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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- VANCOUVER 26 24 21 26 97 HOUSTON 35 22 27 26 110 FINAL


VANCOUVER (97) AT HOUSTON (110)

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

ABDUR-RAHIM F 34 10-18 9-11 1 1 2 0 1 1 2 30 THORPE F 35 3-8 8-8 1 5 6 5 3 1 1 14 REEVES C 27 3-5 0-0 4 4 8 2 5 1 3 6 MACK G 30 4-7 2-2 1 2 3 0 2 1 0 11 DANIELS G 29 5-17 0-2 1 4 5 3 1 0 1 10 MAYBERRY 19 3-5 2-2 1 1 2 7 1 2 1 8 MASSENBURG 12 1-4 0-0 0 1 1 1 5 0 1 2 LYNCH 17 6-12 1-2 2 4 6 0 0 1 0 13 B EDWARDS 17 1-4 1-1 1 0 1 2 1 1 0 3 CHILCUTT 20 0-2 0-0 0 2 2 1 1 0 0 0 NEWBILL DNP - COACH'S DECISION ROBINSON DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 36-82 23-28 12 24 36 21 20 8 9 97 (.439) (.821) TEAM REBS: 8 TOTAL TO: 10(11 PTS)

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

RHODES F 19 0-2 1-2 0 0 0 4 3 0 3 1 BARKLEY F 38 8-12 9-10 4 11 15 0 3 1 3 25 WILLIS C 31 9-13 2-4 3 7 10 1 2 0 2 20 DREXLER G 40 8-17 2-4 1 4 5 7 5 1 1 20 MALONEY G 35 5-12 2-2 1 1 2 7 4 0 2 16 ELIE 23 3-4 0-0 0 1 1 5 4 0 0 8 OLAJUWON 19 5-7 0-0 2 4 6 2 3 2 1 10 JOHNSON 21 2-7 1-2 0 4 4 4 0 0 1 6 HARRINGTON 7 2-2 0-0 1 1 2 0 2 0 2 4 PRICE 6 0-2 0-0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 JONES 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 BULLARD DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 42-78 17-24 12 33 45 30 27 4 15 110 (.538) (.708) TEAM REBS: 5 TOTAL TO: 15(15 PTS)

VANCOUVER 26 24 21 26 - 97 HOUSTON 35 22 27 26 - 110

BLOCKED SHOTS: VANCOUVER - LYNCH, CHILCUTT. HOUSTON - OLAJUWON, BARKLEY. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: VANCOUVER 2-6 (.333), ABDUR-RAHIM 1-1, MACK 1-3, MAYBERRY 0-1, CHILCUTT 0-1. HOUSTON 9-21 (.429), BARKLEY 0-1, DREXLER 2-4, MALONEY 4-8, ELIE 2-3, JOHNSON 1-3, PRICE 0-2. TECHNICALS: HOUSTON - HARRINGTON. OFFICIALS: DAN CRAWFORD, MONTY MCCUTCHEN, DEE KANTNER. A - 16,285. T - 2:08.


VANCOUVER (97) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Abdur-rahim 34 10-18 9-11 1-2 0 1 30 Thorpe 35 3-8 8-8 1-6 5 3 14 Reeves 27 3-5 0-0 4-8 2 5 6 Mack 30 4-7 2-2 1-3 0 2 11 Daniels 29 5-17 0-2 1-5 3 1 10 Mayberry 19 3-5 2-2 1-2 7 1 8 Massenburg 12 1-4 0-0 0-1 1 5 2 Lynch 17 6-12 1-2 2-6 0 0 13 B Edwards 17 1-4 1-1 1-1 2 1 3 Chilcutt 20 0-2 0-0 0-2 1 1 0 Newbill DNP - coach's decision Robinson DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 36-82 23-28 12-36 21 20 97 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.439, FT-.821. 3-Point Goals: 2-6, .333 (Abdur-rahim 1-1, Mack 1-3, Mayberry 0-1, Chilcutt 0-1). Team rebounds: 8. Blocked shots: 2 (Lynch, Chilcutt). Turnovers: 10 (Reeves 3, Abdur-rahim 2, Daniels, Massenburg, Mayberry, Thorpe). Steals: 8 (Mayberry 2, Abdur-rahim, B Edwards, Lynch, Mack, Reeves, Thorpe).

HOUSTON (110) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Rhodes 19 0-2 1-2 0-0 4 3 1 Barkley 38 8-12 9-10 4-15 0 3 25 Willis 31 9-13 2-4 3-10 1 2 20 Drexler 40 8-17 2-4 1-5 7 5 20 Maloney 35 5-12 2-2 1-2 7 4 16 Elie 23 3-4 0-0 0-1 5 4 8 Olajuwon 19 5-7 0-0 2-6 2 3 10 Johnson 21 2-7 1-2 0-4 4 0 6 Harrington 7 2-2 0-0 1-2 0 2 4 Price 6 0-2 0-0 0-0 0 1 0 Jones 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 Bullard DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 42-78 17-24 12-45 30 27 110 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.538, FT-.708. 3-Point Goals: 9-21, .429 (Barkley 0-1, Drexler 2-4, Maloney 4-8, Elie 2-3, Johnson 1-3, Price 0-2). Team rebounds: 5. Blocked shots: 2 (Olajuwon, Barkley). Turnovers: 15 (Barkley 3, Rhodes 3, Harrington 2, Maloney 2, Willis 2, Drexler, Johnson, Olajuwon). Steals: 4 (Olajuwon 2, Barkley, Drexler). ____________________________________________ Vancouver 26 24 21 26 - 97 Houston 35 22 27 26 - 110 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: Houston 1 (Harrington, 10:27 4th). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 16,285. T: 2:08. Officials: Dan Crawford, Monty Mccutchen, Dee Kantner.


GAME RECAP

Hakeem Olajuwon's return sparked the Houston Rockets, who got 25 points and 15 rebounds from Charles Barkley in a 110-97 victory over the Vancouver Grizzlies, who have lost five straight games.

Olajuwon had been sidelined since November 23rd after undergoing surgery to remove damaged tissue from his left knee, missing 33 games. The Rockets were just 15-18 in his absence.

The 12-time All-Star center did not start but entered the game to a loud ovation with 5:05 left in the opening period. He received a hug from teammate Kevin Willis and Houston began an 18-7 spurt that gave it the lead for good.

"It was very touching," Olajuwon said. "It made me very happy. I was just glad to be back on the floor. I wanted things to come naturally to me. I didn't want to try to prove myself. Instead, I just wanted it to be natural and let the game come to me."

Olajuwon had a basket in the burst and finished with 10 points and six rebounds in 19 minutes, shooting 5-of-7 from the field. While Olajuwon was on the court, Houston outscored Vancouver, 44-36, including 26-14 in the first half.

"In the first half, the knee was a little sore but the doctors told me that was normal," Olajuwon said. "In the second half, it felt much better. I was never scared on the way it was going to perform."

"I don't think he could have done any better," Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich said. "After surgery, most guys do not look that smooth out there. I was very impressed with that."

The Rockets led 57-50 at halftime and Barkley took over from there. He scored 19 points in the second half, including six in a 9-0 third-quarter burst that extended Houston's lead to 72-56. Vancouver got no closer than 10 points thereafter.

"Anytime you get a good player back, it definitely makes it easier," Barkley said. "It definitely gave me some relief out there. We're glad to have him back and there's plenty of time left for this team."

Shareef Abdur-Rahim bounced back from a rare single-digit game to score 30 points for the Grizzlies, who have never won in six visits to Houston. Former Rocket Otis Thorpe added 14 points.

"I didn't know how much Hakeem would be a factor tonight," said Abdur-Rahim, who had scored just nine points in his last game. "We knew when he came into the game that the Rockets would get their adrenaline going. He did a lot of little things like changing shots, but just being on the court was the biggest lift he gave them."

A loss would have dumped the Rockets three games under .500 for the first time since April 6th, 1990, and they appeared headed that way when the Grizzlies scored the first eight points in just under three minutes.

But Olajuwon entered four minutes later and Houston began its surge. Six different players scored, including Olajuwon, who had a layup with 2:01 to go, as the Rockets opened a 35-26 lead after one quarter.

Vancouver started the second period with a 10-2 run capped by a layup by George Lynch that cut the deficit to 37-36 with 9:50 to play. But Willis scored eight of his 20 points in the period as Houston rebuilt its lead to seven points at halftime.

"The difference in the game was intensity," Grizzlies coach Brian Hill said. "We started in the right direction, but then we had some breakdowns, both offensively and defensively."

The Rockets led 63-56 with just under nine minutes to go in the third quarter when Barkley took charge. He made a jumper and layup before Mario Elie sank a three-pointer. Barkley completed the run with another layup, giving Houston a 16-point bulge with 6:44 left in the period.

"I just take what they give me," Barkley said. "I was 2-for-3 in the first half. In the second half we got the ball more to me."

The Rockets led 84-71 after three quarters. Olajuwon left the game for good with 7:57 remaining, having added two assists, two steals and a block.

Clyde Drexler scored 20 points and Matt Maloney 16 for Houston, which shot 54 percent (42-of-78) from the field and held a 45-36 rebounding edge. Willis grabbed 10 rebounds.

"I loved it," Tomjanovich said of the easy win. "I like it to be like that all the time. Our energy level was high and we made some plays, especially hustle plays."

Lynch scored 13 points and former Rocket Sam Mack added 11 for Vancouver, which shot 44 percent (36-of-82) and committed just 10 turnovers while forcing 15. The Grizzlies have lost 11 of their last 12 road games.

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