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NBA   FINAL            1ST  2ND  3RD  4TH   TOTAL
                       ---  ---  ---  ---   -----
      CLEVELAND        28   11   22   19    80   
      HOUSTON          28   20   21   30    99      FINAL

HIGH SCORERS:   CLE - DREW GOODEN 20, LEBRON JAMES 19, 
                      ZYDRUNAS ILGAUSKAS 16
                HOU - TRACY MCGRADY 31, MIKE JAMES 15, YAO 
                      MING 13

HIGH REBOUND:   CLE - ANDERSON VAREJAO 8, ZYDRUNAS ILGAUSKAS 
                      7, DREW GOODEN 6
                HOU - BOB SURA 10, SCOTT PADGETT 9, TWO 
                      PLAYERS WITH 8

HIGH ASSISTS:   CLE - LEBRON JAMES 8, ERIC SNOW 7, IRA NEWBLE 
                      4
                HOU - BOB SURA 6, TRACY MCGRADY 5, JON BARRY 4

         ATT:   18,208

Box Score

CLEVELAND (80) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp L James 42 7-22 4-7 0-4 8 1 19 D Gooden 35 10-20 0-1 1-6 0 3 20 Z Ilgauskas 28 5-8 6-6 3-7 0 6 16 E Snow 26 3-6 0-0 0-2 7 1 6 I Newble 22 0-3 0-0 0-1 4 2 0 J McInnis 22 1-6 1-1 0-2 3 1 3 R Traylor 15 2-4 0-0 1-4 1 3 4 L Harris 19 1-4 0-0 0-2 1 1 2 A Varejao 16 0-3 1-2 4-8 0 1 1 A Pavlovic 11 3-6 0-0 0-1 2 1 7 D Diop 2 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 J Welsch 2 0-0 2-2 0-0 0 0 2 _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 32-82 14-19 9-37 26 20 80 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.390, FT-.737. 3-Point Goals: 2-8, .250 (L James 1-4, I Newble 0-1, J McInnis 0-1, A Pavlovic 1-2). Team Rebounds: 3. Blocked Shots:2 (Z Ilgauskas 2). Turnovers:10 (L Harris 2, Z Ilgauskas 2, L James 2, E Snow, R Traylor, D Gooden, A Pavlovic). Steals: 13 (Z Ilgauskas 3, E Snow 2, R Traylor 2, I Newble 2, L Harris, D Gooden, A Varejao, L James). HOUSTON (99) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp T McGrady 36 11-21 9-9 1-4 5 0 31 C Weatherspoon 17 2-3 2-2 0-4 0 4 6 Y Ming 24 4-9 5-7 0-8 2 2 13 B Sura 28 3-6 5-6 3-10 6 1 12 D Wesley 31 4-13 0-0 1-2 3 3 11 D Mutombo 23 0-2 0-2 0-8 0 1 0 S Padgett 29 1-5 0-0 2-9 2 1 3 M James 22 5-7 2-2 0-2 0 0 15 J Barry 24 2-2 1-1 0-1 4 2 6 R Bowen 3 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 0 T Braggs 2 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 2 V Baker 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 0 _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 33-69 24-29 7-48 22 16 99 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.478, FT-.828. 3-Point Goals: 9-23, .391 (T McGrady 0-3, B Sura 1-2, D Wesley 3-10, S Padgett 1-4, M James 3-3, J Barry 1-1). Team Rebounds: 8. Blocked Shots:8 (D Mutombo 3, B Sura 2, Y Ming 2, C Weatherspoon). Turnovers:16 (B Sura 5, D Wesley 3, T McGrady 3, M James 2, Y Ming 2, S Padgett). Steals: 6 (T McGrady 2, S Padgett 2, C Weatherspoon, M James). ------------------------------------------- CLEVELAND 28 11 22 19 - 80 HOUSTON 28 20 21 30 - 99 ------------------------------------------- Technical fouls: Cleveland - 1 (COACH Malone, 0:05 2nd). Houston - 4 (D Mutombo, 2:47 1st; Defensive Three, 2:47 1st; S Padgett, 0:33 3rd; Defensive Three, 0:33 3rd). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 18,208. T: 2:08. Officials: Dan Crawford, Sean Corbin, Tommy Nunez.


Extended Box

CLEVELAND (80) AT HOUSTON (99) CLEVELAND REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === L JAMES F 42 7-22 4-7 0 4 4 8 1 1 2 19 D GOODEN F 35 10-20 0-1 1 5 6 0 3 1 1 20 Z ILGAUSKAS C 28 5-8 6-6 3 4 7 0 6 3 2 16 E SNOW G 26 3-6 0-0 0 2 2 7 1 2 1 6 I NEWBLE G 22 0-3 0-0 0 1 1 4 2 2 0 0 J MCINNIS 22 1-6 1-1 0 2 2 3 1 0 0 3 R TRAYLOR 15 2-4 0-0 1 3 4 1 3 2 1 4 L HARRIS 19 1-4 0-0 0 2 2 1 1 1 2 2 A VAREJAO 16 0-3 1-2 4 4 8 0 1 1 0 1 A PAVLOVIC 11 3-6 0-0 0 1 1 2 1 0 1 7 D DIOP 2 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 J WELSCH 2 0-0 2-2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 TOTALS 240 32-82 14-19 9 28 37 26 20 13 10 80 (.390) (.737) TEAM REBS: 3 TOTAL TO: 10 (8 PTS) HOUSTON REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === T MCGRADY F 36 11-21 9-9 1 3 4 5 0 2 3 31 C WEATHERSPOON F 17 2-3 2-2 0 4 4 0 4 1 0 6 Y MING C 24 4-9 5-7 0 8 8 2 2 0 2 13 B SURA G 28 3-6 5-6 3 7 10 6 1 0 5 12 D WESLEY G 31 4-13 0-0 1 1 2 3 3 0 3 11 D MUTOMBO 23 0-2 0-2 0 8 8 0 1 0 0 0 S PADGETT 29 1-5 0-0 2 7 9 2 1 2 1 3 M JAMES 22 5-7 2-2 0 2 2 0 0 1 2 15 J BARRY 24 2-2 1-1 0 1 1 4 2 0 0 6 R BOWEN 3 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 T BRAGGS 2 1-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 V BAKER 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 TOTALS 240 33-69 24-29 7 41 48 22 16 6 16 99 (.478) (.828) TEAM REBS: 8 TOTAL TO: 18 (18 PTS) CLEVELAND 28 11 22 19 - 80 HOUSTON 28 20 21 30 - 99 BLOCKED SHOTS: CLEVELAND - Z ILGAUSKAS 2. HOUSTON - D MUTOMBO 3, B SURA 2, Y MING 2, C WEATHERSPOON. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: CLEVELAND 2-8 (.250), L JAMES 1-4, I NEWBLE 0-1, J MCINNIS 0-1, A PAVLOVIC 1-2. HOUSTON 9-23 (.391), T MCGRADY 0-3, B SURA 1-2, D WESLEY 3-10, S PADGETT 1-4, M JAMES 3-3, J BARRY 1- 1. TECHNICAL FOULS: CLEVELAND - COACH MALONE. HOUSTON - D MUTOMBO, DEFENSIVE THREE, S PADGETT, DEFENSIVE THREE. FLAGRANT FOULS: NONE. OFFICIALS: DAN CRAWFORD, SEAN CORBIN, TOMMY NUNEZ. A - 18,208. T - 2:08.


Game Story

HOUSTON (Ticker) -- A lot of people have talked about LeBron James as an MVP candidate, but it is Tracy McGrady that has his team playing its best down the stretch. McGrady collected 31 points and five assists to lead the Houston Rockets to a 99-80 victory over the slumping Cleveland Cavaliers. The Rockets (41-27) have won nine of their last 12 games and trail Sacramento by just one-half game for fifth place in the Western Conference playoff race. McGrady scored 34 points against the Cavaliers in a victory at Cleveland in late December. James was injured early in that game after running into an elbow from Dikembe Mutombo. "I want to beat him, he wants to beat me," McGrady said. "I could see the frustration on his face (tonight). I had a talk with him after the game. I told him, 'Don't get frustrated and lead your team into the playoffs.'" Houston coach Jeff Van Gundy didn't agree with his star. "I've never seen LeBron frustrated," he said. "Everyone has nights like that. He had a 3-for-20 game and (the) next night he went for 56 (points). I don't know who's next (for Cleveland), but I wouldn't want to be in the way of that train." Houston took control of the game in the second quarter when McGrady scored eight points in a 15-2 burst that opened a 48-39 halftime lead. The All-Star swingman made all nine of his free throws. "The past five or six games, my shooting has been horrific," McGrady said. "In order to break out of a funk like that, you've got to get to the free-throw line. Be aggressive and go to the basket." McGrady also was a presence on the defensive end as he helped limit James to 19 points on 7-of-22 shooting. "I've been happy with the way Tracy's played defense through the year," Van Gundy said. "(McGrady) steps up to the challenge," Rockets guard Jon Barry said. "I thought he did a fabulous job on (James). As good as he was on offense, I thought he was better on defense." James acknowledged McGrady's effort. "He's a good defender and he gets a hand up in my face," James said. "It's really a lot of fun playing against him." Losers of their last 10 road games, the Cavaliers got as close as 73-65 on a thunderous dunk by Robert Traylor over 7-6 center Yao Ming with 9:45 remaining. Reserve Mike James, who scored 13 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter, started a 12-0 burst with a 3-pointer and layup. McGrady ended it with a pair of layups. "All of a sudden, we got in a rhythm," Mike James said. "We got stops on one end and fastbreaks on the other. I wanted to be more aggressive on offense." The Cavaliers, who have lost 10 of their last 14, dropped into a fifth-place tie with Chicago in the Eastern Conference. "It's very frustrating." LeBron James said. "It's really crazy we are where we are right now and we haven't been able to win on the road." "Part of it is mental," said Cleveland center Zydrunas Ilgauskas, who scored 16 points. "At home, we play with a lot more intensity. On the road, we either turn the ball over too much or shoot poorly."


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