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NBA  FINAL            1ST  2ND  3RD  4TH  TOTAL
                      ---  ---  ---  ---  -----
     HOUSTON          29   11   16   27    83   
     DENVER           23   15   15   21    74      FINAL

HIGH SCORERS:   HOU - CUTTINO MOBLEY 29, STEVE FRANCIS 21, 
                      KELVIN CATO 8
                DEN - JAMES POSEY 16, KENNY SATTERFIELD 13, 
                      NIKOLOZ TSKITISHVILI 10

HIGH REBOUND:   HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 13, KELVIN CATO 8, YAO 
                      MING 7
                DEN - JAMES POSEY 7, KENNY SATTERFIELD 7, TWO 
                      PLAYERS WITH 6

HIGH ASSISTS:   HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 5, MOOCHIE NORRIS 4, 
                      CUTTINO MOBLEY 4
                DEN - JAMES POSEY 5, CHRIS WHITNEY 4, THREE 
                      PLAYERS WITH 3

         ATT:   18,030

Box Score

HOUSTON (83) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp B Nachbar 12 1-3 0-2 1-1 1 1 3 E Griffin 34 3-12 1-2 1-5 1 3 7 K Cato 28 3-4 2-2 0-8 0 4 8 S Francis 35 6-12 8-9 4-13 5 2 21 C Mobley 47 8-16 12-13 1-2 4 4 29 J Hawkins 30 3-8 0-0 1-2 1 2 7 J Collier 21 3-8 0-0 4-5 0 2 6 Y Ming 13 1-5 0-0 2-7 1 2 2 M Norris 20 0-6 0-0 0-4 4 0 0 G Rice DNP - STRAINED RIGHT KNEE M Taylor DNP - SUSPENDED BY LEAGUE K Thomas DNP - FRACTURED RIGHT THUMB _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 28-74 23-28 14-47 17 20 83 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.378, FT-.821. 3-Point Goals: 4-10, .400 (B Nachbar 1-2, S Francis 1-2, C Mobley 1-3, J Hawkins 1-2, M Norris 0-1). Team Rebounds: 12. Blocked Shots:13 (K Cato 4, E Griffin 4, C Mobley 2, S Francis 2, J Collier). Turnovers:16 (S Francis 7, C Mobley 5, E Griffin 2, J Hawkins, B Nachbar). Steals: 5 (M Norris, K Cato, C Mobley, S Francis, J Hawkins). DENVER (74) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp R Bowen 21 2-5 0-0 3-5 0 0 4 J Posey 42 6-17 2-2 2-7 5 4 16 M Blount 26 2-5 3-4 0-3 3 2 7 L Harrington 18 2-7 0-0 0-1 2 2 4 C Whitney 29 3-12 0-0 1-6 4 3 6 C Andersen 22 2-5 2-2 0-6 0 3 6 N Tskitishvili 19 4-9 1-2 1-2 1 2 10 N Hilario 22 2-5 2-3 2-3 3 4 6 K Satterfield 33 6-16 1-2 3-7 3 3 13 D Harvey 8 1-3 0-0 0-1 0 0 2 J Howard DNP - SUSPENDED BY LEAGUE R White DNP - COACH'S DECISION _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 30-84 11-15 12-41 21 23 74 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.357, FT-.733. 3-Point Goals: 3-10, .300 (J Posey 2-5, C Whitney 0-2, N Tskitishvili 1-3). Team Rebounds: 9. Blocked Shots:9 (M Blount 3, N Hilario 3, R Bowen, D Harvey, C Andersen). Turnovers:13 (J Posey 3, N Hilario 3, R Bowen 2, M Blount 2, C Whitney, K Satterfield, N Tskitishvili). Steals: 8 (R Bowen 4, K Satterfield 2, L Harrington 2). ------------------------------------------- HOUSTON 29 11 16 27 - 83 DENVER 23 15 15 21 - 74 ------------------------------------------- Technical fouls: Houston - 2 (COACH Tomjanovich, 2:18 2nd; Defensive Three, 4:23 2nd). Denver - 1 (Defensive Three, 4:58 1st). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 18,030. T: 2:13. Officials: Dan Crawford, Derrick Stafford, Jason Phillips.


Extended Box

HOUSTON (83) AT DENVER (74) HOUSTON REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === B NACHBAR 12 1-3 0-2 1 0 1 1 1 0 1 3 E GRIFFIN F 34 3-12 1-2 1 4 5 1 3 0 2 7 K CATO C 28 3-4 2-2 0 8 8 0 4 1 0 8 S FRANCIS G 35 6-12 8-9 4 9 13 5 2 1 7 21 C MOBLEY F 47 8-16 12-13 1 1 2 4 4 1 5 29 J HAWKINS 30 3-8 0-0 1 1 2 1 2 1 1 7 J COLLIER 21 3-8 0-0 4 1 5 0 2 0 0 6 Y MING 13 1-5 0-0 2 5 7 1 2 0 0 2 M NORRIS G 20 0-6 0-0 0 4 4 4 0 1 0 0 G RICE DNP - STRAINED RIGHT KNEE M TAYLOR DNP - SUSPENDED BY LEAGUE K THOMAS DNP - FRACTURED RIGHT THUMB TOTALS 240 28-74 23-28 14 33 47 17 20 5 16 83 (.378) (.821) TEAM REBS: 12 TOTAL TO: 19 (19 PTS) DENVER REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === R BOWEN F 21 2-5 0-0 3 2 5 0 0 4 2 4 J POSEY G 42 6-17 2-2 2 5 7 5 4 0 3 16 M BLOUNT C 26 2-5 3-4 0 3 3 3 2 0 2 7 L HARRINGTON 18 2-7 0-0 0 1 1 2 2 2 0 4 C WHITNEY 29 3-12 0-0 1 5 6 4 3 0 1 6 C ANDERSEN 22 2-5 2-2 0 6 6 0 3 0 0 6 N TSKITISHVILI 19 4-9 1-2 1 1 2 1 2 0 1 10 N HILARIO 22 2-5 2-3 2 1 3 3 4 0 3 6 K SATTERFIELD 33 6-16 1-2 3 4 7 3 3 2 1 13 D HARVEY F 8 1-3 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 2 J HOWARD DNP - SUSPENDED BY LEAGUE R WHITE DNP - COACH'S DECISION TOTALS 240 30-84 11-15 12 29 41 21 23 8 13 74 (.357) (.733) TEAM REBS: 9 TOTAL TO: 13 (10 PTS) HOUSTON 29 11 16 27 - 83 DENVER 23 15 15 21 - 74 BLOCKED SHOTS: HOUSTON - K CATO 4, E GRIFFIN 4, C MOBLEY 2, S FRANCIS 2, J COLLIER. DENVER - M BLOUNT 3, N HILARIO 3, R BOWEN, D HARVEY, C ANDERSEN. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: HOUSTON 4-10 (.400), B NACHBAR 1-2, S FRANCIS 1- 2, C MOBLEY 1-3, J HAWKINS 1-2, M NORRIS 0-1. DENVER 3-10 (.300), J POSEY 2- 5, C WHITNEY 0-2, N TSKITISHVILI 1-3. TECHNICAL FOULS: HOUSTON - COACH TOMJANOVICH, DEFENSIVE THREE. DENVER - DEFENSIVE THREE. FLAGRANT FOULS: NONE. OFFICIALS: DAN CRAWFORD, DERRICK STAFFORD, JASON PHILLIPS. A - 18,030. T - 2:13.


Game Story

DENVER (Ticker) -- In danger of losing to the Denver Nuggets, the Houston Rockets put up their guards. Steve Francis and Cuttino Mobley took over down the stretch as the Rockets used a late surge to pull away for an 83-74 victory over the Nuggets. "There is no disrespect to Denver, but we are supposed to win this type of game," Mobley said. With three injured forwards in Glen Rice, Kenny Thomas and Maurice Taylor and the inexperienced Eddie Griffin and Yao Ming manning the front line, the Rockets heavily rely on Francis and Mobley, who can break down defenses with dribble penetration. The duo combined for 50 shots and 61 points in Wednesday's loss at Indiana and took over the offense again Friday, combining for 14 of Houston's last 17 points. "It wasn't a real good shooting game for us," Francis said. "Towards the end of the game, when it really counted, we played tough defense, we made some big shots." Coming off a career-high 39-point performance, Francis had 21 points, 13 rebounds and five assists. Mobley scored 29 points, playing all but one minute and making 12-of-13 free throws. "We made some big shots," Mobley said. "Coach told me last game that I did not go to the line, so this game I got a little more aggressive." In the final five minutes, Francis and Mobley took advantage of Nuggets playmakers Chris Whitney and Kenny Satterfield. Whitney, a career backup acquired last week, twice was beaten to loose balls by Francis. Satterfield, a second-year player, committed a bad foul and missed a dunk. "We have some young players that get frantic," Nuggets coach Jeff Bzdelik said. "We have some guys trying to do too much. It's a learning curve. We have to hit open men. Our guards are doing a good job of getting in the paint, but they draw people to them and they have to find open men." Whitney made 3-of-12 shots and had six points and four assists in 29 minutes. Satterfield made 6-of-16 shots and had 13 points and three assists in 33 minutes. "Some guys need to get more comfortable with the offense," Satterfield said. "Some of us are so concerned with where they need to be, that we are not operating the offense very smoothly." James Posey scored 16 points but was the only Denver starter in double figures. Rookie Nikoloz Tskitishvili added 10 points off the bench, but the Nuggets fell to 16-11 all-time in home openers. A short jumper by Mark Blount gave Denver its last lead at 65-64 with 5:35 to go. A basket by 29-year-old rookie Juaquin Hawkins gave Houston the lead for good, Francis baited Satterfield into a three-point play and Mobley drilled a 3-pointer for a 72-65 advantage with 4:08 remaining. Satterfield had a pair of baskets around a free throw by Mobley. Francis made a free throw, then tracked down his own miss from the line and threw it off Whitney to allow Houston to keep possession. He drove and kicked to Hawkins, who sank a 3-pointer for a 77-69 lead with 2:26 left. "I told (Hawkins) he had to take shots, and thank God he listened to me," Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich said. "Today we knocked down the big shots," Francis said. "We were getting the ball to the open man." Posey scored, but Francis tracked down his own miss, helping to kill the clock. A steal and layup by Mobley made it 79-71 with 71 seconds to play. In the final minute, Denver had a chance to get within four points, but Satterfield missed a dunk. "Their experience really was an asset tonight," Bzdelik said. "They were able to recognize the time to score, able to recognize how to get fouled and how to make a play. That's conversely to what is happening to us. We're kind of like a deer in headlights." Francis saw the same thing but had no sympathy for the Nuggets. "They're young. Nobody is going to feel sorry for them," he said. "They're on their way up. It hurts (to lose like that), because you don't know how to win it down the stretch." For the second straight game, Francis and Mobley were the only Rockets to score in double figures. Kelvin Cato scored eight points and Hawkins and Griffin added seven each. Houston shot just 38 percent (28-of-74) from the field but held Denver to 36 percent (28-of-74). The officiating crew of Joe Crawford, Derrick Stafford and Jason Phillips used replay at the end of both the first and third periods.


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