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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- PHOENIX 19 26 25 27 97 HOUSTON 24 22 21 19 86 FINAL


PHOENIX (97) AT HOUSTON (86)

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

MANNING F 33 4-7 0-1 2 0 2 6 2 1 0 8 MCDYESS F 34 10-14 2-2 5 7 12 3 3 1 4 22 ROBINSON C 31 7-17 4-5 1 4 5 0 5 2 2 20 KIDD G 42 8-17 1-1 0 7 7 6 1 3 2 21 NASH G 24 3-8 1-1 0 2 2 2 2 0 0 7 WILLIAMS 13 1-3 0-0 0 2 2 1 0 0 0 2 JOHNSON 31 2-9 3-4 2 2 4 5 2 0 1 7 SCOTT 17 3-7 0-0 1 2 3 1 0 0 0 6 BRYANT 14 2-6 0-0 1 1 2 2 5 1 2 4 MILIC 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 CHAPMAN DNP - STRAINED RIGHT GROIN MCCLOUD DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 40-88 11-14 12 27 39 26 20 8 11 97 (.455) (.786) TEAM REBS: 11 TOTAL TO: 12(9 PTS)

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

BULLARD F 26 5-8 1-2 0 3 3 4 1 0 0 15 WILLIS F 24 5-9 0-0 2 4 6 0 4 1 6 10 OLAJUWON C 44 6-16 3-4 2 10 12 2 1 3 2 15 ELIE G 40 3-8 1-2 1 5 6 3 1 3 2 9 MALONEY G 25 3-6 0-0 0 0 0 4 0 0 4 6 HARRINGTON 23 1-4 5-8 1 5 6 0 3 0 1 7 JOHNSON 26 6-12 3-3 1 0 1 1 1 0 1 17 RHODES 9 0-2 0-0 0 0 0 3 0 1 1 0 PRICE 23 2-5 3-3 0 2 2 3 4 0 3 7 BARKLEY DNP - LEFT SHOULDER CONTUSION DAVIS DNP - COACH'S DECISION DREXLER DNP - STRAINED RIGHT GROIN

TOTALS 240 31-70 16-22 7 29 36 20 15 8 20 86 (.443) (.727) TEAM REBS: 10 TOTAL TO: 20(18 PTS)

PHOENIX 19 26 25 27 - 97 HOUSTON 24 22 21 19 - 86

BLOCKED SHOTS: PHOENIX - MCDYESS 3, ROBINSON 2, SCOTT. HOUSTON - OLAJUWON 3, HARRINGTON 2, BULLARD, RHODES. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: PHOENIX 6-12 (.500), ROBINSON 2-4, KIDD 4-5, NASH 0-1, SCOTT 0-2. HOUSTON 8-18 (.444), BULLARD 4-6, ELIE 2-4, MALONEY 0-1, JOHNSON 2-5, PRICE 0-2. TECHNICALS: HOUSTON - ELIE. OFFICIALS: STEVE JAVIE, JIM CLARK, GARY BENSON. A - 16,285. T - 2:01.


PHOENIX (97) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Manning 33 4-7 0-1 2-2 6 2 8 Mcdyess 34 10-14 2-2 5-12 3 3 22 Robinson 31 7-17 4-5 1-5 0 5 20 Kidd 42 8-17 1-1 0-7 6 1 21 Nash 24 3-8 1-1 0-2 2 2 7 Williams 13 1-3 0-0 0-2 1 0 2 Johnson 31 2-9 3-4 2-4 5 2 7 Scott 17 3-7 0-0 1-3 1 0 6 Bryant 14 2-6 0-0 1-2 2 5 4 Milic 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 Chapman DNP - strained right groin Mccloud DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 40-88 11-14 12-39 26 20 97 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.455, FT-.786. 3-Point Goals: 6-12, .500 (Robinson 2-4, Kidd 4-5, Nash 0-1, Scott 0-2). Team rebounds: 11. Blocked shots: 6 (Mcdyess 3, Robinson 2, Scott). Turnovers: 12 (Mcdyess 4, Bryant 2, Kidd 2, Robinson 2, Johnson). Steals: 8 (Kidd 3, Robinson 2, Bryant, Manning, Mcdyess).

HOUSTON (86) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Bullard 26 5-8 1-2 0-3 4 1 15 Willis 24 5-9 0-0 2-6 0 4 10 Olajuwon 44 6-16 3-4 2-12 2 1 15 Elie 40 3-8 1-2 1-6 3 1 9 Maloney 25 3-6 0-0 0-0 4 0 6 Harrington 23 1-4 5-8 1-6 0 3 7 Johnson 26 6-12 3-3 1-1 1 1 17 Rhodes 9 0-2 0-0 0-0 3 0 0 Price 23 2-5 3-3 0-2 3 4 7 Barkley DNP - left shoulder contusion Davis DNP - coach's decision Drexler DNP - strained right groin _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 31-70 16-22 7-36 20 15 86 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.443, FT-.727. 3-Point Goals: 8-18, .444 (Bullard 4-6, Elie 2-4, Maloney 0-1, Johnson 2-5, Price 0-2). Team rebounds: 10. Blocked shots: 7 (Olajuwon 3, Harrington 2, Bullard, Rhodes). Turnovers: 20 (Willis 6, Maloney 4, Price 3, Elie 2, Olajuwon 2, Harrington, Johnson, Rhodes). Steals: 8 (Elie 3, Olajuwon 3, Rhodes, Willis). ____________________________________________ Phoenix 19 26 25 27 - 97 Houston 24 22 21 19 - 86 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: Houston 1 (Elie, 7:41 1st). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 16,285. T: 2:01. Officials: Steve Javie, Jim Clark, Gary Benson.


GAME RECAP

Jason Kidd scored 19 of his 21 points in the second half and the Phoenix Suns used a third-quarter spurt to gain control en route to their third straight win, 97-86 over the struggling Houston Rockets.

Antonio McDyess added 22 points and 12 rebounds and Cliff Robinson scored 20 points for the Suns, who snapped a three-game road losing streak and have beaten the Rockets in four of their last five meetings.

"I struggled with my shooting in the first half but the coaches told me to keep shooting the ball," said Kidd, who was 4-of-5 from three-point range. "I knocked one down and then got some momentum and made a few more. Teams are making me shoot until I can prove to them that I can knock them down."

With San Antonio winning at New York, the Suns (48-25) remained two games behind the Spurs (50-23) for the fourth seed and homecourt advantage in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs.

Eddie Johnson scored 17 points off the bench and Matt Bullard and Hakeem Olajuwon added 15 apiece for the Rockets, who have lost three straight and four of five since winning six in a row. Bullard and Olajuwon were held scoreless in the fourth quarter.

"I thought that Cliff Robinson and Mark Bryant did a pretty good job on Hakeem Olajuwon," Phoenix coach Danny Ainge said. "Hakeem is a such a good player that it's hard to do it all yourself. They have two of the top 50 players in NBA history sitting on the bench in street clothes in (Charles) Barkley and (Clyde) Drexler and that makes it hard for them."

Barkley missed his second straight game with a strained shoulder and Clyde Drexler missed his fifth consecutive contest with a strained groin.

"I thought we had a good effort and played hard, but I don't think we played very well," Houston coach Rudy Tomjanovich said. "We had lots of turnovers (20), we had two starters out and we ran out of gas because of the extra burden. It is very difficult for us to score points. It's very hard for us to make up for 35 points and 20 rebounds that are not in the lineup. Our margin of error is not very big right now."

Bullard's three-pointer gave Houston a 58-53 lead with 6:57 left in the third quarter, but Phoenix ripped off the next 10 points. Danny Manning made a layup, Steve Nash sank a jumper, Kidd nailed a three-pointer to give the Suns the lead for good and Robinson capped the run with a three-point play to make it 63-58 with 3:43 left.

Houston pulled within 68-67 after Olajuwon hit a baseline jumper with 32 seconds left in the third quarter. But Robinson answered with two free throws 15 seconds later to give the Suns a 70-67 edge heading into the final period.

Phoenix scored seven of the first nine points of the fourth quarter. Kidd capped the spurt with a three-pointer to give the Suns a 77-69 advantage.

The Rockets got within 79-74 with 8:20 remaining after Brent Price converted a three-point play, but they pulled no closer the rest of the way. With 3:27 left, a layup by McDyess gave the Suns their biggest lead of the fourth quarter, 89-78.

"He (McDyess) hit some open jumpers that were really big points and he hit a big shot in the fourth quarter," Ainge said. "He played with a lot of energy and played extremely well."

Houston had a 46-45 lead at the half with help from Johnson, who scored 12 of Houston's 22 points in the second quarter.

"I was in a groove in the second quarter," Johnson said. "I got a good rhythm going and just wish it could've continued in the second half."

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