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NBA   FINAL            1ST  2ND  3RD  4TH   TOTAL
                       ---  ---  ---  ---   -----
      HOUSTON          33   27   28   26    114  
      LA LAKERS        26   25   25   24    100     FINAL

HIGH SCORERS:   HOU - TRACY MCGRADY 27, YAO MING 21, SCOTT 
                      PADGETT 16
                LAL - CARON BUTLER 24, KOBE BRYANT 19, CHUCKY 
                      ATKINS 15

HIGH REBOUND:   HOU - DIKEMBE MUTOMBO 11, YAO MING 7, TWO 
                      PLAYERS WITH 6
                LAL - CARON BUTLER 12, KOBE BRYANT 10, DEVEAN 
                      GEORGE 5

HIGH ASSISTS:   HOU - TRACY MCGRADY 7, DAVID WESLEY 5, BOB 
                      SURA 5
                LAL - KOBE BRYANT 10, TIERRE BROWN 3, THREE 
                      PLAYERS WITH 2

         ATT:   18,212

Box Score

HOUSTON (114) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp T McGrady 42 11-27 3-4 0-4 7 2 27 C Weatherspoon 13 1-3 2-2 3-6 0 3 4 Y Ming 32 7-12 7-9 2-7 1 2 21 B Sura 23 5-9 0-0 1-4 5 2 11 D Wesley 44 4-10 2-2 0-3 5 4 13 S Padgett 30 7-12 0-0 1-6 2 3 16 R Bowen 16 1-2 0-0 0-3 0 1 2 M James 25 5-10 1-1 0-2 3 4 13 D Mutombo 15 3-5 1-2 7-11 1 2 7 J Barry DNP - COACH'S DECISION V Baker DNP - COACH'S DECISION T Braggs DNP - COACH'S DECISION _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 44-90 16-20 14-46 24 23 114 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.489, FT-.800. 3-Point Goals: 10-21, .476 (T McGrady 2-3, B Sura 1-2, D Wesley 3-7, S Padgett 2-5, M James 2-4). Team Rebounds: 10. Blocked Shots:7 (Y Ming 4, D Wesley, D Mutombo, T McGrady). Turnovers:10 (D Wesley 2, M James 2, C Weatherspoon, B Sura, Y Ming, D Mutombo, T McGrady, S Padgett). Steals: 6 (M James 3, D Wesley 2, R Bowen). LA LAKERS (100) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp C Butler 41 8-18 7-9 6-12 2 4 24 D George 21 2-9 2-2 0-5 0 1 7 B Grant 20 4-6 0-0 1-2 0 3 8 K Bryant 42 4-19 9-10 2-10 10 2 19 C Atkins 33 5-10 3-3 1-4 1 0 15 V Divac 17 1-2 3-4 3-3 2 5 5 J Jones 28 3-9 0-0 0-2 0 1 9 L Walton 7 0-1 0-0 1-1 0 0 0 T Brown 11 2-3 0-0 0-1 3 1 5 S Medvedenko 10 3-5 0-0 1-2 1 2 6 B Cook 3 0-2 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 S Vujacic 7 1-3 0-0 1-2 2 0 2 _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 33-87 24-28 16-44 21 19 100 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.379, FT-.857. 3-Point Goals: 10-29, .345 (C Butler 1-2, D George 1-5, K Bryant 2-6, C Atkins 2-5, J Jones 3-6, T Brown 1-2, B Cook 0-1, S Vujacic 0-2). Team Rebounds: 8. Blocked Shots:3 (J Jones 2, D George). Turnovers:10 (V Divac 2, T Brown 2, C Butler 2, B Grant, S Vujacic, K Bryant, C Atkins). Steals: 6 (B Grant 2, V Divac, K Bryant, J Jones, C Butler). -------------------------------------------- HOUSTON 33 27 28 26 - 114 LA LAKERS 26 25 25 24 - 100 -------------------------------------------- Technical fouls: La Lakers - 2 (COACH Hamblen, 10:07 3rd; Defensive Three, 10:45 3rd). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 18,212. T: 2:26. Officials: Bennett Salvatore, Marc Davis, Robby Robinson.


Extended Box

HOUSTON (114) AT LA LAKERS (100) HOUSTON REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === T MCGRADY F 42 11-27 3-4 0 4 4 7 2 0 1 27 C WEATHERSPOON F 13 1-3 2-2 3 3 6 0 3 0 1 4 Y MING C 32 7-12 7-9 2 5 7 1 2 0 1 21 B SURA G 23 5-9 0-0 1 3 4 5 2 0 1 11 D WESLEY G 44 4-10 2-2 0 3 3 5 4 2 2 13 S PADGETT 30 7-12 0-0 1 5 6 2 3 0 1 16 R BOWEN 16 1-2 0-0 0 3 3 0 1 1 0 2 M JAMES 25 5-10 1-1 0 2 2 3 4 3 2 13 D MUTOMBO 15 3-5 1-2 7 4 11 1 2 0 1 7 J BARRY DNP - COACH'S DECISION V BAKER DNP - COACH'S DECISION T BRAGGS DNP - COACH'S DECISION TOTALS 240 44-90 16-20 14 32 46 24 23 6 10 114 (.489) (.800) TEAM REBS: 10 TOTAL TO: 10 (6 PTS) LA LAKERS REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === C BUTLER F 41 8-18 7-9 6 6 12 2 4 1 2 24 D GEORGE F 21 2-9 2-2 0 5 5 0 1 0 0 7 B GRANT C 20 4-6 0-0 1 1 2 0 3 2 1 8 K BRYANT G 42 4-19 9-10 2 8 10 10 2 1 1 19 C ATKINS G 33 5-10 3-3 1 3 4 1 0 0 1 15 V DIVAC 17 1-2 3-4 3 0 3 2 5 1 2 5 J JONES 28 3-9 0-0 0 2 2 0 1 1 0 9 L WALTON 7 0-1 0-0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 T BROWN 11 2-3 0-0 0 1 1 3 1 0 2 5 S MEDVEDENKO 10 3-5 0-0 1 1 2 1 2 0 0 6 B COOK 3 0-2 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 S VUJACIC 7 1-3 0-0 1 1 2 2 0 0 1 2 TOTALS 240 33-87 24-28 16 28 44 21 19 6 10 100 (.379) (.857) TEAM REBS: 8 TOTAL TO: 10 (11 PTS) HOUSTON 33 27 28 26 - 114 LA LAKERS 26 25 25 24 - 100 BLOCKED SHOTS: HOUSTON - Y MING 4, D WESLEY, D MUTOMBO, T MCGRADY. LA LAKERS - J JONES 2, D GEORGE. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: HOUSTON 10-21 (.476), T MCGRADY 2-3, B SURA 1-2, D WESLEY 3-7, S PADGETT 2-5, M JAMES 2-4. LA LAKERS 10-29 (.345), C BUTLER 1-2, D GEORGE 1-5, K BRYANT 2-6, C ATKINS 2-5, J JONES 3- 6, T BROWN 1-2, B COOK 0-1, S VUJACIC 0-2. TECHNICAL FOULS: LA LAKERS - COACH HAMBLEN, DEFENSIVE THREE. FLAGRANT FOULS: NONE. OFFICIALS: BENNETT SALVATORE, MARC DAVIS, ROBBY ROBINSON. A - 18,212. T - 2:26.


Game Story

LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- With his team needing a late run to pin down a critical road win, Tracy McGrady kicked it off in a way only few can. McGrady scored 27 points and buried a big 3-pointer in the closing minutes as the Houston Rockets pulled away for a 114-100 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers. The win snapped the Rockets' three-game slide and pulled them within one game of the fifth-place Sacramento Kings in the Western Conference standings. Houston (45-31) is one game ahead of the surging Denver Nuggets with six games to play. "We needed to win and we did some good things," Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy said. "We hit some big shots, shot the ball a little bit better. We're not in great shape. Hopefully we can hang in there and be mentally strong and try to carve out a few more wins." The Rockets saw their 15-point lead reduced to 101-92 with just over five minutes left, but for the second time in the game, McGrady scored as the shot clock expired, this time nailing a 3-pointer with Caron Butler in his face for a 104-92 advantage. The shot triggered a 12-4 run that put away the game, sending the reeling Lakers to their 13th loss in 14 games. David Wesley capped the burst with a 3-pointer for a 113-96 lead, Houston's largest. It also finished the Rockets' 10-of-21 (48 percent) effort from the arc. Houston's sharp shooting gave the club an average of 115.5 points over its last two games after scoring a total of 151 over its first two this month. The up-and-down nature of the club's play is something it has struggled with with a host of new players. "As far as adjustment, it's always a change when you come in with a new group of guys," McGrady said. "We've got a whole bunch of new faces here, playing together for the first time. You've got to expect your ups and downs with that." The Rockets were more up than down against the Lakers and improved to 1-1 on an important four-game road trip. Following the trip, Houston plays its final four games at home. "You don't know what tomorrow brings," Van Gundy said. "Hopefully, we'll have a good day tomorrow and try to improve it a little bit and then we go from there." Yao Ming scored 21 points and Scott Padgett led a strong effort by the Rockets' bench with 16, making one of his club's four 3-pointers in the fourth. Los Angeles was outscored in all four quarters and never led after the midway point of the first. Kobe Bryant finished with 19 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for his fifth triple-double this season but had just two baskets after the first quarter and shot 4-of-19. "We played hard every possession," said Bryant, who missed his previous game with a shin injury. "We just had a couple miscues down the stretch in our execution defensively and it cost us. We just make a couple errors and gave them open looks. We are a young team and we are struggling." During their swoon, the Lakers' defense has been non-existent at times, allowing at least 100 points in 11 of their last 13 games. "We give up way too many points almost every night and that means that you're not going anywhere," Los Angeles interim coach Frank Hamblen said. "If you don't defend, you're not going anywhere in this league." Caron Butler scored 24 points and pulled down a season-high 12 rebounds for the Lakers. "He's been the bright spot in all of this," Hamblen said.


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