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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- ORLANDO 33 27 18 17 95 HOUSTON 25 25 16 22 88 FINAL


ORLANDO (95) AT HOUSTON (88)

ORLANDO REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == ===

OUTLAW F 33 5-5 0-2 2 4 6 2 1 1 0 10 GRANT F 41 5-11 1-2 6 9 15 1 3 2 1 11 SCHAYES C 25 2-4 5-6 2 4 6 1 5 0 3 9 ANDERSON G 31 6-17 2-4 4 3 7 0 1 1 1 15 ARMSTRONG G 29 7-18 2-2 2 7 9 8 2 0 2 17 STRONG 28 4-8 4-6 1 2 3 1 1 1 1 12 A HARDAWAY 31 1-8 9-10 1 3 4 5 4 2 2 11 PRICE 18 4-12 1-1 1 0 1 4 1 1 4 10 EVANS 4 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 D HARPER DNP - COACH'S DECISION SEIKALY DNP - SPRAINED LEFT ANKLE WILKINS DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 34-84 24-33 19 32 51 22 19 8 14 95 (.405) (.727) TEAM REBS: 16 TOTAL TO: 14(10 PTS)

HOUSTON REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == ===

RHODES F 26 1-5 2-2 1 0 1 5 1 5 2 4 BARKLEY F 29 2-10 2-2 0 6 6 1 4 1 1 6 WILLIS C 37 5-18 2-2 5 6 11 2 3 1 2 12 DREXLER G 31 5-13 3-6 2 6 8 3 3 0 3 14 MALONEY G 24 5-8 0-0 0 1 1 3 0 0 3 12 BULLARD 30 8-14 0-0 0 0 0 0 3 0 2 20 HARRINGTON 29 5-6 1-3 2 3 5 0 5 1 0 11 ELIE 18 1-5 1-1 0 0 0 2 2 0 1 3 PRICE 16 2-3 1-2 0 1 1 3 3 1 0 6 DAVIS DNP - COACH'S DECISION JOHNSON DNP - COACH'S DECISION JONES DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 34-82 12-18 10 23 33 19 24 9 14 88 (.415) (.667) TEAM REBS: 13 TOTAL TO: 14(10 PTS)

ORLANDO 33 27 18 17 - 95 HOUSTON 25 25 16 22 - 88

BLOCKED SHOTS: ORLANDO - OUTLAW 2, GRANT 2, A HARDAWAY 2, SCHAYES, ARMSTRONG. HOUSTON - RHODES, WILLIS, HARRINGTON. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: ORLANDO 3-11 (.273), ANDERSON 1-4, ARMSTRONG 1-1, A HARDAWAY 0-2, PRICE 1-4. HOUSTON 8-18 (.444), WILLIS 0-1, DREXLER 1-4, MALONEY 2-3, BULLARD 4-6, ELIE 0-3, PRICE 1-1. TECHNICALS: ORLANDO - STRONG, HOUSTON - BARKLEY. OFFICIALS: RONNIE NUNN, DAVID JONES, GARY BENSON. A - 16,285. T - 2:14.


ORLANDO (95) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Outlaw 33 5-5 0-2 2-6 2 1 10 Grant 41 5-11 1-2 6-15 1 3 11 Schayes 25 2-4 5-6 2-6 1 5 9 Anderson 31 6-17 2-4 4-7 0 1 15 Armstrong 29 7-18 2-2 2-9 8 2 17 Strong 28 4-8 4-6 1-3 1 1 12 A Hardaway 31 1-8 9-10 1-4 5 4 11 Price 18 4-12 1-1 1-1 4 1 10 Evans 4 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 1 0 D Harper DNP - coach's decision Seikaly DNP - sprained left ankle Wilkins DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 34-84 24-33 19-51 22 19 95 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.405, FT-.727. 3-Point Goals: 3-11, .273 (Anderson 1-4, Armstrong 1-1, A Hardaway 0-2, Price 1-4). Team rebounds: 16. Blocked shots: 8 (Outlaw 2, Grant 2, A Hardaway 2, Schayes, Armstrong). Turnovers: 14 (Price 4, Schayes 3, A Hardaway 2, Armstrong 2, Anderson, Grant, Strong). Steals: 8 (A Hardaway 2, Grant 2, Anderson, Outlaw, Price, Strong).

HOUSTON (88) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Rhodes 26 1-5 2-2 1-1 5 1 4 Barkley 29 2-10 2-2 0-6 1 4 6 Willis 37 5-18 2-2 5-11 2 3 12 Drexler 31 5-13 3-6 2-8 3 3 14 Maloney 24 5-8 0-0 0-1 3 0 12 Bullard 30 8-14 0-0 0-0 0 3 20 Harrington 29 5-6 1-3 2-5 0 5 11 Elie 18 1-5 1-1 0-0 2 2 3 Price 16 2-3 1-2 0-1 3 3 6 Davis DNP - coach's decision Johnson DNP - coach's decision Jones DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 34-82 12-18 10-33 19 24 88 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.415, FT-.667. 3-Point Goals: 8-18, .444 (Willis 0-1, Drexler 1-4, Maloney 2-3, Bullard 4-6, Elie 0-3, Price 1-1). Team rebounds: 13. Blocked shots: 3 (Rhodes, Willis, Harrington). Turnovers: 14 (Drexler 3, Maloney 3, Bullard 2, Rhodes 2, Willis 2, Barkley, Elie). Steals: 9 (Rhodes 5, Barkley, Harrington, Price, Willis). ____________________________________________ Orlando 33 27 18 17 - 95 Houston 25 25 16 22 - 88 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: Orlando 1 (Strong, 9:34 4th). Houston 1 (Barkley, 5:45 2nd). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 16,285. T: 2:14. Officials: Ronnie Nunn, David Jones, Gary Benson.


GAME RECAP

Darrell Armstrong had 17 points, nine rebounds and eight assists to atone for an ineffective return by All-Star Penny Hardaway as the Orlando Magic halted their longest losing streak in nearly six years with a 95-88 victory over the Houston Rockets.

The Magic had gone just 8-18 since Hardaway underwent knee surgery in early December. He came into the game with 1:40 left in the opening quarter and played 31 minutes. Hardaway made just 1-of-8 shots from the field, but did hit 9-of-10 from the line and finished with 11 points, five assists and four rebounds.

"It felt great. The knee felt fine and I had no pain," Hardaway said. "My strength was 100 percent, but my game was only around 60 percent. I just wanted to give a boost to the team."

"I think the key for us tonight was having Penny back and having a lot of confidence," Magic forward Horace Grant said. "Just having him back and gathering around him gave us a real boost. Whenever you get your leader back, it gives you more energy."

Orlando nearly blew a 17-point third-quarter lead as Houston rallied with a 15-3 run late in the final period. Mario Elie fed Charles Barkley for a dunk to pull the Rockets within 86-85 with 2:27 to play.

But the Magic made 9-of-10 free throws in the final 98 seconds, during which Armstrong had a key rebound and two foul shots to help snap Orlando's seven-game losing streak. That had been the Magic's longest skid since February 28th-March 10th, 1992.

"He's such an unheralded player," Magic coach Chuck Daly said of Armstrong. "He does so many things well. He shoots the ball, he scrambles around and he stays very active."

Grant had 11 points and tied a season high with 15 rebounds for the Magic. He also helped hold Barkley to just six boards and six points on 2-of-10 shooting.

Matt Bullard tied a season high with 20 points for Houston, which has lost its last seven games against the Magic and four straight at home.

Bullard had a basket and Rodrick Rhodes sank two free throws to open the fourth quarter, trimming Houston's deficit to 78-70. Rhodes made one of his five steals on the other end, but veterans Kevin Willis and Clyde Drexler both missed short jumpers and Orlando's Mark Price drained a three-pointer.

That seemed to start a trend of missed opportunities down the stretch for Houston, which has lost 10 of its last 13 games and held a lengthy player meeting following the loss.

"I think we cleared the air, but you have to take this life one game at a time," Barkley said. "I do the best that I can and wipe out the rest of the (expletive) you have to deal with. Right now we're struggling and the All-Star break can't get here soon enough because I think sometimes you just need a break."

With Orlando leading 83-71, Willis sank two free throws with 8:56 to play to spark Houston's 15-3 burst. A three-point play by Elie and a free throw by Othella Harrington pulled Houston within 84-79, but Armstrong ended the drought with a jumper.

Harrington came back with a layup and was fouled, but missed the free throw. Another steal by Rhodes led to a fast-break layup by Brent Price, Mark's brother, before Barkley's slam capped the run.

But the Rockets were unable to grab a key rebound down the stretch and never could take the lead.

"It was the same darn old story, no defense, no energy. I just think that effort has to be there," Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich said. "I don't see any signs of togetherness and confidence that we had before."

Grant pulled down the rebound off a three-point miss by teammate Nick Anderson before Hardaway was off with a jumper and Danny Schayes grabbed the rebound. Schayes was fouled and hit both free throws to give Orlando an 88-85 lead with 1:38 to go.

Barkley missed a baseline jumper and, after the ball was knocked out of bounds off Anderson, Bullard was well off the mark with his turnaround attempt. Grant missed a jumper on the other end but the loose ball was tipped to Armstrong, who tied a career high with his ninth rebound and sank two more foul shots with 48 seconds left.

Derek Strong hit all four of his free throws in the final 29 seconds to help preserve the victory for Orlando, which shot just 3-of-17 from the field in the final period but made 10-of-12 from the line.

Anderson scored 15 points and Strong added 12 as seven Magic players scored in double figures. Orlando owned a 51-33 advantage on the boards and blocked nine shots, compared to Houston's three.

Drexler had 14 points and eight rebounds and Willis added 12 and 11, but that duo combined to shoot just 10-of-31 from the field.

Matt Maloney also finished with 12 points for the Rockets but left the game in the third quarter when he ran into a pick set by Schayes and suffered a sprained neck. X-rays were negative and team physician Walter Lowe said the injury "will be one of those day-to-day things."

Orlando raced out to a 12-2 lead in the early going and never trailed. Anderson had six points in that spurt and Armstrong's eight-footer capped it with 7:50 left in the opening period. Bullard's layup pulled Houston within 61-56 early in the third quarter, but Anderson answered with a three-pointer to spark a 13-1 run.

"I thought our first half was one of the most disgraceful halves of the season," Tomjanovich said. "We had no fight in the first half, we were dull and flat."

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