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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- SEATTLE 34 20 28 21 103 HOUSTON 31 22 23 20 96 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: SEA - GARY PAYTON 29, VIN BAKER 19, HORACE GRANT 18 HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 27, MATT BULLARD 20, BRYCE DREW 13

HIGH REBOUND: SEA - VIN BAKER 18, HORACE GRANT 7 HOU - CARLOS ROGERS 14, CUTTINO MOBLEY 7

HIGH ASSISTS: SEA - GARY PAYTON 10, VERNON MAXWELL 5 HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 7, MATT BULLARD 5

ATT: 14,440


Extended Box

SEATTLE (103) AT HOUSTON (96)

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

BAKER F 39 8-14 3-6 3 15 18 4 5 1 1 19 PATTERSON F 29 6-11 1-3 5 1 6 3 2 2 2 13 GRANT C 39 8-11 2-2 2 5 7 4 2 1 0 18 B BARRY G 31 3-5 1-2 1 5 6 0 5 2 0 8 PAYTON G 43 12-28 4-4 2 3 5 10 1 0 4 29 MAXWELL 31 1-11 2-2 0 1 1 5 1 4 2 5 LEWIS 11 2-6 0-0 0 1 1 0 1 1 1 4 FOSTER 15 3-6 0-0 1 3 4 0 1 0 0 7 DAVIS 2 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 BORRELL DNP - COACH'S DECISION PERSON DNP - COACH'S DECISION STEPANIA DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 43-92 13-19 14 34 48 26 18 11 10 103 (.467) (.684) TEAM REBS: 7 TOTAL TO: 11(9 PTS)

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

ANDERSON F 24 3-7 2-2 1 2 3 3 2 1 3 10 BULLARD F 32 7-15 4-5 1 3 4 5 4 1 0 20 ROGERS C 36 5-15 1-4 6 8 14 0 2 1 0 11 FRANCIS G 41 9-14 7-8 3 3 6 7 4 1 4 27 MOBLEY G 39 2-15 1-2 1 6 7 3 1 0 3 6 THOMAS 16 1-4 1-2 1 2 3 0 1 0 1 3 DREW 24 4-6 2-2 0 1 1 3 0 2 2 13 HAMILTON 12 1-2 0-0 0 4 4 1 0 0 3 2 WILLIAMS 16 2-4 0-0 0 6 6 0 1 0 3 4 CATO DNP - SPRAINED RIGHT WRIST GRAY DNP - COACH'S DECISION MASSENBURG DNP - GROIN STRAIN

TOTALS 240 34-82 18-25 13 35 48 22 15 6 19 96 (.415) (.720) TEAM REBS: 7 TOTAL TO: 19(17 PTS)

SEATTLE 34 20 28 21 - 103 HOUSTON 31 22 23 20 - 96

BLOCKED SHOTS: SEATTLE - NONE. HOUSTON - BULLARD, ANDERSON, ROGERS. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: SEATTLE 4-21 (.190), B BARRY 1-3, PAYTON 1-8, MAXWELL 1-7, LEWIS 0-1, FOSTER 1-2. HOUSTON 10-26 (.385), ANDERSON 2-3, BULLARD 2-6, FRANCIS 2-3, MOBLEY 1-8, DREW 3-5, WILLIAMS 0-1. TECHNICALS: SEATTLE - PAYTON, HOUSTON - FRANCIS. OFFICIALS: TED BERNHARDT, SEAN CORBIN, SCOTT WALL. A - 14,440. T - 2:07.


Box Score

SEATTLE (103) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Baker 39 8-14 3-6 3-18 4 5 19 Patterson 29 6-11 1-3 5-6 3 2 13 Grant 39 8-11 2-2 2-7 4 2 18 B Barry 31 3-5 1-2 1-6 0 5 8 Payton 43 12-28 4-4 2-5 10 1 29 Maxwell 31 1-11 2-2 0-1 5 1 5 Lewis 11 2-6 0-0 0-1 0 1 4 Foster 15 3-6 0-0 1-4 0 1 7 Davis 2 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 Borrell DNP - coach's decision Person DNP - coach's decision Stepania DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 43-92 13-19 14-48 26 18 103 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.467, FT-.684. 3-Point Goals: 4-21, .190 (B Barry 1-3, Payton 1-8, Maxwell 1-7, Lewis 0-1, Foster 1-2). Team rebounds: 7. Blocked shots: None. Turnovers: 11 (Payton 4, Maxwell 2, Patterson 2, Baker, Lewis). Steals: 11 (Maxwell 4, B Barry 2, Patterson 2, Baker, Grant, Lewis).

HOUSTON (96) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Anderson 24 3-7 2-2 1-3 3 2 10 Bullard 32 7-15 4-5 1-4 5 4 20 Rogers 36 5-15 1-4 6-14 0 2 11 Francis 41 9-14 7-8 3-6 7 4 27 Mobley 39 2-15 1-2 1-7 3 1 6 Thomas 16 1-4 1-2 1-3 0 1 3 Drew 24 4-6 2-2 0-1 3 0 13 Hamilton 12 1-2 0-0 0-4 1 0 2 Williams 16 2-4 0-0 0-6 0 1 4 Cato DNP - sprained right wrist Gray DNP - coach's decision Massenburg DNP - groin strain _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 34-82 18-25 13-48 22 15 96 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.415, FT-.720. 3-Point Goals: 10-26, .385 (Anderson 2-3, Bullard 2-6, Francis 2-3, Mobley 1-8, Drew 3-5, Williams 0-1). Team rebounds: 7. Blocked shots: 3 (Bullard, Anderson, Rogers). Turnovers: 19 (Francis 4, Anderson 3, Hamilton 3, Mobley 3, Williams 3, Drew 2, Thomas). Steals: 6 (Drew 2, Anderson, Bullard, Francis, Rogers). ____________________________________________ Seattle 34 20 28 21 - 103 Houston 31 22 23 20 - 96 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: Seattle 1 (Payton, 5:04 3rd). Houston 1 (Francis, 5:04 3rd). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 14,440. T: 2:07. Officials: Ted Bernhardt, Sean Corbin, Scott Wall.


Game Story

HOUSTON (Ticker) -- As far as Gary Payton is concerned, rookie Steve Francis is all talk.

Payton stopped his war of words with Francis long enough to score four straight layups midway through the fourth quarter as the Seattle SuperSonics snapped an uncharacteristic five-game losing streak with a 103-96 victory over the Houston Rockets.

Perennial All-Star Payton collected 29 points and 10 assists, mostly at the expense of Francis, the second overall pick in the 1999 draft who was named NBA Rookie of the Month for November.

"Francis is a great potential player," Payton said. "He reminds me of a highlight-type player that has a lot of raw talent. He's gonna be a good one."

Francis had 27 points and seven assists but was no match for Payton, physically or verbally.

"Gary had a hell of a game," Francis admitted. "I just have to be more patient, and more patient against guys like that."

Vin Baker had 19 points and a season-high 18 rebounds for the SuperSonics, who had not lost six in a row since November 23-December 4, 1990, Payton's rookie season. Horace Grant scored 18 points for Seattle.

"We played hard and stayed together," Payton said. "We were jelling too good early in the season and that fell apart. We needed to come out aggressive like that."

Francis got some unexpected help from Matt Bullard, who scored a season-high 20 points. But that was not enough to prevent Houston from falling to 6-10 at home.

A free throw by Carlos Rogers, who collected 11 points and a season-high 14 rebounds, pulled the Rockets within 89-87 with 5:56 remaining before Payton took over. Over the next two-plus minutes, he was the only player to score, driving for two layups on the fast break and spinning around Francis for a pair of inside shots.

The last one came with 3:42 left and gave Seattle a 97-87 lead. Houston got no closer than the final margin.

During a preseason game, Francis came out talking and Payton put him in his place with a few choice words. With 5:04 left in the third quarter tonight, Payton and Francis both were given technical fouls for what they said was incorrectly labeled as taunting by the referees.

"When someone asks me something, I'm gonna give them an answer," Payton said. "The ref thought we were taunting. It wasn't like that and he (the referee) should have taken it back. We were just talking about something else."

Technical fouls carry an automatic $250 fine and Payton, who makes $11 million per season, made a peace offering to Francis.

"We weren't arguing," Francis said. "He was trying to help me out. He told me to take more shots. He said he was going to pay my fine. He said (to) make sure I send that to (him). That's chump change to him. I'm just a rookie."

Ruben Patterson scored 13 points for the Sonics, who shot 47 percent (43-of-92) from the field and held the Rockets to just 41.5 percent (34-of-82) while forcing 19 turnovers.

"We had to play some defense in the second half," Sonics coach Paul Westphal said. "We brought their shooting percentage way down and got some turnovers. We tried to go inside tonight. Vin had an excellent game, both scoring and on the boards."

Bryce Drew scored 13 points and Shandon Anderson added 10 for Houston, which made 10-of-26 3-pointers, including three by Drew and two apiece by Bullard, Francis and Anderson. Seattle was just 4-of-21 from behind the arc.

"It was freezing on the court and I needed to do something to warm it up," said Bullard, who scored Houston's first 10 points.

Despite Bullard's quick start, Seattle led 34-31 after one period behind 12 points from Grant. Houston closed to 54-53 at halftime but trailed 82-76 entering the final period.

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