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NBA   FINAL            1ST  2ND  3RD  4TH   TOTAL
                       ---  ---  ---  ---   -----
      HOUSTON          27   23   23   25    98   
      CLEVELAND        26   17   26   18    87      FINAL

HIGH SCORERS:   HOU - TRACY MCGRADY 34, YAO MING 20, JUWAN 
                      HOWARD 17
                CLE - DREW GOODEN 21, ZYDRUNAS ILGAUSKAS 17, 
                      IRA NEWBLE 14

HIGH REBOUND:   HOU - DIKEMBE MUTOMBO 9, TRACY MCGRADY 7, YAO 
                      MING 7
                CLE - DREW GOODEN 12, ZYDRUNAS ILGAUSKAS 11, 
                      ROBERT TRAYLOR 7

HIGH ASSISTS:   HOU - BOB SURA 12, TRACY MCGRADY 5, JON BARRY 
                      4
                CLE - JEFF MCINNIS 10, LEBRON JAMES 5, TWO 
                      PLAYERS WITH 2

         ATT:   20,562

Box Score

HOUSTON (98) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp T McGrady 46 13-31 5-6 0-7 5 2 34 J Howard 23 7-9 3-3 0-4 1 3 17 Y Ming 26 8-16 4-8 3-7 0 4 20 B Sura 44 1-3 0-0 0-0 12 2 3 J Barry 30 2-5 1-2 1-2 4 4 7 D Mutombo 22 3-6 1-2 2-9 0 2 7 M Taylor 25 4-9 0-0 3-6 0 3 8 D Wesley 24 1-5 0-0 0-3 2 4 2 C Weatherspoon DNP - COACH'S DECISION S Padgett DNP - COACH'S DECISION R Gaines DNP - COACH'S DECISION _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 39-84 14-21 9-38 24 24 98 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.464, FT-.667. 3-Point Goals: 6-12, .500 (T McGrady 3-6, B Sura 1-1, J Barry 2-3, D Wesley 0-2). Team Rebounds: 10. Blocked Shots:4 (Y Ming 4). Turnovers:8 (Y Ming 3, D Mutombo, J Howard, J Barry, M Taylor, T McGrady). Steals: 3 (J Howard, J Barry, T McGrady). CLEVELAND (87) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp L James 17 0-5 3-5 0-3 5 0 3 D Gooden 38 8-15 5-5 3-12 1 2 21 Z Ilgauskas 36 7-19 3-6 3-11 2 5 17 J McInnis 38 4-11 0-0 0-6 10 2 10 I Newble 41 4-9 6-6 2-4 2 2 14 A Varejao 12 3-4 4-8 1-3 0 2 10 R Traylor 12 0-7 0-0 3-7 1 2 0 E Snow 24 1-4 0-0 0-2 1 2 3 L Harris 22 2-3 4-5 0-2 0 0 9 D Diop DNP - COACH'S DECISION L Jackson DNP - COACH'S DECISION A Pavlovic DNP - COACH'S DECISION _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 29-77 25-35 12-50 22 17 87 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.377, FT-.714. 3-Point Goals: 4-12, .333 (L James 0-1, D Gooden 0-2, J McInnis 2-5, I Newble 0-1, E Snow 1-2, L Harris 1-1). Team Rebounds: 12. Blocked Shots:5 (Z Ilgauskas 2, L Harris, R Traylor, D Gooden). Turnovers:12 (Z Ilgauskas 4, J McInnis 4, D Gooden 3, I Newble). Steals: 4 (E Snow, L Harris, I Newble, D Gooden). ------------------------------------------- HOUSTON 27 23 23 25 - 98 CLEVELAND 26 17 26 18 - 87 ------------------------------------------- Technical fouls: Houston - 2 (Defensive Three, 4:12 1st; Defensive Three, 8:23 2nd). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 20,562. T: 2:09. Officials: Dan Crawford, Eric Lewis, Michael Smith.


Extended Box

HOUSTON (98) AT CLEVELAND (87) HOUSTON REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === T MCGRADY F 46 13-31 5-6 0 7 7 5 2 1 1 34 J HOWARD F 23 7-9 3-3 0 4 4 1 3 1 1 17 Y MING C 26 8-16 4-8 3 4 7 0 4 0 3 20 B SURA G 44 1-3 0-0 0 0 0 12 2 0 0 3 J BARRY G 30 2-5 1-2 1 1 2 4 4 1 1 7 D MUTOMBO 22 3-6 1-2 2 7 9 0 2 0 1 7 M TAYLOR 25 4-9 0-0 3 3 6 0 3 0 1 8 D WESLEY 24 1-5 0-0 0 3 3 2 4 0 0 2 C WEATHERSPOON DNP - COACH'S DECISION S PADGETT DNP - COACH'S DECISION R GAINES DNP - COACH'S DECISION TOTALS 240 39-84 14-21 9 29 38 24 24 3 8 98 (.464) (.667) TEAM REBS: 10 TOTAL TO: 8 (8 PTS) CLEVELAND REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === L JAMES F 17 0-5 3-5 0 3 3 5 0 0 0 3 D GOODEN F 38 8-15 5-5 3 9 12 1 2 1 3 21 Z ILGAUSKAS C 36 7-19 3-6 3 8 11 2 5 0 4 17 J MCINNIS G 38 4-11 0-0 0 6 6 10 2 0 4 10 I NEWBLE G 41 4-9 6-6 2 2 4 2 2 1 1 14 A VAREJAO 12 3-4 4-8 1 2 3 0 2 0 0 10 R TRAYLOR 12 0-7 0-0 3 4 7 1 2 0 0 0 E SNOW 24 1-4 0-0 0 2 2 1 2 1 0 3 L HARRIS 22 2-3 4-5 0 2 2 0 0 1 0 9 D DIOP DNP - COACH'S DECISION L JACKSON DNP - COACH'S DECISION A PAVLOVIC DNP - COACH'S DECISION TOTALS 240 29-77 25-35 12 38 50 22 17 4 12 87 (.377) (.714) TEAM REBS: 12 TOTAL TO: 14 (15 PTS) HOUSTON 27 23 23 25 - 98 CLEVELAND 26 17 26 18 - 87 BLOCKED SHOTS: HOUSTON - Y MING 4. CLEVELAND - Z ILGAUSKAS 2, L HARRIS, R TRAYLOR, D GOODEN. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: HOUSTON 6-12 (.500), T MCGRADY 3-6, B SURA 1-1, J BARRY 2-3, D WESLEY 0-2. CLEVELAND 4-12 (.333), L JAMES 0-1, D GOODEN 0- 2, J MCINNIS 2-5, I NEWBLE 0-1, E SNOW 1-2, L HARRIS 1-1. TECHNICAL FOULS: HOUSTON - DEFENSIVE THREE 2. FLAGRANT FOULS: NONE. OFFICIALS: DAN CRAWFORD, ERIC LEWIS, MICHAEL SMITH. A - 20,562. T - 2:09.


Game Story

CLEVELAND (Ticker) -- So much for LeBron James' happy birthday. The Cleveland Cavaliers' franchise player is going to spend his 20th with team physicians. Late in the second quarter of the Cavaliers' 98-87 loss to the Houston Rockets, James, who turns 20 tomorrow, left the game after an accidental elbow from Rockets' reserve center Dikembe Mutombo and did not return. After undergoing X-rays and a CAT scan, James was back at Gund Arena after the game but did not speak with reporters. Test results are expected Thursday. Houston took advantage to snap a five-game road losing streak and recovered nicely from a 28-point loss at Milwaukee on Tuesday. Tracy McGrady scored 22 of his game-high 34 points in the second half and Yao Ming added 20. But James' injury was the focal point of postgame discussion. "When you lose your best player, it's always hard to recover," Cleveland coach Paul Silas said. "I thought we did very well through the third quarter. We made a run at it, but T-Mac (McGrady) hit some big shots." With the Rockets leading, 50-40, James attempted to intercept a pass in the lane, only to be hit near his left eye by a violent elbow from Mutombo. "All I know is that I was running to the basket, and T-Mac was trapped and he was trying to get the ball to me," Mutombo said. "I knew there was a collision. The next thing I knew LeBron James was on the floor. Maybe when we get home I'll watch it on TV." "When (James) stayed down, I knew it was pretty bad," Cavaliers guard Eric Snow said. James was on the floor in obvious pain for a few minutes before being assisted to the locker room with a towel held to his face. He was 0-of-5 from the floor with five assists when he left. "When a guy like that goes out, the opponent has an advantage somewhat because you're losing 25 (points), seven (rebounds) and seven (assists)," McGrady said. "It's tough to replace that." For a time, James' absence seemed to spark the Cavaliers, who rallied to tie the game in the third quarter. Cleveland never managed to reclaim the lead, however, and lost for just the third time in 14 home games. "We stepped up when LeBron went down, but Tracy (McGrady) hit some tough contested shots," said Cavaliers guard Jeff McInnis, who had 10 assists. McGrady scored 10 points in the third quarter, including the Rockets' last five to help his club take a 73-69 lead into the fourth. With the margin stuck at four with just over two minutes left, Houston's star forward scored seven straight points - capped by his third 3-pointer of the contest. Yao scored 15 of his 20 points in the first half and Juwan Howard added 17 on 7-of-9 shooting as the Rockets won on the road for the first time since November 21. "We didn't know that James was hurt, I mean that he was going to be out," Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy said. "So we couldn't warn (our team) about (a let down)." "We just took care of the ball the whole game," Houston forward Maurice Taylor said. "We got outrebounded, but we held our turnovers down and we played great half-court defense." The Rockets have won eight of 12 and are one win away from evening their mark at .500 for the first time since that last road win improved their mark to 6-6. "I think everybody is tired of fooling around with that .500 position," McGrady said. "We're trying to get over it." Drew Gooden scored 21 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for the Cavaliers, who held a 50-38 rebounding advantage.


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