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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- MILWAUKEE 25 21 29 23 98 HOUSTON 28 26 20 19 93 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: MIL - SAM CASSELL 35, RAY ALLEN 19, GLENN ROBINSON 13 HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 14, CHARLES BARKLEY 13, CUTTINO MOBLEY 13

HIGH REBOUND: MIL - ERVIN JOHNSON 7, GLENN ROBINSON 5 HOU - CHARLES BARKLEY 11, HAKEEM OLAJUWON 11

HIGH ASSISTS: MIL - SAM CASSELL 11, TWO PLAYERS WITH 2 HOU - HAKEEM OLAJUWON 7, TWO PLAYERS WITH 4

ATT: 14,491


Extended Box

MILWAUKEE (98) AT HOUSTON (93)

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

ROBINSON F 34 5-15 2-2 1 4 5 0 0 3 1 13 TRAYLOR F 15 0-2 0-0 0 2 2 1 2 1 0 0 REID C 25 0-3 5-6 0 4 4 1 5 0 0 5 R ALLEN G 30 8-14 3-4 0 4 4 2 3 1 1 19 CASSELL G 37 15-20 5-7 1 2 3 11 5 1 4 35 JOHNSON 14 0-1 1-4 4 3 7 0 2 1 0 1 DEL NEGRO 21 0-2 0-0 1 1 2 2 2 1 0 0 THOMAS 18 4-8 2-2 1 0 1 0 2 0 1 11 ELLIS 17 2-6 0-0 1 2 3 1 0 0 0 5 WORKMAN 6 0-1 1-2 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 MANNING 23 4-7 0-1 1 3 4 1 4 2 0 8 S WILLIAMS DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 38-79 19-28 10 25 35 20 25 10 8 98 (.481) (.679) TEAM REBS: 11 TOTAL TO: 8(9 PTS)

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

BARKLEY F 35 5-6 3-6 5 6 11 2 2 0 1 13 WILLIAMS F 21 4-8 1-1 0 0 0 1 4 0 4 10 OLAJUWON C 34 4-9 4-6 2 9 11 7 4 1 3 12 ANDERSON G 27 4-10 1-2 1 1 2 4 3 0 2 11 FRANCIS G 38 4-13 5-8 3 3 6 4 4 3 2 14 CATO 24 3-7 1-2 1 4 5 0 3 0 1 7 MOBLEY 37 6-14 0-0 3 0 3 0 2 0 2 13 ROGERS 3 0-1 4-4 0 2 2 0 0 0 0 4 MASSENBURG 3 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 DREW 17 4-7 0-0 0 1 1 3 2 1 3 9 THOMAS 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 HAMILTON DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 34-75 19-29 15 27 42 22 24 5 18 93 (.453) (.655) TEAM REBS: 13 TOTAL TO: 18(23 PTS)

MILWAUKEE 25 21 29 23 - 98 HOUSTON 28 26 20 19 - 93

BLOCKED SHOTS: MILWAUKEE - TRAYLOR, MANNING. HOUSTON - OLAJUWON 2, CATO 2, WILLIAMS, MOBLEY, BARKLEY. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: MILWAUKEE 3-7 (.429), ROBINSON 1-1, R ALLEN 0-1, CASSELL 0-1, THOMAS 1-1, ELLIS 1-3. HOUSTON 6-20 (.300), WILLIAMS 1-4, ANDERSON 2-4, FRANCIS 1-5, MOBLEY 1-4, DREW 1-3. TECHNICALS: NONE. OFFICIALS: DICK BAVETTA, DAVID JONES, PHIL ROBINSON. A - 14,491. T - 2:19.


Box Score

MILWAUKEE (98) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Robinson 34 5-15 2-2 1-5 0 0 13 Traylor 15 0-2 0-0 0-2 1 2 0 Reid 25 0-3 5-6 0-4 1 5 5 R Allen 30 8-14 3-4 0-4 2 3 19 Cassell 37 15-20 5-7 1-3 11 5 35 Johnson 14 0-1 1-4 4-7 0 2 1 Del Negro 21 0-2 0-0 1-2 2 2 0 Thomas 18 4-8 2-2 1-1 0 2 11 Ellis 17 2-6 0-0 1-3 1 0 5 Workman 6 0-1 1-2 0-0 1 0 1 Manning 23 4-7 0-1 1-4 1 4 8 S Williams DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 38-79 19-28 10-35 20 25 98 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.481, FT-.679. 3-Point Goals: 3-7, .429 (Robinson 1-1, R Allen 0-1, Cassell 0-1, Thomas 1-1, Ellis 1-3). Team rebounds: 11. Blocked shots: 2 (Traylor, Manning). Turnovers: 8 (Cassell 4, R Allen, Robinson, Thomas, Workman). Steals: 10 (Robinson 3, Manning 2, Cassell, Del Negro, Johnson, R Allen, Traylor).

HOUSTON (93) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Barkley 35 5-6 3-6 5-11 2 2 13 Williams 21 4-8 1-1 0-0 1 4 10 Olajuwon 34 4-9 4-6 2-11 7 4 12 Anderson 27 4-10 1-2 1-2 4 3 11 Francis 38 4-13 5-8 3-6 4 4 14 Cato 24 3-7 1-2 1-5 0 3 7 Mobley 37 6-14 0-0 3-3 0 2 13 Rogers 3 0-1 4-4 0-2 0 0 4 Massenburg 3 0-0 0-0 0-1 1 0 0 Drew 17 4-7 0-0 0-1 3 2 9 Thomas 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 Hamilton DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 34-75 19-29 15-42 22 24 93 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.453, FT-.655. 3-Point Goals: 6-20, .300 (Williams 1-4, Anderson 2-4, Francis 1-5, Mobley 1-4, Drew 1-3). Team rebounds: 13. Blocked shots: 7 (Olajuwon 2, Cato 2, Williams, Mobley, Barkley). Turnovers: 18 (Williams 4, Drew 3, Olajuwon 3, Anderson 2, Francis 2, Mobley 2, Barkley, Cato). Steals: 5 (Francis 3, Drew, Olajuwon). ____________________________________________ Milwaukee 25 21 29 23 - 98 Houston 28 26 20 19 - 93 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: None. Flagrant fouls: None. A: 14,491. T: 2:19. Officials: Dick Bavetta, David Jones, Phil Robinson.


Game Story

HOUSTON (Ticker) -- Sam Cassell burned his former team with an unconscious shooting performance as the Milwaukee Bucks used a strong fourth quarter to storm past the Houston Rockets, 98-93, in the season opener for both teams.

Cassell buried 15-of-20 shots from the field for 35 points and handed out 11 assists against the team he won a pair of NBA titles with earlier this decade.

"I love it," said Cassell, who was limited to only eight games last year due to a badly sprained ankle. "I knew my shot was going to be there after the first one. I have a lot to prove this year and we have a lot to prove as a team. And I think we got off to a good start."

The 6-3 point guard, who came to Milwaukee to complement high scorers Ray Allen and Glenn Robinson, showed he can fill it up all by himself, taking advantage of Houston's rookie point man Steve Francis for most of the contest.

"Everybody gets a lesson in the NBA," Cassell said of his matchup with Francis. "I got mine from (former Phoenix point guard) Kevin Johnson."

Allen scored 19 points and Robinson added 13 for the Bucks, who trailed 76-75 with 11:05 to play before going on a decisive 10-4 burst. Tim Thomas collected five of his 11 points during the spurt for Milwaukee, which hopes to build on its first playoff campaign since 1991.

"It was a good win," Allen said. "When you start off the first game, you really don't know your personnel. But it is great to come out with a victory."

Charles Barkley had 13 points and 11 rebounds in the first game of what is supposed to be his final NBA season and Hakeem Olajuwon added 12 and 11 for the Rockets, who yielded 23 points off 18 turnovers.

"It's disappointing that we lost and we didn't play good enough to win," said Barkley, who is still chasing an elusive NBA title. "But it's a long season and there is lots of room to improve. We all have to take this game as a personal challenge."

Francis, a highlight-reel performer that the Rockets acquired in a blockbuster deal with Vancouver, led six players in double figures with 14 points and added six rebounds and four assists.

But after making a spectacular dunk with 2:11 left to pull his team within 95-92, Francis threw up an airball and missed 1-of-2 from the line on consecutive possessions.

"Francis can play and he's going to be a very good player," Allen said. "He's gonna have some good games, but Sam gave him an indoctrination."

"The 18 turnovers were probably the fewest we've had, but even though they were down, they were still costly," Houston coach Rudy Tomjanovich added. "Missing free throws is costly psychologically."

Robinson and Cassell closed the scoring by making 3-of-4 from the line for Milwaukee, which had dropped four of its previous six meetings with Houston. The clubs did not play during the lockout-shortened campaign.

Cuttino Mobley scored 13 points, free-agent acquisition Shandon Anderson added 11 and Walt Williams 10 for the Rockets, who shot 45 percent (34-of-75) and held a 42-35 advantage on the boards.

The game was played while citizens of Houston voted on whether the Rockets should receive a new arena. The crowd of 14,491 snapped the club's streak of 176 consecutive sellouts and may be a dubious sign of which way the vote will go.

The Bucks shot 48 percent (38-of-79) and committed only eight turnovers.

"It wasn't real pretty, but it was a win," Milwaukee coach George Karl said. "The second half our defense held up really well. We had good performances on offense. It's a win on the road and we'll take that."

Milwaukee trailed 54-44 with 25 seconds remaining in the first half but maintained its poise and fought back to take a 64-63 lead on Cassell's layup with 5:16 left in the third quarter.

The contest featured three ties and six lead changes, the last of which came on Allen's nine-footer from the right side that made it 77-76 with 10:52 to play.

Thomas had a pair of free throws and sank a 25-footer to give Milwaukee an 86-80 cushion with 8:09 left.

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