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NBA FINAL IN OT 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH OT TOTAL --- --- --- --- --- ----- HOUSTON 28 27 20 25 18 118 VANCOUVER 33 22 16 29 10 110 FINAL IN 1ST OT

HIGH SCORERS: HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 24, CHARLES BARKLEY 22, CUTTINO MOBLEY 17 VAN - MIKE BIBBY 25, SHAREEF ABDUR-RAHIM 23, OTHELLA HARRINGTON 13

HIGH REBOUND: HOU - KELVIN CATO 10, STEVE FRANCIS 9 VAN - OTHELLA HARRINGTON 11, SHAREEF ABDUR-RAHIM 9

HIGH ASSISTS: HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 10, TWO PLAYERS WITH 3 VAN - SHAREEF ABDUR-RAHIM 5, MIKE BIBBY 5

ATT: 15,086


Extended Box

HOUSTON (118) AT VANCOUVER (110) - FINAL IN OT

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

ANDERSON F 21 2-3 0-0 0 0 0 2 2 0 2 4 BARKLEY F 39 8-11 5-8 3 4 7 0 2 1 1 22 CATO C 32 6-12 1-5 3 7 10 1 4 0 4 13 FRANCIS G 36 10-18 2-4 3 6 9 10 6 2 0 24 WILLIAMS G 17 1-6 2-2 0 2 2 3 2 0 0 5 ROGERS 19 3-6 0-2 2 2 4 0 2 0 1 6 BULLARD 29 4-6 0-0 0 5 5 1 3 0 1 11 MOBLEY 35 5-12 6-7 1 1 2 3 1 3 2 17 THOMAS 20 2-8 0-0 2 4 6 0 2 1 2 5 DREW 17 4-5 2-2 1 0 1 0 0 0 2 11 MASSENBURG DNP - PULLED GROIN OLAJUWON DNP - PULLED GROIN

TOTALS 265 45-87 18-30 15 31 46 20 24 7 15 118 (.517) (.600) TEAM REBS: 12 TOTAL TO: 17(24 PTS)

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

ABDUR-RAHIM F 40 6-15 9-12 1 8 9 5 1 0 2 23 HARRINGTON F 44 5-14 3-4 4 7 11 3 4 0 1 13 PARKS C 28 4-5 2-3 1 1 2 1 2 0 0 10 BIBBY G 39 9-18 5-7 2 1 3 5 5 5 6 25 DICKERSON G 37 4-14 2-2 1 4 5 4 5 4 3 12 CARR 8 1-3 0-0 0 1 1 0 2 0 0 2 PRICE 14 2-3 0-0 1 2 3 4 2 1 3 6 STEPHENS 18 1-3 0-0 1 1 2 1 0 0 0 2 LOPEZ 16 3-7 1-2 1 0 1 0 2 0 1 7 EKEZIE 21 4-4 2-4 4 1 5 0 5 0 0 10 PALACIO DNP - COACH'S DECISION REEVES DNP - SORE RIGHT KNEE

TOTALS 265 39-86 24-34 16 26 42 23 28 10 16 110 (.453) (.706) TEAM REBS: 11 TOTAL TO: 17(10 PTS)

HOUSTON 28 27 20 25 18 - 118 VANCOUVER 33 22 16 29 10 - 110

BLOCKED SHOTS: HOUSTON - CATO 5, FRANCIS 2, THOMAS 2. VANCOUVER - DICKERSON 2, HARRINGTON, CARR. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: HOUSTON 10-21 (.476), ANDERSON 0-1, BARKLEY 1-2, FRANCIS 2-3, WILLIAMS 1-4, BULLARD 3-5, MOBLEY 1-2, THOMAS 1-3, DREW 1-1. VANCOUVER 8-14 (.571), ABDUR-RAHIM 2-2, BIBBY 2-4, DICKERSON 2-5, PRICE 2-2, LOPEZ 0-1. TECHNICALS: HOUSTON - FRANCIS, CATO, ILLEGAL DEFENSE, VANCOUVER - ILLEGAL DEFENSE. OFFICIALS: DAVID JONES, JOE DEROSA, BILL KENNEDY. A - 15,086. T - 2:41.


Box Score

HOUSTON (118) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Anderson 21 2-3 0-0 0-0 2 2 4 Barkley 39 8-11 5-8 3-7 0 2 22 Cato 32 6-12 1-5 3-10 1 4 13 Francis 36 10-18 2-4 3-9 10 6 24 Williams 17 1-6 2-2 0-2 3 2 5 Rogers 19 3-6 0-2 2-4 0 2 6 Bullard 29 4-6 0-0 0-5 1 3 11 Mobley 35 5-12 6-7 1-2 3 1 17 Thomas 20 2-8 0-0 2-6 0 2 5 Drew 17 4-5 2-2 1-1 0 0 11 Massenburg DNP - pulled groin Olajuwon DNP - pulled groin _______________________________________________ TOTALS 265 45-87 18-30 15-46 20 24 118 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.517, FT-.600. 3-Point Goals: 10-21, .476 (Anderson 0-1, Barkley 1-2, Francis 2-3, Williams 1-4, Bullard 3-5, Mobley 1-2, Thomas 1-3, Drew 1-1). Team rebounds: 12. Blocked shots: 9 (Cato 5, Francis 2, Thomas 2). Turnovers: 17 (Cato 4, Anderson 2, Drew 2, Mobley 2, Thomas 2, Barkley, Bullard, Rogers). Steals: 7 (Mobley 3, Francis 2, Barkley, Thomas).

VANCOUVER (110) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Abdur-rahim 40 6-15 9-12 1-9 5 1 23 Harrington 44 5-14 3-4 4-11 3 4 13 Parks 28 4-5 2-3 1-2 1 2 10 Bibby 39 9-18 5-7 2-3 5 5 25 Dickerson 37 4-14 2-2 1-5 4 5 12 Carr 8 1-3 0-0 0-1 0 2 2 Price 14 2-3 0-0 1-3 4 2 6 Stephens 18 1-3 0-0 1-2 1 0 2 Lopez 16 3-7 1-2 1-1 0 2 7 Ekezie 21 4-4 2-4 4-5 0 5 10 Palacio DNP - coach's decision Reeves DNP - sore right knee _______________________________________________ TOTALS 265 39-86 24-34 16-42 23 28 110 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.453, FT-.706. 3-Point Goals: 8-14, .571 (Abdur-rahim 2-2, Bibby 2-4, Dickerson 2-5, Price 2-2, Lopez 0-1). Team rebounds: 11. Blocked shots: 4 (Dickerson 2, Harrington, Carr). Turnovers: 17 (Bibby 6, Dickerson 3, Price 3, Abdur-rahim 2, Harrington, Lopez). Steals: 10 (Bibby 5, Dickerson 4, Price). _________________________________________________ Houston 28 27 20 25 18 - 118 Vancouver 33 22 16 29 10 - 110 _________________________________________________ Technical fouls: Houston 3 (Francis, 3:51 1st; Cato, 1:38 1st; Illegal Defense, 5:31 3rd). Vancouver 1 (Illegal Defense, 4:20 OT). Flagrant fouls: Houston 1 (Rogers, 3:25 1st). Vancouver 1 (Carr, 0:33 1st). A: 15,086. T: 2:41. Officials: David Jones, Joe Derosa, Bill Kennedy.


Game Story

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Ticker) -- Once again, villainous Steve Francis broke the hearts of Vancouver Grizzlies fans.

In his first game in the city and country he shunned, Francis overcame nearly three hours of steady abuse to play the best game of his rookie season and lead the Houston Rockets to a 118-110 overtime victory.

Before fouling out midway through the extra session, Francis collected 24 points, 10 assists, nine rebounds and no turnovers. He also put a pair of daggers into Vancouver, making the tying 22-footer with 2.6 seconds left in regulation and opening overtime by drilling a 3-pointer from nearly the same spot.

"I had fun tonight," Francis said. "It was like a college game with the atmosphere in the building."

"I'm very impressed," Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich said. "It was the first game he did not have a turnover this year. He said he didn't sleep this afternoon but I thought he played great. He did a wonderful job of not making it a big deal in such a hostile environment."

In the most anticipated NBA game in Vancouver since the club's inaugural contest in 1995, Francis was pelted with boos, insults, flagrant fouls and even a piece of fruit. The crowd of 15,086 at GM Place made every minute unpleasant for the somewhat brash guard, who left the court before the game ended.

"Good people do things like that in situations like this," he said. "I like Vancouver. I'll probably come back and visit but I'll be wearing a hat and moustache."

"It was wild. I'd like to see that every game," Grizzlies forward Shareef Abdur-Rahim said.

The Grizzlies made Francis the second overall pick in the draft even after he said he did not want to play in Canada. When he made it clear that he was not going to report, Grizzlies general manager Stu Jackson had no choice but to trade him.

In a three-team, 11-player deal -- the biggest in NBA history -- Francis landed in Houston while Vancouver netted improving youngsters Michael Dickerson and Othella Harrington and veterans Antoine Carr and Brent Price.

It appeared the Grizzlies would get their revenge when a pair of free throws by Shareef Abdur-Rahim, who scored 23 points, gave Vancouver a 98-94 lead with 28 seconds left. Francis drew a foul and made 1-of-2 as an orange landed on the court behind him.

But Mike Bibby twice split a pair from the line around Cuttino Mobley's 3-pointer, leaving the Grizzlies with a two-point lead. After Francis had the ball knocked away from him and out of bounds, he took an inbounds pass and buried the tying jumper.

He started overtime in similar fashion and a technical foul shot by Mobley and long jumper by Charles Barkley gave Houston a 106-100 lead. Abdur-Rahim and Houston's Matt Bullard traded 3-pointers and Bibby made two free throws before Francis spun around Bibby for a jumper and a 111-105 lead with three minutes to go.

Francis fouled out seconds later, but Bullard buried another 3-pointer to seal it at 114-105 with 2:06 left, sending the Grizzlies (3-11) to their eighth straight loss.

Barkley avoided a tossed tomato to score 22 points and Mobley added 17 for the Rockets, who shot 52 percent (45-of-87) from the field although they were without star center Hakeem Olajuwon, who will miss at least three weeks with a groin strain. Kelvin Cato started in his place and collected 13 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks.

"My job is just to get them (the crowd) here," Barkley said. "What they do once they get here is up to them."

Bibby scored a season-high 25 points and Harrington added 13 and 11 rebounds for the Grizzlies, who shot 45 percent (39-of-86) and dropped their seventh straight meeting with the Rockets.

"We had the game won. We've got to learn to win these games," Abdur-Rahim said.

The treatment of Francis was relentless. It began with a video on the scoreboard of the cartoon "Francis The Talking Mule." A fan's placard called Francis the "NBA's Crybaby." And when he was introduced as part of the starting lineup, GM Place filled with boos.

"I'm not mad at them," Francis said.

It didn't stop there, either. Francis was booed every time he touched the ball and as he has done so many times this season turned the game into a personal battle. He came out gunning and midway through the first period made a 3-pointer before setting up Barkley for a dunk on consecutive possessions.

With just under four minutes to go in the quarter, Francis was trapped in the lane but passed to himself off the backboard and put in a one-handed follow off the rebound. He started shouting trash at the Vancouver bench and drew a technical foul, a mock cheer from the crowd and a stern discussion with Barkley, who told him to calm down.

"I was yelling at Obinna (former Maryland teammate Obinna Ekezie) on the bench," Francis said.

"He was a little riled at the beginning but he came on to play a great game," Barkley said.

The crowd began a chant of "Francis (stinks)." Undaunted, Francis used a flashy skip step to bring the ball upcourt and in the final minute of the period was clobbered by Carr, who drew a flagrant foul.

Vancouver led 33-28 after one period as Bibby, Francis' counterpart, scored nine points. The lead grew as big as nine points before the Rockets rallied behind Bryce Drew, who came off the bench and made three straight shots.

Francis set up Carlos Rogers for a layup that gave Houston a 48-47 lead with 4:01 to go. The teams were tied 55-55 at the half.

In the third quarter, the scoreboard showed a video clip from the movie "Stripes" in which actor Warren Oates says, "Lighten up, Francis." The Rockets led by as many as eight points before taking a 75-71 lead to the fourth quarter.

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