed a jumper before Cuttino Mobley, who scored 24 points, put up a shot after time expired.

"I shoot that shot every day," said Collier, who went 1-of-6 from the floor. "I don't know how I missed. It felt good and looked good. It just didn't go down."

"After they scored, we came down and created the best shot we've had all year in that situation," Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich said. "He (Collier) just missed it. It would've been monumental for him to make it."

In a close game throughout where neither team led by more than seven points, the Rockets used an 8-2 run in the fourth quarter, taking a 70-69 lead with 4:27 remaining on a layup by Moochie Norris.

The teams traded the lead five times down the stretch before the 6-5 Wells drove around the 6-1 Norris for the winning basket.

"Coach (Maurice) Cheeks called the play, they had a small guard on me and I just wanted to take advantage of him," Wells said.

Wells, who suffered a mild concussion in the second half of Thursday's loss at Memphis, was at his best down the stretch in this one as he scored seven of his club's final nine points.

"Wells had a heckuva game. He was cutting a lot and moving around," Cheeks said.

Wells went 11-of-22 from the field and helped make up for a rough night from backcourt mate Damon Stoudamire, who missed all six of his shots from the field and finished with one point.

Rasheed Wallace added 14 points and 12 rebounds and former Rocket Scottie Pippen scored 11 points for Portland, which shot 39 percent (30-of-77).

Each team struggled in the opening half. A jumper by Steve Francis gave the Rockets a 30-27 lead with 5:07 to play before the break.

But Wells scored eight points in a 15-6 surge to end the half, giving the Blazers a 42-36 advantage. He finished with 12 points in the half.

A pair of foul shots by Wells with 5:39 left in the third quarter gave the Blazers their biggest lead at 53-46. Portland held a 59-54 lead entering the final period.

Francis finished with 14 points for Houston, which also struggled from the field at 39 percent (31-of-79).

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