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NBA  FINAL            1ST  2ND  3RD  4TH  TOTAL
                      ---  ---  ---  ---  -----
     HOUSTON          25   23   25   35    108  
     SACRAMENTO       28   29   29   23    109     FINAL

HIGH SCORERS:   HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 38, MAURICE TAYLOR 18, 
                      THREE PLAYERS WITH 11
                SAC - CHRIS WEBBER 24, MIKE BIBBY 23, PREDRAG 
                      STOJAKOVIC 21

HIGH REBOUND:   HOU - YAO MING 19, STEVE FRANCIS 5, EDDIE 
                      GRIFFIN 4
                SAC - VLADE DIVAC 12, CHRIS WEBBER 9, PREDRAG 
                      STOJAKOVIC 9

HIGH ASSISTS:   HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 9, GLEN RICE 2, MOOCHIE 
                      NORRIS 2
                SAC - CHRIS WEBBER 6, FOUR PLAYERS WITH 3

         ATT:   17,317

Box Score

HOUSTON (108) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp J Posey 27 1-7 3-4 2-3 1 3 6 E Griffin 26 5-13 0-0 3-4 1 2 11 Y Ming 33 4-12 3-6 4-19 1 2 11 C Mobley 40 3-8 4-4 0-0 1 4 11 S Francis 38 14-22 6-7 0-5 9 4 38 M Norris 12 0-3 0-0 1-2 2 0 0 K Cato 15 2-6 0-0 1-3 0 2 4 G Rice 25 3-6 0-0 1-3 2 5 9 M Taylor 22 6-12 6-10 2-2 1 1 18 J Hawkins 2 0-0 0-0 0-1 0 0 0 T Morris DNP - COACH'S DECISION B Nachbar DNP - COACH'S DECISION _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 38-89 22-31 14-42 18 23 108 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.427, FT-.710. 3-Point Goals: 10-20, .500 (J Posey 1-3, E Griffin 1-2, C Mobley 1-3, S Francis 4-7, G Rice 3-5). Team Rebounds: 9. Blocked Shots:8 (E Griffin 4, K Cato 3, Y Ming). Turnovers:8 (C Mobley 3, S Francis 2, K Cato, J Posey, E Griffin). Steals: 10 (C Mobley 3, J Posey 3, Y Ming 2, E Griffin, J Hawkins). SACRAMENTO (109) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp P Stojakovic 34 8-11 3-4 0-9 1 2 21 C Webber 40 10-26 4-6 2-9 6 4 24 V Divac 21 0-7 1-4 5-12 1 5 1 D Christie 32 3-3 0-0 0-1 3 3 7 M Bibby 31 7-12 8-8 3-4 3 1 23 S Pollard 27 3-6 0-0 3-8 1 5 6 J Jackson 16 1-2 0-0 0-5 3 2 2 B Jackson 23 5-11 4-6 3-3 0 0 15 H Turkoglu 8 1-1 2-2 0-0 3 2 4 K Clark 8 2-4 2-2 1-3 0 0 6 L Funderburke DNP - COACH'S DECISION G Wallace DNP - COACH'S DECISION _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 40-83 24-32 17-54 21 24 109 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.482, FT-.750. 3-Point Goals: 5-9, .556 (P Stojakovic 2-4, D Christie 1-1, M Bibby 1-1, B Jackson 1-3). Team Rebounds: 6. Blocked Shots:3 (S Pollard 3). Turnovers:15 (C Webber 4, B Jackson 3, D Christie 2, M Bibby 2, V Divac 2, J Jackson, P Stojakovic). Steals: 5 (D Christie, C Webber, B Jackson, M Bibby, H Turkoglu). -------------------------------------------- HOUSTON 25 23 25 35 - 108 SACRAMENTO 28 29 29 23 - 109 -------------------------------------------- Technical fouls: None. Flagrant fouls: None. A: 17,317. T: 2:15. Officials: Eddie F. Rush, Jason Phillips, Monty McCutchen.


Extended Box

HOUSTON (108) AT SACRAMENTO (109) HOUSTON REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === J POSEY F 27 1-7 3-4 2 1 3 1 3 3 1 6 E GRIFFIN F 26 5-13 0-0 3 1 4 1 2 1 1 11 Y MING C 33 4-12 3-6 4 15 19 1 2 2 0 11 C MOBLEY G 40 3-8 4-4 0 0 0 1 4 3 3 11 S FRANCIS G 38 14-22 6-7 0 5 5 9 4 0 2 38 M NORRIS 12 0-3 0-0 1 1 2 2 0 0 0 0 K CATO 15 2-6 0-0 1 2 3 0 2 0 1 4 G RICE 25 3-6 0-0 1 2 3 2 5 0 0 9 M TAYLOR 22 6-12 6-10 2 0 2 1 1 0 0 18 J HAWKINS 2 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 T MORRIS DNP - COACH'S DECISION B NACHBAR DNP - COACH'S DECISION TOTALS 240 38-89 22-31 14 28 42 18 23 10 8 108 (.427) (.710) TEAM REBS: 9 TOTAL TO: 8 (9 PTS) SACRAMENTO REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === P STOJAKOVIC F 34 8-11 3-4 0 9 9 1 2 0 1 21 C WEBBER F 40 10-26 4-6 2 7 9 6 4 1 4 24 V DIVAC C 21 0-7 1-4 5 7 12 1 5 0 2 1 D CHRISTIE G 32 3-3 0-0 0 1 1 3 3 1 2 7 M BIBBY G 31 7-12 8-8 3 1 4 3 1 1 2 23 S POLLARD 27 3-6 0-0 3 5 8 1 5 0 0 6 J JACKSON 16 1-2 0-0 0 5 5 3 2 0 1 2 B JACKSON 23 5-11 4-6 3 0 3 0 0 1 3 15 H TURKOGLU 8 1-1 2-2 0 0 0 3 2 1 0 4 K CLARK 8 2-4 2-2 1 2 3 0 0 0 0 6 L FUNDERBURKE DNP - COACH'S DECISION G WALLACE DNP - COACH'S DECISION TOTALS 240 40-83 24-32 17 37 54 21 24 5 15 109 (.482) (.750) TEAM REBS: 6 TOTAL TO: 15 (17 PTS) HOUSTON 25 23 25 35 - 108 SACRAMENTO 28 29 29 23 - 109 BLOCKED SHOTS: HOUSTON - E GRIFFIN 4, K CATO 3, Y MING. SACRAMENTO - S POLLARD 3. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: HOUSTON 10-20 (.500), J POSEY 1-3, E GRIFFIN 1- 2, C MOBLEY 1-3, S FRANCIS 4-7, G RICE 3-5. SACRAMENTO 5-9 (.556), P STOJAKOVIC 2-4, D CHRISTIE 1-1, M BIBBY 1-1, B JACKSON 1-3. TECHNICAL FOULS: NONE. FLAGRANT FOULS: NONE. OFFICIALS: EDDIE F. RUSH, JASON PHILLIPS, MONTY MCCUTCHEN. A - 17,317. T - 2:15.


Game Story

SACRAMENTO, California (Ticker) -- Steve Francis made a ton of shots to rally the Houston Rockets. But in the final seconds, he made a decision that may have cost them the game. Francis scored 38 points but missed a potential game-winning 35-footer as time expired, sending the Rockets to a 109-108 loss to the Sacramento Kings. Francis nearly led his team all the way back from a 14-point deficit. The Rockets were out of timeouts and trailed by one point when they fouled Chris Webber with 5.1 seconds left. The All-Star forward missed both free throws, and rookie Yao Ming got the ball into the hands of Francis, who dribbled quickly into the frontcourt but had a bit more time to get closer to the basket or perhaps draw a foul. Instead, the All-Star guard pulled up for a long runner that bounced off the rim as time expired. The decision dumped the Rockets (36-33) into a tie with Phoenix for the eighth and final playoff berth in the Western Conference. "I'd take the shot in the flow in the game," Francis said. "It's a normal look that I get. I'd take that shot again. I thought it was good. I didn't have any doubt. I didn't want to take any chances of it having go to replay. Nothing went wrong with it, except that I missed it." "I hope he doesn't make it because I could (have) iced it," said Webber, who had made his previous 13 free throws. "That is exactly what was going through my mind." Francis' shot may not have been neccessary had his teammates made their foul shots. Of Houston's nine missed free throws, five came in the final eight minutes after it had sliced Sacramento's lead to single digits. Sacramento took an 86-73 lead into the fourth quarter, but Houston rallied. Maurice Taylor's jumper made it 98-94 at the 5:05 mark and, after a pair of misses by Webber, Yao missed a pair from the line that would have halved the deficit. Mike Bibby had a pair of jumpers and a key steal that rebuilt Sacramento's lead to 104-98 with 91 seconds left. But Taylor and Francis each made two foul shots before Francis and Glen Rice sank 3-pointers to make it a one-point game. "Sacramento has a very good team, polished in every area," Rockets assistant coach Larry Smith said. "They are a veteran club and they play very well together. They are an outstanding team. We had our moments tonight. We felt like we could have done some things against them and we did. They made plays when they had to and we made big plays also, but unfortunately we ran out of time." "We definitely let it get away," Taylor added. "We let one slip away." Houston coach Rudy Tomjanovich missed a fourth straight game after doctors discovered a tumor on the lining of his bladder. He is expected to miss the rest of the five-game road trip, which the Rockets have started 1-3 and conclude Monday against the Los Angeles Clippers. Playing its third game in four nights, Sacramento posted its third straight win over teams likely headed to the playoffs. The Kings played a virtually flawless fourth quarter in Thursday's win over the Los Angeles Lakers and did the same in the third quarter of Saturday's win at Portland. But they were far from perfect Sunday. They shot just 43.5 percent (10-of-23) in the final 12 minutes and allowed the Rockets to shoot 75 percent (12-of-16). "Give Houston credit," Sacramento coach Rick Adelman said. "They came at us in the fourth quarter. They're trying to make the playoffs and they almost pulled it off. I'll take the win." For most of the game, Francis carried his team. Taylor had 18 points but just three through 36 minutes. Yao collected 11 and a career-high 19 rebounds, but was scoreless in the final period. The Rockets had a chance to climb back early in the second half. But Webber had eight points in the first 4:51 as the Kings built their lead to 70-56 with 7:09 remaining. They never let the lead fall below seven points and closed the period with an 11-6 spurt. Houston shot just 32 percent (16-of-50) in the first half and trailed 57-48 at halftime. Francis thought that was where his team lost the game. "Even though Sacramento is considered a really good team, I think we basically gave the game away," he said. "We basically gave the game away in the first half, missing some free throws in the first half and big guy couldn't make point blank layups." Webber finished with 24 points, Bibby added 23 and Stojakovic had all of his 21 through three period as the Kings (50-21) became the second team to 50 wins and pulled five games ahead of idle Portland in the Pacific Division.


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