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NBA   FINAL            1ST  2ND  3RD  4TH   TOTAL
                       ---  ---  ---  ---   -----
      LA CLIPPERS      31   18   26   15    90   
      HOUSTON          40   30   22   23    115     FINAL

HIGH SCORERS:   LAC - ELTON BRAND 36, MIKKI MOORE 14, SHAUN 
                      LIVINGSTON 10
                HOU - YAO MING 24, TRACY MCGRADY 16, TWO 
                      PLAYERS WITH 15

HIGH REBOUND:   LAC - ELTON BRAND 6, QUINTON ROSS 6, MIKKI 
                      MOORE 5
                HOU - SCOTT PADGETT 9, YAO MING 7, TWO PLAYERS
                      WITH 5

HIGH ASSISTS:   LAC - SHAUN LIVINGSTON 7, MARKO JARIC 5, MIKKI
                      MOORE 3
                HOU - TRACY MCGRADY 10, BOB SURA 6, DAVID 
                      WESLEY 5

         ATT:   16,582

Box Score

LA CLIPPERS (90) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp E Brand 38 15-19 6-9 1-6 2 5 36 B Simmons 22 3-10 3-4 0-1 1 3 9 M Moore 34 3-6 8-8 3-5 3 3 14 M Jaric 39 3-7 0-0 1-2 5 2 7 S Livingston 35 5-10 0-0 0-3 7 0 10 Q Ross 31 2-5 2-2 1-6 2 2 6 M N'diaye 9 2-4 0-0 1-3 0 2 4 R Brunson 9 0-4 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 C Wilcox 13 2-4 0-2 0-2 0 3 4 L Chalmers 10 0-4 0-0 0-0 1 0 0 Z Rebraca DNP - SPRAINED LEFT ANKLE C Kaman DNP - COACH'S DECISION _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 35-73 19-25 7-28 21 20 90 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.479, FT-.760. 3-Point Goals: 1-6, .167 (B Simmons 0-1, M Jaric 1-2, L Chalmers 0-3). Team Rebounds: 7. Blocked Shots:3 (E Brand, M Moore, Q Ross). Turnovers:11 (B Simmons 4, M Jaric 4, S Livingston 2, R Brunson). Steals: 9 (B Simmons 3, C Wilcox 2, S Livingston 2, M Moore, Q Ross). HOUSTON (115) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp T McGrady 35 5-14 5-7 1-5 10 3 16 C Weatherspoon 22 2-4 0-0 2-4 2 3 4 Y Ming 28 10-14 4-4 3-7 0 5 24 B Sura 24 6-13 0-0 0-2 6 1 15 D Wesley 33 4-9 3-3 0-2 5 3 13 D Mutombo 16 2-2 5-5 3-5 0 2 9 S Padgett 26 5-7 0-0 1-9 1 3 15 M James 24 3-8 4-4 0-0 1 0 11 J Barry 21 2-3 0-0 0-2 3 0 5 R Bowen 5 1-1 1-1 0-2 0 0 3 M Norris 3 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 T Braggs 3 0-0 0-0 0-1 0 1 0 _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 40-76 22-24 10-39 28 21 115 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.526, FT-.917. 3-Point Goals: 13-26, .500 (T McGrady 1-5, B Sura 3-5, D Wesley 2-6, S Padgett 5-6, M James 1-2, J Barry 1-2). Team Rebounds: 8. Blocked Shots:3 (Y Ming 2, C Weatherspoon). Turnovers:14 (T McGrady 5, Y Ming 3, D Wesley 2, C Weatherspoon, T Braggs, B Sura, J Barry). Steals: 7 (S Padgett 3, D Wesley, D Mutombo, R Bowen, T McGrady). ------------------------------------------- LA CLIPPERS 31 18 26 15 - 90 HOUSTON 40 30 22 23 - 115 ------------------------------------------- Technical fouls: La Clippers - 3 (Defensive Three, 0:57 1st; B Simmons, 8:20 3rd; COACH Dunleavy, 9:49 4th). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 16,582. T: 2:09. Officials: Bernie Fryer, Derrick Stafford, Ed Malloy.


Extended Box

LA CLIPPERS (90) AT HOUSTON (115) LA CLIPPERS REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === E BRAND F 38 15-19 6-9 1 5 6 2 5 0 0 36 B SIMMONS F 22 3-10 3-4 0 1 1 1 3 3 4 9 M MOORE C 34 3-6 8-8 3 2 5 3 3 1 0 14 M JARIC G 39 3-7 0-0 1 1 2 5 2 0 4 7 S LIVINGSTON G 35 5-10 0-0 0 3 3 7 0 2 2 10 Q ROSS 31 2-5 2-2 1 5 6 2 2 1 0 6 M N'DIAYE 9 2-4 0-0 1 2 3 0 2 0 0 4 R BRUNSON 9 0-4 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 C WILCOX 13 2-4 0-2 0 2 2 0 3 2 0 4 L CHALMERS 10 0-4 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 Z REBRACA DNP - SPRAINED LEFT ANKLE C KAMAN DNP - COACH'S DECISION TOTALS 240 35-73 19-25 7 21 28 21 20 9 11 90 (.479) (.760) TEAM REBS: 7 TOTAL TO: 11 (10 PTS) HOUSTON REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === T MCGRADY F 35 5-14 5-7 1 4 5 10 3 1 5 16 C WEATHERSPOON F 22 2-4 0-0 2 2 4 2 3 0 1 4 Y MING C 28 10-14 4-4 3 4 7 0 5 0 3 24 B SURA G 24 6-13 0-0 0 2 2 6 1 0 1 15 D WESLEY G 33 4-9 3-3 0 2 2 5 3 1 2 13 D MUTOMBO 16 2-2 5-5 3 2 5 0 2 1 0 9 S PADGETT 26 5-7 0-0 1 8 9 1 3 3 0 15 M JAMES 24 3-8 4-4 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 11 J BARRY 21 2-3 0-0 0 2 2 3 0 0 1 5 R BOWEN 5 1-1 1-1 0 2 2 0 0 1 0 3 M NORRIS 3 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 T BRAGGS 3 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 TOTALS 240 40-76 22-24 10 29 39 28 21 7 14 115 (.526) (.917) TEAM REBS: 8 TOTAL TO: 15 (15 PTS) LA CLIPPERS 31 18 26 15 - 90 HOUSTON 40 30 22 23 - 115 BLOCKED SHOTS: LA CLIPPERS - E BRAND, M MOORE, Q ROSS. HOUSTON - Y MING 2, C WEATHERSPOON. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: LA CLIPPERS 1-6 (.167), B SIMMONS 0-1, M JARIC 1- 2, L CHALMERS 0-3. HOUSTON 13-26 (.500), T MCGRADY 1-5, B SURA 3-5, D WESLEY 2-6, S PADGETT 5-6, M JAMES 1-2, J BARRY 1-2. TECHNICAL FOULS: LA CLIPPERS - DEFENSIVE THREE, B SIMMONS, COACH DUNLEAVY. FLAGRANT FOULS: NONE. OFFICIALS: BERNIE FRYER, DERRICK STAFFORD, ED MALLOY. A - 16,582. T - 2:09.


Game Story

HOUSTON (Ticker) -- Yao Ming's efficient shooting and Tracy McGrady's double-double moved the Houston Rockets into an intrastate showdown in the playoffs. Yao scored 24 points on 10-of-14 shooting and McGrady collected 16 points and 10 assists to lead the Rockets to a 115-90 triumph over the lottery-bound Los Angeles Clippers. Combined with Sacramento's (49-32) loss at Utah, Houston (50-31) clinched the fifth seed in the Western Conference playoff race and a meeting with fourth-seeded Dallas. "I felt all right, but we've still got to improve," said McGrady, who was just 5-of-14 from the floor. "The playoffs are definitely going to be a different ballgame and there are still a lot of ways we can get better." David Wesley scored 11 of his 15 points in the first quarter and Yao added 10 as the Rockets rolled to a 40-31 lead after 12 minutes. They closed the half with a 24-14 burst to take a 70-49 cushion into the break. It was the Rockets' highest point total in a half this season. "We shot the ball great tonight, but I think we were terrific at passing the ball," Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy said. "McGrady set the tone with his passing and David Wesley had a great first half. When Tracy does what he did tonight, it's a huge boost spacing the floor to give our other players room to operate." Elton Brand scored a season-high 36 points for the Clippers, who went on an 8-0 surge to open the second half. But Bob Sura connected on a pair of 3-pointers around a free throw by Wesley and the Rockets cruised the rest of the way. "We were a little shorthanded and I wanted to come out and give my best effort," said Brand, who made 15-of-19 shots. "My shots were just coming to me and I got in position to get good looks." Scott Padgett came off the bench to score 15 points on 5-of-6 shooting from the arc in 26 minutes. "I got a lot of great passes from my teammates setting me up on the pick-and-roll," said Padgett, who also grabbed nine rebounds. "I'm just glad I was able to make some of them. Overall, I think we have a nice rhythm going right now, and we were able to spread it out with Yao shooting so well and Tracy passing to the open man." "We were contesting their shots, but they still knocked them down," Brand said. "Those boys were hot. They were shooting better than us all night and they hit some big threes." Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said the Rockets, who reached the 50-win plateau for the first time since the 1996-97 season, were too much for his undermanned Clippers. "We ran into a team that was very hot and shot the ball very well," he said. "They were very efficient on their offensive rebounding and Yao just kept getting too deep on us, and he'll score on anybody in that position. It was a tough loss for us."


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