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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- HOUSTON 22 24 27 23 96 BOSTON 28 28 17 34 107 FINAL


HOUSTON (96) AT BOSTON (107)

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

BARKLEY F 37 4-10 8-10 4 12 16 4 2 0 0 17 ELIE F 26 2-4 2-4 0 3 3 3 3 2 3 6 WILLIS C 32 7-14 7-8 5 2 7 2 2 0 2 21 RHODES G 35 2-5 2-2 0 2 2 4 3 2 2 6 DREXLER G 40 7-16 4-6 4 1 5 5 4 3 8 18 PRICE 21 1-1 0-0 0 3 3 0 1 0 3 3 HARRINGTON 18 5-5 0-0 1 5 6 1 3 0 6 10 JOHNSON 25 4-12 3-5 0 0 0 2 4 0 1 13 DAVIS 6 1-2 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 JONES DNP - COACH'S DECISION BULLARD DNP - FLU MALONEY DNP - STRAINED NECK

TOTALS 240 33-69 26-35 14 28 42 21 22 7 25 96 (.478) (.743) TEAM REBS: 10 TOTAL TO: 26(29 PTS)

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

MCCARTY F 28 1-6 0-0 0 0 0 4 3 2 1 2 WALKER F 43 10-21 3-4 8 6 14 10 0 1 5 27 DECLERCQ C 11 2-2 0-0 1 2 3 1 3 1 0 4 BILLUPS G 11 2-5 0-0 0 1 1 2 5 0 0 5 MERCER G 31 3-12 1-2 1 2 3 2 2 1 3 7 BROWN 21 3-8 0-0 1 1 2 1 2 3 2 7 BOWEN 21 4-5 0-0 2 3 5 1 1 0 1 10 BARROS 33 8-18 4-5 0 4 4 8 4 4 0 23 KNIGHT 24 8-9 5-6 2 2 4 2 4 1 2 21 THOMAS 12 0-1 0-0 1 1 2 0 3 1 1 0 MINOR 5 0-2 1-2 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 EDNEY DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 41-89 14-19 16 22 38 31 28 14 15 107 (.461) (.737) TEAM REBS: 8 TOTAL TO: 16(19 PTS)

HOUSTON 22 24 27 23 - 96 BOSTON 28 28 17 34 - 107

BLOCKED SHOTS: HOUSTON - NONE. BOSTON - MCCARTY, WALKER, MERCER, KNIGHT. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: HOUSTON 4-14 (.286), BARKLEY 1-2, ELIE 0-1, DREXLER 0-3, PRICE 1-1, JOHNSON 2-6, DAVIS 0-1. BOSTON 11-27 (.407), MCCARTY 0-2, WALKER 4-7, BILLUPS 1-3, MERCER 0-3, BROWN 1-3, BOWEN 2-2, BARROS 3-7. TECHNICALS: HOUSTON - BAR. OFFICIALS: BOB DELANEY, RON OLESIAK, MARK WUNDERLICH. A - 18,624. T - 2:16.


HOUSTON (96) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Barkley 37 4-10 8-10 4-16 4 2 17 Elie 26 2-4 2-4 0-3 3 3 6 Willis 32 7-14 7-8 5-7 2 2 21 Rhodes 35 2-5 2-2 0-2 4 3 6 Drexler 40 7-16 4-6 4-5 5 4 18 Price 21 1-1 0-0 0-3 0 1 3 Harrington 18 5-5 0-0 1-6 1 3 10 Johnson 25 4-12 3-5 0-0 2 4 13 Davis 6 1-2 0-0 0-0 0 0 2 Jones DNP - coach's decision Bullard DNP - flu Maloney DNP - strained neck _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 33-69 26-35 14-42 21 22 96 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.478, FT-.743. 3-Point Goals: 4-14, .286 (Barkley 1-2, Elie 0-1, Drexler 0-3, Price 1-1, Johnson 2-6, Davis 0-1). Team rebounds: 10. Blocked shots: None. Turnovers: 26 (Drexler 8, Harrington 6, Elie 3, Price 3, Rhodes 2, Willis 2, Johnson). Steals: 7 (Drexler 3, Elie 2, Rhodes 2).

BOSTON (107) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Mccarty 28 1-6 0-0 0-0 4 3 2 Walker 43 10-21 3-4 8-14 10 0 27 Declercq 11 2-2 0-0 1-3 1 3 4 Billups 11 2-5 0-0 0-1 2 5 5 Mercer 31 3-12 1-2 1-3 2 2 7 Brown 21 3-8 0-0 1-2 1 2 7 Bowen 21 4-5 0-0 2-5 1 1 10 Barros 33 8-18 4-5 0-4 8 4 23 Knight 24 8-9 5-6 2-4 2 4 21 Thomas 12 0-1 0-0 1-2 0 3 0 Minor 5 0-2 1-2 0-0 0 1 1 Edney DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 41-89 14-19 16-38 31 28 107 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.461, FT-.737. 3-Point Goals: 11-27, .407 (Mccarty 0-2, Walker 4-7, Billups 1-3, Mercer 0-3, Brown 1-3, Bowen 2-2, Barros 3-7). Team rebounds: 8. Blocked shots: 4 (Mccarty, Walker, Mercer, Knight). Turnovers: 16 (Walker 5, Mercer 3, Brown 2, Knight 2, Bowen, Mccarty, Thomas). Steals: 14 (Barros 4, Brown 3, Mccarty 2, Declercq, Knight, Mercer, Thomas, Walker). ____________________________________________ Houston 22 24 27 23 - 96 Boston 28 28 17 34 - 107 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: Houston 1 (Bar, 3:32 1st). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 18,624. T: 2:16. Officials: Bob Delaney, Ron Olesiak, Mark Wunderlich.


GAME RECAP

All-Star Antoine Walker recorded his third career triple-double with 27 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists to lift the Boston Celtics to a 107-96 victory over the Houston Rockets, who were denied in their bid to climb back to .500.

The Celtics' bench outscored the Rockets' reserves, 62-28. Dana Barros contributed 23 points and eight rebounds off the bench for Boston, while Travis Knight matched a career high with 21 points. The Celtics also forced 26 turnovers.

"I'm not really thinking about the numbers," said Walker, who was 10-of-21 from the field, including 4-of-7 from three-point range. "I'm just trying to make my shots out there. Sometimes they're tough shots, sometimes they're easy."

Celtics coach Rick Pitino thought Walker's performance was spectacular but found room for improvement.

"Antoine obviously had a great game, statistically, but I wasn't really happy with his five turnovers," Pitino said. "I remember when (former Celtics coach) Bill Fitch would (complain) about those five turnovers after (Larry) Bird had 33 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists. I guess I'm going for perfection there. But all in all, he was spectacular."

Rookie Chauncey Billups' driving layup started a 6-0 run that staked the Celtics to a 62-46 lead with 10:06 remaining in the third quarter. But Charles Barkley's foul shot ignited a 21-5 run for the Rockets, who tied the game at 67-67 on a layup by rookie Rodrick Rhodes with 3:10 left in the period.

With the Celtics trailing 81-80, rookie Ron Mercer's layup started a 10-0 run. Knight's layup gave the Celtics a 90-81 lead with 6:35 left and Houston got no closer than four points down the stretch.

"Two reasons why we lost the game tonight -- 26 turnovers and their bench," Barkley said. "When you have two guys combined averaging 14 points a game and they score 40 on you, you're probably not going to win."

Kevin Willis scored 21 points for the Rockets, who had their four-game winning streak in Boston snapped and fell to 14-3 against sub-.500 teams. Clyde Drexler scored 18 points and Barkley added 17 and 16 rebounds, but Houston fell to 21-23 and has not been at .500 since January 19th.

After Willis' jump hook pulled the Rockets within 92-88 with 4:42 left, Barros hit a jumper and Bruce Bowen made a layup to give the Celtics a 96-88 advantage with 3:44 remaining.

"I thought as a team we played great tonight," Walker said. "It's not just me out there. It's guys like Travis and Dana, who make a big contribution off the bench."

Walker reached his milestone when he passed to Barros for a three-pointer that completed the scoring with 1:08 remaining.

"I had an idea that I was close to it," said Walker, whose assist total was a season high. "The equipment manager told me I was one assist shy and then Dana hit that last three for me and that did it."

Walker was named to the All-Star team for the first time in his career earlier this week and has celebrated by making the game-winning shot against Washington on Tuesday and scoring 38 points against Charlotte on Thursday.

"Antoine hasn't met too many shots he hasn't taken," Barkley said. "He likes to shoot the ball but he's a tremendous talent. We know he's their number-one guy. He just had a great all-around game."

"The thing about Antoine is he makes his difficult shots," said Pitino. "He makes those shots late in the fourth quarter. Even when he doesn't start out well, he comes up big in the fourth quarter. That's what I like about his game."

Boston posted its first home victory against the Rockets since December 23rd, 1992.

The Celtics, who went 3-1 on their homestand, play nine of their next 10 on the road. After hosting the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday, Boston embarks on a rugged eight-game road swing against Western Conference opponents.

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