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NBA  FINAL            1ST  2ND  3RD  4TH  TOTAL
                      ---  ---  ---  ---  -----
     INDIANA          20   14   22   27    83   
     HOUSTON          25   19   14   37    95      FINAL

HIGH SCORERS:   IND - JERMAINE O'NEAL 27, RON ARTEST 23, BRAD 
                      MILLER 16
                HOU - YAO MING 29, STEVE FRANCIS 19, CUTTINO 
                      MOBLEY 14

HIGH REBOUND:   IND - BRAD MILLER 11, RON ARTEST 8, JERMAINE 
                      O'NEAL 6
                HOU - EDDIE GRIFFIN 10, YAO MING 10, KELVIN 
                      CATO 9

HIGH ASSISTS:   IND - JAMAAL TINSLEY 9, REGGIE MILLER 3, AL 
                      HARRINGTON 2
                HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 6, CUTTINO MOBLEY 4, TWO 
                      PLAYERS WITH 2

         ATT:   13,281

Box Score

INDIANA (83) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp R Artest 38 9-19 3-7 4-8 1 4 23 J O'Neal 43 8-17 11-14 2-6 0 4 27 B Miller 37 5-9 6-8 1-11 0 5 16 J Tinsley 43 2-10 0-0 0-0 9 3 4 R Miller 41 2-5 3-3 0-3 3 2 8 A Harrington 10 0-4 0-0 1-4 2 1 0 R Mercer 12 0-4 0-0 1-1 0 1 0 A Croshere 10 2-3 0-0 0-1 0 2 5 J Foster 5 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 0 E Strickland 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 1 0 J Bender DNP - COACH'S DECISION P Brezec DNP - COACH'S DECISION _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 28-71 23-32 9-34 16 24 83 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.394, FT-.719. 3-Point Goals: 4-12, .333 (R Artest 2-4, J Tinsley 0-4, R Miller 1-2, A Croshere 1-2). Team Rebounds: 5. Blocked Shots:3 (J O'Neal 2, J Tinsley). Turnovers:12 (J Tinsley 5, J O'Neal 3, R Artest 2, R Miller, B Miller). Steals: 13 (J Tinsley 4, R Artest 3, R Miller 2, A Harrington 2, J O'Neal, B Miller). HOUSTON (95) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp G Rice 34 3-13 4-5 3-7 0 2 12 E Griffin 21 2-8 2-2 2-10 1 6 7 Y Ming 38 10-15 9-10 3-10 1 4 29 S Francis 43 7-14 5-6 3-6 6 2 19 C Mobley 43 3-15 6-6 2-5 4 4 14 K Cato 10 1-3 0-0 6-9 0 1 2 M Taylor 20 2-7 2-2 4-5 2 4 6 T Morris 20 2-5 0-0 1-7 1 0 4 M Norris 10 1-1 0-0 1-1 2 0 2 J Hawkins 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 B Nachbar DNP - COACH'S DECISION _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 31-81 28-31 25-60 17 23 95 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.383, FT-.903. 3-Point Goals: 5-18, .278 (G Rice 2-7, E Griffin 1-2, S Francis 0-1, C Mobley 2-8). Team Rebounds: 6. Blocked Shots:8 (Y Ming 6, K Cato, E Griffin). Turnovers:22 (S Francis 7, M Norris 3, C Mobley 3, T Morris 3, Y Ming 3, E Griffin 2, K Cato). Steals: 8 (M Taylor 2, C Mobley 2, K Cato, S Francis, E Griffin, Y Ming). ------------------------------------------- INDIANA 20 14 22 27 - 83 HOUSTON 25 19 14 37 - 95 ------------------------------------------- Technical fouls: Indiana - 1 (B Miller, 9:06 4th). Houston - 1 (S Francis, 5:27 3rd). Flagrant fouls: Indiana 1 (B Miller, 2:23 4t). A: 13,281. T: 2:32. Officials: Bill Kennedy, Greg Willard, Michael Smith.


Extended Box

INDIANA (83) AT HOUSTON (95) INDIANA REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === R ARTEST F 38 9-19 3-7 4 4 8 1 4 3 2 23 J O'NEAL F 43 8-17 11-14 2 4 6 0 4 1 3 27 B MILLER C 37 5-9 6-8 1 10 11 0 5 1 1 16 J TINSLEY G 43 2-10 0-0 0 0 0 9 3 4 5 4 R MILLER G 41 2-5 3-3 0 3 3 3 2 2 1 8 A HARRINGTON 10 0-4 0-0 1 3 4 2 1 2 0 0 R MERCER 12 0-4 0-0 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 A CROSHERE 10 2-3 0-0 0 1 1 0 2 0 0 5 J FOSTER 5 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 E STRICKLAND 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 J BENDER DNP - COACH'S DECISION P BREZEC DNP - COACH'S DECISION TOTALS 240 28-71 23-32 9 25 34 16 24 13 12 83 (.394) (.719) TEAM REBS: 5 TOTAL TO: 14 (18 PTS) HOUSTON REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === G RICE F 34 3-13 4-5 3 4 7 0 2 0 0 12 E GRIFFIN F 21 2-8 2-2 2 8 10 1 6 1 2 7 Y MING C 38 10-15 9-10 3 7 10 1 4 1 3 29 S FRANCIS G 43 7-14 5-6 3 3 6 6 2 1 7 19 C MOBLEY G 43 3-15 6-6 2 3 5 4 4 2 3 14 K CATO 10 1-3 0-0 6 3 9 0 1 1 1 2 M TAYLOR 20 2-7 2-2 4 1 5 2 4 2 0 6 T MORRIS 20 2-5 0-0 1 6 7 1 0 0 3 4 M NORRIS 10 1-1 0-0 1 0 1 2 0 0 3 2 J HAWKINS 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 B NACHBAR DNP - COACH'S DECISION TOTALS 240 31-81 28-31 25 35 60 17 23 8 22 95 (.383) (.903) TEAM REBS: 6 TOTAL TO: 22 (18 PTS) INDIANA 20 14 22 27 - 83 HOUSTON 25 19 14 37 - 95 BLOCKED SHOTS: INDIANA - J O'NEAL 2, J TINSLEY. HOUSTON - Y MING 6, K CATO, E GRIFFIN. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: INDIANA 4-12 (.333), R ARTEST 2-4, J TINSLEY 0- 4, R MILLER 1-2, A CROSHERE 1-2. HOUSTON 5-18 (.278), G RICE 2-7, E GRIFFIN 1- 2, S FRANCIS 0-1, C MOBLEY 2-8. TECHNICAL FOULS: INDIANA - B MILLER. HOUSTON - S FRANCIS. FLAGRANT FOULS: INDIANA 1 (B MILLER, 2:23 4T). OFFICIALS: BILL KENNEDY, GREG WILLARD, MICHAEL SMITH. A - 13,281. T - 2:32.


Game Story

HOUSTON (Ticker) -- Less than two months into his NBA career, Yao Ming already is good enough to be a target. Yao collected 29 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks while taking a hard hit from Brad Miller as the Houston Rockets pulled away for a 95-83 victory over the Indiana Pacers. The 7-5 sensation continues to dominate with his size and skill as he made 10-of-15 shots and 9-of-10 free throws. He scored 11 points in the fourth quarter, including five in a row that gave the Rockets some breathing room. After a driving dunk by Ron Artest pulled the Pacers within 78-76 with 3:21 to play, Yao headfaked and went under a defender for a scoop bank shot 12 seconds later. On the next possession, Yao took a pass in the deep low post as Miller's knee banged into that of All-Star teammate Jermaine O'Neal. As O'Neal went down, Miller stepped around him and hacked Yao across the head and neck, knocking him to the floor. "Everybody's trying to win the game," Yao said through an interpreter. "I wouldn't say he was trying to hurt me." "Yao was just fantastic," Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich said. "He's a creative player. It got very physical. I think he learned something from our last game in Miami. He's a versatile player." Yao remained down for several seconds before slowly getting up. O'Neal was in much worse condition, suffering an apparent knee injury, and had to be carried to the locker room. "I didn't see (O'Neal) at all," Miller said. "Yao went over my back to get the rebound and I was just trying to make sure he didn't make a layup." "They were trying to beat him up," Rockets guard Cuttino Mobley said. "When he gets a little bit stronger, it's going to be scary. He's learning so fast." Miller was called for a flagrant-1 foul, and Yao made 1-of-2 free throws. On the ensuing possession, he buried a turnaround jumper for an 83-76 lead with 2:06 to go. The Pacers got no closer than five points thereafter. "I knew they were trying to pass the ball to me more tonight," Yao said. "This was one of the most exciting games I've had." Steve Francis scored 19 points and Mobley had 12 of his 14 in the final period for the Rockets, who avenged a season-opening loss at Indiana. In that game, Yao did not score and grabbed two rebounds in 11 minutes, another illustration of how far his game has come in such a short time. "I said after the first game to just give him time," Pacers coach Isiah Thomas said. "I said, `Once he figures it out, he will be good.' He's a load and he's tough to deal with. He's got everything. He has no real weakness." "He's tough. He's so tall," Miller added. "When we played them last, he only had one move. Now he's playing with confidence and his teammates have a lot of confidence in him. They went to him late in the game. He's not a selfish player. He's a good passer for a big man and he gives them opportunities to make plays." O'Neal scored 27 points and Artest added 23 for the Pacers, who have lost consecutive games for just the second time this season. O'Neal will be re-examined Thursday morning in Indianapolis. Powered by 11 points each from Yao and Francis, the Rockets led 46-34 at halftime. But they made just 4-of-18 shots while committing eight turnovers in the third quarter and entered the final period clinging to a 58-56 lead. There were four ties and four lead changes in the fourth quarter. Mobley's first hoop of the game was a 3-pointer that gave Houston a 66-65 edge with 8:54 left. Reggie Miller's 3-pointer gave Indiana a 71-70 lead with 6:09 to go, and O'Neal added a free throw. Yao tied it with a hook and Mobley sank another 3-pointer to give the Rockets the lead for good at 75-72 with 4:43 to play. Brad Miller made two foul shots, but Mobley drove for a three-point play before Yao took over. Glen Rice scored 12 points and Eddie Griffin grabbed 10 boards for the Rockets, who held a staggering 60-34 advantage on the glass. "The whole game, we could not rebound the basketball," Thomas said. "If you can't rebound, you can't win. The way we got outrebounded, we should not even have been in the game." "They outhustled us," Brad Miller said. "A lot of times we were two inches away from the rebound and they still got it. They came out more determined than we were." Griffin and fellow forward Maurice Taylor should see increased playing time with the trade Wednesday of forward Kenny Thomas to Philadelphia. In a three-team deal, the Rockets received guard James Posey from Denver.


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