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NBA  FINAL            1ST  2ND  3RD  4TH  TOTAL
                      ---  ---  ---  ---  -----
     HOUSTON          13   19   21   18    71   
     PORTLAND         16   18   23   20    77      FINAL

HIGH SCORERS:   HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 19, YAO MING 10, TWO 
                      PLAYERS WITH 8
                POR - RASHEED WALLACE 16, SCOTTIE PIPPEN 14, 
                      DEREK ANDERSON 12

HIGH REBOUND:   HOU - GLEN RICE 7, MOOCHIE NORRIS 7, STEVE 
                      FRANCIS 7
                POR - ARVYDAS SABONIS 9, RASHEED WALLACE 8, 
                      SCOTTIE PIPPEN 6

HIGH ASSISTS:   HOU - MOOCHIE NORRIS 5, STEVE FRANCIS 5, 
                      JUAQUIN HAWKINS 3
                POR - DEREK ANDERSON 9, SCOTTIE PIPPEN 4, 
                      BONZI WELLS 4

Box Score

HOUSTON (71) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp G Rice 37 3-13 1-1 2-7 1 1 8 K Thomas 30 2-6 2-2 1-3 0 3 6 Y Ming 18 3-4 4-10 1-2 2 2 10 J Hawkins 28 2-6 3-3 0-5 3 2 7 S Francis 38 8-18 3-4 3-7 5 2 19 E Griffin 23 1-5 0-0 1-4 1 1 3 M Norris 30 3-10 0-2 1-7 5 2 6 M Taylor 18 3-8 2-2 0-1 2 1 8 T Morris 11 2-6 0-0 0-4 1 0 4 K Cato 7 0-0 0-0 0-3 1 0 0 B Nachbar DNP - COACH'S DECISION T Maddox DNP - COACH'S DECISION _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 27-76 15-24 9-43 21 14 71 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.355, FT-.625. 3-Point Goals: 2-16, .125 (G Rice 1-7, S Francis 0-2, E Griffin 1-3, M Norris 0-3, T Morris 0-1). Team Rebounds: 13. Blocked Shots:5 (S Francis 2, E Griffin 2, Y Ming). Turnovers:14 (S Francis 5, G Rice 2, Y Ming 2, M Norris, E Griffin, J Hawkins, K Thomas, M Taylor). Steals: 10 (E Griffin 3, K Thomas 2, J Hawkins 2, M Norris, S Francis, Y Ming). PORTLAND (77) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp B Wells 35 2-10 0-0 1-5 4 2 4 R Wallace 37 5-11 4-4 1-8 1 5 16 D Davis 18 5-7 0-0 2-3 1 3 10 D Anderson 43 4-15 4-5 0-5 9 0 12 S Pippen 32 6-14 2-2 3-6 4 4 14 A Sabonis 27 3-6 0-0 1-9 3 4 6 D Stoudamire 9 0-2 0-0 0-1 1 0 0 Z Randolph 15 3-4 0-0 0-2 0 2 6 A Daniels 8 1-3 0-0 0-2 1 0 2 Q Woods 6 0-1 0-0 0-1 0 0 0 J McInnis 10 3-5 1-1 0-0 2 0 7 R Patterson DNP - PERSONAL REASONS _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 32-78 11-12 8-42 26 20 77 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.410, FT-.917. 3-Point Goals: 2-12, .167 (R Wallace 2-3, D Anderson 0-7, A Daniels 0-1, J McInnis 0-1). Team Rebounds: 7. Blocked Shots:8 (A Sabonis 6, R Wallace, D Anderson). Turnovers:12 (S Pippen 5, R Wallace 3, D Anderson 2, B Wells 2). Steals: 10 (A Sabonis 3, S Pippen 2, R Wallace 2, D Davis, D Anderson, Z Randolph). ------------------------------------------- HOUSTON 13 19 21 18 - 71 PORTLAND 16 18 23 20 - 77 ------------------------------------------- Technical fouls: Houston - 1 (Defensive Three, 7:55 4th). Portland - 2 (R Wallace, 4:21 3rd; Defensive Three, 8:45 4th). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 18,088. T: 2:04. Officials: James Capers, Marc Davis, Mark Wunderlich.


Extended Box

HOUSTON (71) AT PORTLAND (77) HOUSTON REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === G RICE F 37 3-13 1-1 2 5 7 1 1 0 2 8 K THOMAS F 30 2-6 2-2 1 2 3 0 3 2 1 6 Y MING C 18 3-4 4-10 1 1 2 2 2 1 2 10 J HAWKINS G 28 2-6 3-3 0 5 5 3 2 2 1 7 S FRANCIS G 38 8-18 3-4 3 4 7 5 2 1 5 19 E GRIFFIN 23 1-5 0-0 1 3 4 1 1 3 1 3 M NORRIS 30 3-10 0-2 1 6 7 5 2 1 1 6 M TAYLOR 18 3-8 2-2 0 1 1 2 1 0 1 8 T MORRIS 11 2-6 0-0 0 4 4 1 0 0 0 4 K CATO 7 0-0 0-0 0 3 3 1 0 0 0 0 B NACHBAR DNP - COACH'S DECISION T MADDOX DNP - COACH'S DECISION TOTALS 240 27-76 15-24 9 34 43 21 14 10 14 71 (.355) (.625) TEAM REBS: 13 TOTAL TO: 14 (15 PTS) PORTLAND REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === B WELLS F 35 2-10 0-0 1 4 5 4 2 0 2 4 R WALLACE F 37 5-11 4-4 1 7 8 1 5 2 3 16 D DAVIS C 18 5-7 0-0 2 1 3 1 3 1 0 10 D ANDERSON G 43 4-15 4-5 0 5 5 9 0 1 2 12 S PIPPEN G 32 6-14 2-2 3 3 6 4 4 2 5 14 A SABONIS 27 3-6 0-0 1 8 9 3 4 3 0 6 D STOUDAMIRE 9 0-2 0-0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 Z RANDOLPH 15 3-4 0-0 0 2 2 0 2 1 0 6 A DANIELS 8 1-3 0-0 0 2 2 1 0 0 0 2 Q WOODS 6 0-1 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 J MCINNIS 10 3-5 1-1 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 7 R PATTERSON DNP - PERSONAL REASONS TOTALS 240 32-78 11-12 8 34 42 26 20 10 12 77 (.410) (.917) TEAM REBS: 7 TOTAL TO: 12 (8 PTS) HOUSTON 13 19 21 18 - 71 PORTLAND 16 18 23 20 - 77 BLOCKED SHOTS: HOUSTON - S FRANCIS 2, E GRIFFIN 2, Y MING. PORTLAND - A SABONIS 6, R WALLACE, D ANDERSON. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: HOUSTON 2-16 (.125), G RICE 1-7, S FRANCIS 0-2, E GRIFFIN 1-3, M NORRIS 0-3, T MORRIS 0-1. PORTLAND 2-12 (.167), R WALLACE 2- 3, D ANDERSON 0-7, A DANIELS 0-1, J MCINNIS 0-1. TECHNICAL FOULS: HOUSTON - DEFENSIVE THREE. PORTLAND - R WALLACE, DEFENSIVE THREE. FLAGRANT FOULS: NONE. OFFICIALS: JAMES CAPERS, MARC DAVIS, MARK WUNDERLICH. A - 18,088. T - 2:04.


Game Story

PORTLAND, Oregon (Ticker) -- Despite all their troubles and all their firepower, the Portland Trail Blazers have been winning with defense. The Trail Blazers had their best defensive performance of the season and used a balanced attack for a 77-71 victory over the Houston Rockets, their fourth win in five games. Forward Ruben Patterson was benched after his arrest on felony domestic assault charges Monday. That came just four days after forward Rasheed Wallace and guard Damon Stoudamire were stopped for speeding and arrested on marijuana charges. Coach Maurice Cheeks has juggled his rotation, having Stoudamire join fellow point guards Jeff McInnis and Antonio Daniels on the bench and giving more playing time to young power forward Zach Randolph. "After seeing Damon, I wanted to try Jeff," Cheeks said. "In the second half, I wanted to try something else, because I think we were just in a funk." "Coach is getting a lot more confident in me," said Randolph, who scored six points in 15 minutes. "He's calling plays for me more times when I'm getting out there." Through it all, the Blazers have continued to defend, allowing an average of just 84.1 points over their last 10 games and surrendering more than 88 just once in that span. It was more of the same Tuesday as Portland limited Houston to 35.5 percent (27-of-76) from the field. "Offensively we're struggling in a lot of areas," forward Scottie Pippen said. "Bonzi (Wells) putting up the numbers he's been putting up. Damon's numbers haven't been up and I don't think Sheed is going as well. We have to find other ways. Offensively might not be the answer. Being able to stop teams is important to us." Wallace scored 16 points, Pippen added 14 and Derek Anderson 12 and nine assists for the Blazers, who avenged an 86-83 loss at Houston on November 12. Steve Francis scored 19 points and rookie Yao Ming added 10 for the Rockets, who have dropped two in a row. Houston used a zone defense for much of the game. "Us being shorthanded, we felt it was going to be hard to match up athletically through the whole game, so we gave the zone a shot," Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich said. "We hustled on the boards, we got more free throws, but we didn't put the ball in the hole." The 7-5 Yao's matchup with 7-3 Arvydas Sabonis was nothing special. Yao made 3-of-4 shots but just 4-of-10 free throws. Sabonis had six points and nine rebounds. Portland, which shot just 41 percent (32-of-78), took the lead for good at 22-21 on a jumper by Pippen with 8:11 left in the second quarter. The Blazers led 34-32 at halftime and 57-53 after three periods. "Tonight was one of those games when neither team really shot the ball well," Pippen said. "I thought we could have made some shots, could have really helped to open this game up, but we weren't able to do it. But we were able to gut game out. Defense was the key." A jumper by McInnis, two free throws by Anderson and baskets by Randolph and Sabonis gave Portland a 68-57 lead with 6:15 remaining. Houston went scoreless for more than 3 1/2 minutes. Another jumper by McInnis, who had seven points in 10 second-half minutes, kept the lead at 73-63 with 3:15 left. Francis had a three-point play and driving layup around a free throw by Yao to make it 73-69 with 1:46 to play, but Wells - who had been 1-of-8 from the field - hit a jumper with 1:28 left. "When you're missing, it doesn't matter," Anderson said. "You've got to keep shooting and these guys make sure they know we are the ones who are going to be shooting the ball."


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