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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- HOUSTON 24 27 24 20 95 MINNESOTA 20 18 27 25 90 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: HOU - HAKEEM OLAJUWON 22, SAM MACK 17, TWO PLAYERS WITH 14 MIN - KEVIN GARNETT 21, SAM MITCHELL 21, JOE SMITH 16

HIGH REBOUND: HOU - HAKEEM OLAJUWON 14, CHARLES BARKLEY 11 MIN - KEVIN GARNETT 9, TWO PLAYERS WITH 7

HIGH ASSISTS: HOU - CHARLES BARKLEY 7, CUTTINO MOBLEY 4 MIN - KEVIN GARNETT 11, JAMES ROBINSON 7

ATT: 16,093


Extended Box

HOUSTON (95) AT MINNESOTA (90)

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

BARKLEY F 37 3-12 8-12 2 9 11 7 2 3 5 14 PIPPEN F 31 2-6 3-4 1 2 3 3 4 1 5 8 OLAJUWON C 39 8-14 6-6 4 10 14 3 4 4 3 22 DICKERSON G 25 2-6 1-1 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 6 MOBLEY G 30 4-6 6-6 1 1 2 4 0 3 1 14 BULLARD 17 2-5 0-0 0 1 1 0 2 0 0 5 CARR 3 0-2 0-0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 DREW 18 3-8 0-0 1 0 1 1 3 0 1 7 HARRINGTON 17 1-3 0-0 2 5 7 1 1 0 2 2 MACK 23 6-8 2-2 0 0 0 1 4 0 2 17 MALONEY DNP - FLU MILLER DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 31-70 26-31 11 29 40 22 22 11 19 95 (.443) (.839) TEAM REBS: 11 TOTAL TO: 21(22 PTS)

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

K GARNETT F 41 9-24 3-4 8 1 9 11 2 3 2 21 SMITH F 39 7-12 2-2 2 5 7 1 2 0 0 16 D GARRETT C 17 3-6 1-1 1 6 7 0 3 0 3 7 JACKSON G 30 5-8 2-2 0 2 2 4 1 2 5 12 SEALY G 22 0-6 4-4 1 0 1 1 0 2 0 4 CURLEY 9 0-1 1-2 0 1 1 0 2 1 0 1 HAMMONDS 21 1-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 5 0 2 2 JORDAN 2 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 MITCHELL 24 8-11 3-4 1 4 5 1 1 1 0 21 ROBINSON 16 1-9 2-2 0 1 1 7 1 0 1 4 SCOTT 19 1-3 0-0 0 2 2 1 1 0 0 2 PATTERSON DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 35-82 18-21 13 22 35 28 18 9 13 90 (.427) (.857) TEAM REBS: 8 TOTAL TO: 13(16 PTS)

HOUSTON 24 27 24 20 - 95 MINNESOTA 20 18 27 25 - 90

BLOCKED SHOTS: HOUSTON - PIPPEN 3, OLAJUWON 2, HARRINGTON 2, MOBLEY. MINNESOTA - K GARNETT 2, SMITH, D GARRETT. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: HOUSTON 7-19 (.368), PIPPEN 1-2, DICKERSON 1-3, MOBLEY 0-2, BULLARD 1-3, DREW 1-5, MACK 3-4. MINNESOTA 2-7 (.286), SEALY 0-1, MITCHELL 2-4, ROBINSON 0-2. TECHNICALS: MINNESOTA - HEAD COACH SAUNDERS. OFFICIALS: JACK NIES, JIM CAPERS, LEROY RICHARDSON. A - 16,093. T - 2:19.


Box Score

HOUSTON (95) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Barkley 37 3-12 8-12 2-11 7 2 14 Pippen 31 2-6 3-4 1-3 3 4 8 Olajuwon 39 8-14 6-6 4-14 3 4 22 Dickerson 25 2-6 1-1 0-0 1 2 6 Mobley 30 4-6 6-6 1-2 4 0 14 Bullard 17 2-5 0-0 0-1 0 2 5 Carr 3 0-2 0-0 0-1 1 0 0 Drew 18 3-8 0-0 1-1 1 3 7 Harrington 17 1-3 0-0 2-7 1 1 2 Mack 23 6-8 2-2 0-0 1 4 17 Maloney DNP - flu Miller DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 31-70 26-31 11-40 22 22 95 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.443, FT-.839. 3-Point Goals: 7-19, .368 (Pippen 1-2, Dickerson 1-3, Mobley 0-2, Bullard 1-3, Drew 1-5, Mack 3-4). Team rebounds: 11. Blocked shots: 8 (Pippen 3, Olajuwon 2, Harrington 2, Mobley). Turnovers: 21 (Barkley 5, Pippen 5, Olajuwon 3, Harrington 2, Mack 2, Drew, Mobley). Steals: 11 (Olajuwon 4, Barkley 3, Mobley 3, Pippen).

MINNESOTA (90) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp K Garnett 41 9-24 3-4 8-9 11 2 21 Smith 39 7-12 2-2 2-7 1 2 16 D Garrett 17 3-6 1-1 1-7 0 3 7 Jackson 30 5-8 2-2 0-2 4 1 12 Sealy 22 0-6 4-4 1-1 1 0 4 Curley 9 0-1 1-2 0-1 0 2 1 Hammonds 21 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 5 2 Jordan 2 0-1 0-0 0-0 2 0 0 Mitchell 24 8-11 3-4 1-5 1 1 21 Robinson 16 1-9 2-2 0-1 7 1 4 Scott 19 1-3 0-0 0-2 1 1 2 Patterson DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 35-82 18-21 13-35 28 18 90 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.427, FT-.857. 3-Point Goals: 2-7, .286 (Sealy 0-1, Mitchell 2-4, Robinson 0-2). Team rebounds: 8. Blocked shots: 4 (K Garnett 2, Smith, D Garrett). Turnovers: 13 (Jackson 5, D Garrett 3, Hammonds 2, K Garnett 2, Robinson). Steals: 9 (K Garnett 3, Jackson 2, Sealy 2, Curley, Mitchell). ____________________________________________ Houston 24 27 24 20 - 95 Minnesota 20 18 27 25 - 90 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: Minnesota 1 (Head Coach Saunders, 7:06 3rd). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 16,093. T: 2:19. Officials: Jack Nies, Jim Capers, Leroy Richardson.


Game Story

MINNEAPOLIS (Ticker) -- Sam Mack scored 17 points off the bench, including a clutch 3-pointer with 1:17 remaining, to lift the Houston Rockets to a 95-90 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Benched in Vancouver, Mack has had a resurgence since he was re-acquired by Houston at the trading deadline. He missed four games with a sprained right thumb and did not score in his first game back but is averaging 11.8 points in five games since.

Tonight, Mack had his best game since the trade. He shot 6-of-8 from the field and sealed the win with his third 3-pointer that gave the Rockets a 90-85 lead. Over his last three games, Mack is 9-of-13 from behind the arc.

Hakeem Olajuwon collected 22 points and 14 rebounds and Charles Barkley addded 14, 11 and seven assists for Houston, which moved 3 1/2 games in front of Minnesota in the race for fifth place in the Western Conference. The Rockets are in a virtual tie with the Los Angeles Lakers for fourth place.

"I never thought the game was in danger," Barkley said. "They were making their run, but as long as you've got the lead and the ball. ... I was confident in that aspect. Sometimes teams get rattled when other teams make runs, but I never felt like the game was in danger."

Kevin Garnett had 21 points, a career-high 11 assists and nine rebounds for the Timberwolves, who had a five-game home winning streak snapped. Minnesota has lost four of five overall.

Garnett guarded Scottie Pippen in the first half and Barkley in the second half. He shot just 9-of-24 but helped hold Pippen to eight points on 2-of-6 shooting.

"I knew I had a tough task," Pippen said. "I've got a 20-point scorer, a guy who you know that's going to get a lot of touches. I just tried to limit his opportunities to touch the ball and not let him touch it in his comfort zone. Kevin's a great player."

"I'm going to have a talk with KG, but one thing I learned watching Houston play is that KG has been in this league four years now, he's pretty much done everything right to a point where he is almost too nice," Minnesota coach Flip Saunders said. "He's got to start complaining a little bit more, because the poor guy gets manhandled down there (in the post). For some reason, when a guy takes 24 shots and 12 are from the inside, you would hope he'd shoot more than four free throws."

The Wolves never led after the first three minutes but pulled within 87-85 with 1:57 left as Garnett capped a 10-2 run with a scoop layup over Olajuwon.

Barkley was called for an offensive foul, but Minnesota's James "Hollywood" Robinson missed a shot and Barkley found Mack in the left corner for his decisive 3-pointer. The Rockets made 5-of-8 free throws down the stretch.

"We made some big stops and got a big 3 from Sam Mack," Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich said. "Charles really created that play by ... finding the open man."

"`Woody' had a great look to tie it up and just missed it and they came down and Sam Mack hit one of those shots where as a coach you say, `Oh no! Nice shot,'" Saunders said.

Houston took the lead for good at 20-17 on a 3-pointer by Mack with 2:25 left in the first quarter. The Rockets led 24-20 after one period and Olajuwon made a six-footer to cap a 9-2 burst that opened a 35-24 advantage with 5:52 left in the second quarter.

Minnesota shot just 38 percent (14-of-37) from the field in the first half and trailed 51-38. Houston shot 45 percent (19-of-42).

The Rockets opened their largest lead at 67-51 on a 16-footer by Olajuwon midway through the third quarter. Olajuwon scored 12 points and Garnett eight in the period, which ended with the Rockets holding a 75-65 advantage.

Barkley scored to begin the final period before Minnesota rattled off seven straight points. A dunk by Hammonds cut the deficit to 77-72 with 9:44 remaining.

Rookie Cuttino Mobley scored 14 points for the Rockets, who shot 44 percent (31-of-70) and made 26-of-31 free throws. Houston also held a 40-35 rebounding edge as it overcame 21 turnovers.

"The officiating was terrible tonight," Barkley said. "We had two guys out there that were blind mouses and they let them get back in the game. They weren't playing shorthanded -- they had two officials out there. They really had seven players out there. They had seven players on the court at all times."

Sam Mitchell also scored 21 points and Joe Smith added 16 for the Wolves, who shot 43 percent (35-of-82) and made 18-of-21 from the line. Smith again played with a flak jacket beneath his jersey to protect a rib cage injury.

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