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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- HOUSTON 30 25 25 28 108 PHOENIX 24 27 22 16 89 FINAL


HOUSTON (108) AT PHOENIX (89)

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

BULLARD F 15 8-9 0-0 1 1 2 0 0 0 0 20 WILLIS F 22 4-8 0-0 2 5 7 1 2 1 1 8 OLAJUWON C 36 8-19 4-5 1 12 13 4 3 1 1 20 MALONEY G 41 2-5 1-1 0 3 3 6 2 2 1 6 DREXLER G 37 9-19 0-0 1 4 5 4 3 1 3 21 PRICE 27 2-6 2-2 1 1 2 3 4 1 0 7 BARKLEY 32 7-15 1-2 3 9 12 4 3 2 1 15 JOHNSON 7 1-2 0-0 2 0 2 0 2 0 1 2 RHODES 15 3-5 1-1 0 1 1 4 4 1 1 7 ELIE 8 1-2 0-0 0 0 0 1 2 1 1 2 DAVIS DNP - COACH'S DECISION HARRINGTON DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 45-90 9-11 11 36 47 27 25 10 10 108 (.500) (.818) TEAM REBS: 3 TOTAL TO: 11(7 PTS)

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

KIDD F 39 7-15 2-2 1 3 4 7 2 0 2 18 MCDYESS F 27 6-12 1-2 1 5 6 2 5 1 2 13 ROBINSON C 33 3-11 5-7 5 5 10 1 3 1 2 11 NASH G 33 5-11 0-0 0 4 4 2 2 1 1 11 JOHNSON G 40 5-15 9-10 0 4 4 10 0 0 1 19 BRYANT 5 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 MANNING 20 2-5 3-6 0 4 4 0 0 0 2 7 WILLIAMS 22 0-4 1-2 5 7 12 0 1 1 0 1 SCOTT 15 2-5 1-2 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 5 MCCLOUD 4 1-2 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 MILIC 2 1-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 CHAPMAN DNP - SORE RIGHT FOOT

TOTALS 240 32-81 22-31 12 33 45 22 16 4 13 89 (.395) (.710) TEAM REBS: 10 TOTAL TO: 13(18 PTS)

HOUSTON 30 25 25 28 - 108 PHOENIX 24 27 22 16 - 89

BLOCKED SHOTS: HOUSTON - WILLIS. PHOENIX - ROBINSON 3, MANNING 2. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: HOUSTON 9-20 (.450), BULLARD 4-5, MALONEY 1-3, DREXLER 3-6, PRICE 1-3, BARKLEY 0-2, ELIE 0-1. PHOENIX 3-12 (.250), KIDD 2-6, ROBINSON 0-1, NASH 1-2, SCOTT 0-3. TECHNICALS: HOUSTON - ELIE, OLAJUWON 2 (EJECTED), PHOENIX - ILLEGAL DEFENSE, MCDYESS 2 (EJECTED). OFFICIALS: JACK NIES, RON OLESIAK, LEROY RICHARDSON. A - 19,023. T - 1:57.


HOUSTON (108) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Bullard 15 8-9 0-0 1-2 0 0 20 Willis 22 4-8 0-0 2-7 1 2 8 Olajuwon 36 8-19 4-5 1-13 4 3 20 Maloney 41 2-5 1-1 0-3 6 2 6 Drexler 37 9-19 0-0 1-5 4 3 21 Price 27 2-6 2-2 1-2 3 4 7 Barkley 32 7-15 1-2 3-12 4 3 15 Johnson 7 1-2 0-0 2-2 0 2 2 Rhodes 15 3-5 1-1 0-1 4 4 7 Elie 8 1-2 0-0 0-0 1 2 2 Davis DNP - coach's decision Harrington DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 45-90 9-11 11-47 27 25 108 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.500, FT-.818. 3-Point Goals: 9-20, .450 (Bullard 4-5, Maloney 1-3, Drexler 3-6, Price 1-3, Barkley 0-2, Elie 0-1). Team rebounds: 3. Blocked shots: 1 (Willis). Turnovers: 11 (Drexler 3, Barkley, Elie, Johnson, Maloney, Olajuwon, Rhodes, Willis). Steals: 10 (Barkley 2, Maloney 2, Drexler, Elie, Olajuwon, Price, Rhodes, Willis).

PHOENIX (89) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Kidd 39 7-15 2-2 1-4 7 2 18 Mcdyess 27 6-12 1-2 1-6 2 5 13 Robinson 33 3-11 5-7 5-10 1 3 11 Nash 33 5-11 0-0 0-4 2 2 11 Johnson 40 5-15 9-10 0-4 10 0 19 Bryant 5 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 2 0 Manning 20 2-5 3-6 0-4 0 0 7 Williams 22 0-4 1-2 5-12 0 1 1 Scott 15 2-5 1-2 0-1 0 1 5 Mccloud 4 1-2 0-0 0-0 0 0 2 Milic 2 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 2 Chapman DNP - sore right foot _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 32-81 22-31 12-45 22 16 89 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.395, FT-.710. 3-Point Goals: 3-12, .250 (Kidd 2-6, Robinson 0-1, Nash 1-2, Scott 0-3). Team rebounds: 10. Blocked shots: 5 (Robinson 3, Manning 2). Turnovers: 13 (Kidd 2, Manning 2, Mcdyess 2, Robinson 2, Johnson, Mccloud, Milic, Nash, Scott). Steals: 4 (Mcdyess, Nash, Robinson, Williams). ____________________________________________ Houston 30 25 25 28 - 108 Phoenix 24 27 22 16 - 89 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: Houston 3 (Elie, 1:53 2nd; Olajuwon 2 (ejected), 2:08 4th, 2:06 4th). Phoenix 3 (Illegal Defense, 6:11 4th; Mcdyess 2 (ejected), 2:08 4th, 2:06 4th). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 19,023. T: 1:57. Officials: Jack Nies, Ron Olesiak, Leroy Richardson.


GAME RECAP

Matt Bullard tied a season high with 20 points, including 17 in the fourth quarter, leading the Houston Rockets to a 108-89 victory over the Phoenix Suns.

Bullard sat for most of the first three quarters and played just 15 minutes, but made the time count in the final period, when he was 7-of-8 from the field. He had all but one point in a 14-3 spurt, capping it with his fourth three-pointer to give the Rockets a comfortable 105-85 lead with 2:33 to play.

"It was just one of those nights. I wish I had gotten more than 15 minutes," Bullard said. "It's one of those nights where you get into a zone, but we won two championships like that."

Clyde Drexler contributed 21 points and made three three-pointers as the Rockets hit 9-of-20 from behind the arc. Bullard finished 8-of-9 from the field as Houston shot 50 percent (45-of-90) overall.

The Rockets' Hakeem Olajuwon had 20 points and 13 rebounds before getting ejected with 2:08 remaining when he was involved in an altercation with Suns forward Antonio McDyess. The two were battling for position in the lane when the scuffle started, with Olajuwon throwing the first punch.

"It was unfortunate, that's part of it," Olajuwon said. "I might get suspended, that's the rule. I don't want to comment about it until we hear from the league and see what the decision is."

Suns coach Danny Ainge felt the officials were at fault for not preventing the altercation.

"I blame the officials. I saw two fouls by Hakeem that weren't called," he explained. "When you swing and knock an arm off a player, that's an automatic foul, that's a rule. There doesn't need to be anything else. Hakeem swung twice at McDyess, and I mean hard, knocking his arm off.

"Then Hakeem threw a punch and McDyess retaliated, but it never should have happened," Ainge continued. "They should have called the foul right away, like when you're supposed to call a foul."

McDyess took a swing at Olajuwon in retaliation and also was tossed. Mario Ellie and Kevin Willis of Houston left the bench area and face an automatic one-game suspension as a result.

"McDyess is going to get suspended, it's as simple as that," said Rockets forward Charles Barkley. "We're gonna miss Hakeem, and Kevin and Mario will probably get suspended, too. We're gonna miss them because we are going to Utah (on Monday) and we need them. It was stupid, McDyess needs to realize that he's in a 24-point blowout. If it was me, I'd rather save that money."

Kevin Johnson collected 19 points and 10 assists for the second straight game for the Suns, who have lost five of their last seven games.

A pair of free throws by Johnson had the Suns within 64-63 with 5:26 left in the third quarter. But Olajuwon came back with a dunk, Barkley hit a five-footer and Drexler dunked on the break to increase the lead to 70-63 with 4:09 remaining.

"We had a very difficult time defending them in the post with Olajuwon and Barkley," Ainge said. "We tried mixing it up, but I was not happy with our execution. We didn't double, our executions were slow, late and wrong. Everything we did, didn't work."

Houston brought an 80-73 lead into the final period when Bullard took over for Drexler and Olajuwon, who were both held scoreless after the third.

Matt Maloney drained a three-pointer and Barkley hit a layup to give the Rockets a 91-78 edge with just under eight minutes to play. Jason Kidd, who had 18 points and seven assists, answered with a jumper and two free throws to cut the deficit under double digits.

But it was all Bullard from there, as he nailed a 19-footer with 6:11 remaining to spark the decisive run. Maloney made a technical foul shot after an illegal defense call on the Suns and then fed Bullard for a three-pointer, building the lead to 97-82.

"We got Hakeem and Charles down there, so they've gotta decide to either double them and leave the three-point shooters open or else play one-on-one and have Hakeem and Charles kill them," Bullard explained.

McDyess, who scored 13 points, temporarily stopped the spurt with a free throw before Bullard hit again from behind the arc. Bullard followed that with a short jumper and, after George McCloud hit a layup, capped the burst with another three-pointer.

"Matt (Bullard) shot the ball so well, that's how it should be," Olajuwon said. "If you see a guy like Matt shooting the ball the way he did, we should all give him the ball."

Barkley finished with 15 points and 12 boards against his former team, helping Houston dominate the points in the paint, 50-26.

Ainge opted to play "small ball" in hopes that his three-guard starting lineup, including Johnson, Kidd and Steve Nash, could run circles around the aging Rockets. The plan backfired, as Houston scored 12 fast-break points in the first quarter to the Suns' two, and finished with a 23-9 advantage in that department.

"It didn't work, we had our chances," Johnson said referring to the "small ball" plan. "We had excellent opportunities to take advantage, but we weren't able to. Just because it didn't work today, doesn't mean it won't work another time."

Nash and Cliff Robinson chipped in 11 points apiece for the Suns, who had won the last three games against the Rockets. Phoenix shot just 40 percent (32-of-81) from the floor and 3-of-12 from three-point range.

The Suns were without starting guard Rex Chapman, who missed his second straight game with a sore right foot.

Bullard's only basket of the first half was a three-pointer a half-second before halftime, giving the Rockets a 55-51 lead.

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