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NBA  FINAL            1ST  2ND  3RD  4TH  TOTAL
                      ---  ---  ---  ---  -----
     HOUSTON          23   20   20   15    78   
     INDIANA          25   16   19   14    74      FINAL

HIGH SCORERS:   HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 19, YAO MING 17, JIMMY 
                      JACKSON 14
                IND - JERMAINE O'NEAL 31, RON ARTEST 9, AL 
                      HARRINGTON 8

HIGH REBOUND:   HOU - YAO MING 12, JIMMY JACKSON 10, STEVE 
                      FRANCIS 7
                IND - AL HARRINGTON 11, RON ARTEST 5, JEFF 
                      FOSTER 5

HIGH ASSISTS:   HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 6, CUTTINO MOBLEY 5, SIX 
                      PLAYERS WITH 1
                IND - JAMAAL TINSLEY 6, RON ARTEST 5, TWO 
                      PLAYERS WITH 2

         ATT:   18,345

Box Score

HOUSTON (78) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp J Jackson 44 5-11 0-0 1-10 1 2 14 K Cato 18 3-8 1-1 2-5 1 5 7 Y Ming 36 6-12 5-5 5-12 1 6 17 C Mobley 42 4-13 2-2 1-4 5 0 12 S Francis 41 7-15 4-6 3-7 6 2 19 M Taylor 23 3-8 0-0 1-5 1 6 6 C Weatherspoon 17 0-0 1-2 0-2 0 3 1 S Padgett 11 1-4 0-0 1-3 1 1 2 M Jackson 8 0-1 0-0 0-1 1 0 0 E Piatkowski DNP - COACH'S DECISION B Nachbar DNP - COACH'S DECISION M Wilks DNP - COACH'S DECISION _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 29-72 13-16 14-49 17 25 78 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.403, FT-.813. 3-Point Goals: 7-20, .350 (J Jackson 4-8, C Mobley 2-6, S Francis 1-3, S Padgett 0-2, M Jackson 0-1). Team Rebounds: 3. Blocked Shots:6 (C Weatherspoon, J Jackson, M Taylor, K Cato, S Francis, Y Ming). Turnovers:17 (S Francis 5, M Taylor 3, K Cato 3, J Jackson 2, C Mobley 2, Y Ming 2). Steals: 7 (S Francis 4, C Mobley 2, M Taylor). INDIANA (74) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp R Artest 41 3-18 3-4 2-5 5 2 9 J O'Neal 41 12-25 7-11 1-4 1 5 31 J Foster 20 1-2 0-0 0-5 1 3 2 R Miller 26 2-4 2-2 1-3 2 1 6 J Tinsley 28 2-5 0-0 1-1 6 4 5 A Harrington 31 3-10 2-4 4-11 1 1 8 A Johnson 20 2-6 1-2 2-3 2 2 6 P Brezec 4 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 0 0 A Croshere 16 1-2 0-0 1-3 0 0 2 F Jones 13 2-4 0-0 0-2 0 1 5 S Pollard DNP - FLU J Brewer DNP - COACH'S DECISION _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 28-76 15-23 12-37 19 19 74 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.368, FT-.652. 3-Point Goals: 3-15, .200 (R Artest 0-4, J O'Neal 0-2, R Miller 0-2, J Tinsley 1-2, A Harrington 0-1, A Johnson 1-2, A Croshere 0-1, F Jones 1-1). Team Rebounds: 13. Blocked Shots:4 (J O'Neal 3, J Tinsley). Turnovers:15 (J O'Neal 5, R Miller 3, A Harrington 2, J Tinsley 2, A Croshere, R Artest, F Jones). Steals: 10 (A Harrington 4, J Tinsley 2, J O'Neal, R Artest, J Foster, A Johnson). ------------------------------------------- HOUSTON 23 20 20 15 - 78 INDIANA 25 16 19 14 - 74 ------------------------------------------- Technical fouls: None. Flagrant fouls: None. A: 18,345. T: 2:40. Officials: Bernie Fryer, Gary Benson, Nolan Fine.


Extended Box

HOUSTON (78) AT INDIANA (74) HOUSTON REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === J JACKSON F 44 5-11 0-0 1 9 10 1 2 0 2 14 K CATO F 18 3-8 1-1 2 3 5 1 5 0 3 7 Y MING C 36 6-12 5-5 5 7 12 1 6 0 2 17 C MOBLEY G 42 4-13 2-2 1 3 4 5 0 2 2 12 S FRANCIS G 41 7-15 4-6 3 4 7 6 2 4 5 19 M TAYLOR 23 3-8 0-0 1 4 5 1 6 1 3 6 C WEATHERSPOON 17 0-0 1-2 0 2 2 0 3 0 0 1 S PADGETT 11 1-4 0-0 1 2 3 1 1 0 0 2 M JACKSON 8 0-1 0-0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 E PIATKOWSKI DNP - COACH'S DECISION B NACHBAR DNP - COACH'S DECISION M WILKS DNP - COACH'S DECISION TOTALS 240 29-72 13-16 14 35 49 17 25 7 17 78 (.403) (.813) TEAM REBS: 3 TOTAL TO: 20 (20 PTS) INDIANA REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === R ARTEST F 41 3-18 3-4 2 3 5 5 2 1 1 9 J O'NEAL F 41 12-25 7-11 1 3 4 1 5 1 5 31 J FOSTER C 20 1-2 0-0 0 5 5 1 3 1 0 2 R MILLER G 26 2-4 2-2 1 2 3 2 1 0 3 6 J TINSLEY G 28 2-5 0-0 1 0 1 6 4 2 2 5 A HARRINGTON 31 3-10 2-4 4 7 11 1 1 4 2 8 A JOHNSON 20 2-6 1-2 2 1 3 2 2 1 0 6 P BREZEC 4 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 A CROSHERE 16 1-2 0-0 1 2 3 0 0 0 1 2 F JONES 13 2-4 0-0 0 2 2 0 1 0 1 5 S POLLARD DNP - FLU J BREWER DNP - COACH'S DECISION TOTALS 240 28-76 15-23 12 25 37 19 19 10 15 74 (.368) (.652) TEAM REBS: 13 TOTAL TO: 15 (11 PTS) HOUSTON 23 20 20 15 - 78 INDIANA 25 16 19 14 - 74 BLOCKED SHOTS: HOUSTON - C WEATHERSPOON, J JACKSON, M TAYLOR, K CATO, S FRANCIS, Y MING. INDIANA - J O'NEAL 3, J TINSLEY. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: HOUSTON 7-20 (.350), J JACKSON 4-8, C MOBLEY 2- 6, S FRANCIS 1-3, S PADGETT 0-2, M JACKSON 0-1. INDIANA 3-15 (.200), R ARTEST 0-4, J O'NEAL 0-2, R MILLER 0-2, J TINSLEY 1-2, A HARRINGTON 0- 1, A JOHNSON 1-2, A CROSHERE 0-1, F JONES 1-1. TECHNICAL FOULS: NONE. FLAGRANT FOULS: NONE. OFFICIALS: BERNIE FRYER, GARY BENSON, NOLAN FINE. A - 18,345. T - 2:40.


Game Story

INDIANAPOLIS (Ticker) -- On the biggest possession of the game, Jermaine O'Neal could not find any teammates who wanted the ball, which was typical of the Indiana Pacers' performance. Steve Francis scored 19 points and Yao Ming collected 17 and 12 rebounds as the Houston Rockets held on for a 78-74 victory over the Pacers, who lost for just the second time in 14 games. O'Neal was dominant in a 31-point performance and made a driving layup over the 7-5 Yao to give Indiana its first lead since the first half at 73-71 with 2:16 left. But the Pacers scored just one point thereafter as the defensive-minded Rockets shut down O'Neal, who had little help. Indiana trailed, 75-74, with 29 seconds remaining when it gave the ball to O'Neal and the Rockets responded with a rare double-team. The other Pacers watched their leading scorer struggle with the defense instead of getting open, and O'Neal was forced to take an errant 3-pointer. "(The Rockets) denied my outlets," O'Neal said. "One possession doesn't lose a game. I should've done a better job of taking a timeout and getting a new possession, getting a new play drawn up." "Obviously it wasn't what we wanted, but Houston did a good job defending it," said Indiana coach Rick Carlisle, who earned Eastern Conference All-Star coaching honors despite the loss. "In a game like this, I don't like pointing at one possession late. We've got to forget about it and move on." Houston's Cuttino Mobley secured the rebound and was fouled, making a pair of free throws with 2.7 seconds left. Indiana tried to set up a play for Reggie Miller at the other end, but Jamaal Tinsley's inbounds pass sailed out of bounds. "In a game like this, you know it's going to come down to the fourth quarter and then you know it's going to come down to the free-throw line," Mobley said. "We got in a situation where we were able to hit ours." Clarence Weatherspoon made 1-of-2 free throws with one second remaining as the Rockets became the first Western Conference team to win at Conseco Fieldhouse this season. O'Neal made 12-of-25 shots but his teammates were just 16-of-51 for 43 points for the Pacers, who had a five-game winning streak snapped. Jim Jackson had 14 points and 10 rebounds and Francis added seven rebounds and six assists for the Rockets, who had a 49-37 edge on the glass to help overcome 20 turnovers. "We were fortunate to win against a team playing better than any of the NBA," Houston coach Jeff Van Gundy said. "We played hard defensively and in the first half, our offense was good. We just have to do enough to win and tonight we did." Indiana's Ron Artest managed just nine points on 3-of-18 shooting due to a hand injury and Al Harrington made only 3-of-10 shots as the Pacers shot 37 percent (28-of-76), including 3-of-15 from 3-point range. "We just couldn't put the ball in the hole," Miller said. "It was a combination of both our poor shooting and their good defense. They are a good defensive team, but we just couldn't find the bucket." Indiana scored 25 points in the first quarter but failed to score 20 in any other period, managing just 49 points in the final 36 minutes.


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