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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- HOUSTON 13 16 25 31 85 LA LAKERS 30 18 25 28 101 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: HOU - CUTTINO MOBLEY 29, KENNY THOMAS 14, CARLOS ROGERS 9 LAL - KOBE BRYANT 31, SHAQUILLE ONEAL 24, GLEN RICE 17

HIGH REBOUND: HOU - ANTHONY MILLER 8, TWO PLAYERS WITH 6 LAL - SHAQUILLE ONEAL 13, AC GREEN 11

HIGH ASSISTS: HOU - MOOCHIE NORRIS 4, STEVE FRANCIS 4 LAL - SHAQUILLE ONEAL 8, KOBE BRYANT 6

ATT: 18,997


Extended Box

HOUSTON (85) AT LA LAKERS (101)

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

THOMAS F 26 4-10 4-4 3 2 5 2 3 1 1 14 WILLIAMS F 21 2-7 0-0 0 3 3 2 0 1 0 4 OLAJUWON C 13 3-7 0-0 2 4 6 1 4 0 0 6 ANDERSON G 22 1-4 0-0 0 0 0 2 2 1 4 2 FRANCIS G 36 2-11 1-2 0 2 2 4 2 2 7 6 MILLER 18 2-4 1-2 2 6 8 0 2 1 0 5 MOBLEY 33 7-17 12-12 0 3 3 1 3 2 2 29 BULLARD 20 2-8 1-2 0 2 2 0 5 1 0 6 DREW 13 0-1 0-0 0 2 2 2 1 3 0 0 NORRIS 19 2-7 0-2 0 2 2 4 0 1 0 4 ROGERS 19 4-5 1-1 2 4 6 0 2 0 0 9 GRAY DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 29-81 20-25 9 30 39 18 24 13 14 85 (.358) (.800) TEAM REBS: 7 TOTAL TO: 14(16 PTS)

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

GREEN F 23 2-5 0-2 3 8 11 0 0 0 1 4 RICE F 28 6-11 2-2 0 3 3 1 3 0 0 17 ONEAL C 36 11-20 2-6 2 11 13 8 1 1 2 24 BRYANT G 36 13-18 3-7 1 3 4 6 5 1 4 31 HARPER G 19 0-4 0-0 1 3 4 3 3 1 2 0 SHAW 17 1-2 0-0 0 2 2 3 2 1 1 2 HORRY 25 2-5 0-0 0 5 5 0 2 0 3 4 FOX 16 1-4 0-0 0 3 3 2 4 0 0 2 FISHER 24 2-4 2-2 0 1 1 3 1 3 4 7 KNIGHT 12 3-4 2-2 1 2 3 0 2 0 1 8 GEORGE 4 0-0 2-2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 SALLEY DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 41-77 13-23 8 41 49 26 23 7 18 101 (.532) (.565) TEAM REBS: 8 TOTAL TO: 18(27 PTS)

HOUSTON 13 16 25 31 - 85 LA LAKERS 30 18 25 28 - 101

BLOCKED SHOTS: HOUSTON - ANDERSON. LA LAKERS - ONEAL 5, HORRY 3, RICE, BRYANT. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: HOUSTON 7-21 (.333), THOMAS 2-5, WILLIAMS 0-2, ANDERSON 0-1, FRANCIS 1-5, MOBLEY 3-5, BULLARD 1-2, DREW 0-1. LA LAKERS 6-13 (.462), RICE 3-5, BRYANT 2-4, HARPER 0-1, HORRY 0-1, FOX 0-1, FISHER 1-1. TECHNICALS: NONE. OFFICIALS: HUGH EVANS, BLANE REICHELT, NOLAN FINE. A - 18,997. T - 2:29.


Box Score

HOUSTON (85) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Thomas 26 4-10 4-4 3-5 2 3 14 Williams 21 2-7 0-0 0-3 2 0 4 Olajuwon 13 3-7 0-0 2-6 1 4 6 Anderson 22 1-4 0-0 0-0 2 2 2 Francis 36 2-11 1-2 0-2 4 2 6 Miller 18 2-4 1-2 2-8 0 2 5 Mobley 33 7-17 12-12 0-3 1 3 29 Bullard 20 2-8 1-2 0-2 0 5 6 Drew 13 0-1 0-0 0-2 2 1 0 Norris 19 2-7 0-2 0-2 4 0 4 Rogers 19 4-5 1-1 2-6 0 2 9 Gray DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 29-81 20-25 9-39 18 24 85 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.358, FT-.800. 3-Point Goals: 7-21, .333 (Thomas 2-5, Williams 0-2, Anderson 0-1, Francis 1-5, Mobley 3-5, Bullard 1-2, Drew 0-1). Team rebounds: 7. Blocked shots: 1 (Anderson). Turnovers: 14 (Francis 7, Anderson 4, Mobley 2, Thomas). Steals: 13 (Drew 3, Francis 2, Mobley 2, Anderson, Bullard, Miller, Norris, Thomas, Williams).

LA LAKERS (101) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Green 23 2-5 0-2 3-11 0 0 4 Rice 28 6-11 2-2 0-3 1 3 17 Oneal 36 11-20 2-6 2-13 8 1 24 Bryant 36 13-18 3-7 1-4 6 5 31 Harper 19 0-4 0-0 1-4 3 3 0 Shaw 17 1-2 0-0 0-2 3 2 2 Horry 25 2-5 0-0 0-5 0 2 4 Fox 16 1-4 0-0 0-3 2 4 2 Fisher 24 2-4 2-2 0-1 3 1 7 Knight 12 3-4 2-2 1-3 0 2 8 George 4 0-0 2-2 0-0 0 0 2 Salley DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 41-77 13-23 8-49 26 23 101 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.532, FT-.565. 3-Point Goals: 6-13, .462 (Rice 3-5, Bryant 2-4, Harper 0-1, Horry 0-1, Fox 0-1, Fisher 1-1). Team rebounds: 8. Blocked shots: 10 (Oneal 5, Horry 3, Rice, Bryant). Turnovers: 18 (Bryant 4, Fisher 4, Horry 3, Harper 2, Oneal 2, Green, Knight, Shaw). Steals: 7 (Fisher 3, Bryant, Harper, Oneal, Shaw). ____________________________________________ Houston 13 16 25 31 - 85 La Lakers 30 18 25 28 - 101 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: None. Flagrant fouls: None. A: 18,997. T: 2:29. Officials: Hugh Evans, Blane Reichelt, Nolan Fine.


Game Story

LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- Kobe Bryant settled matters early.

The All-Star forward scored 18 of his season high-tying 31 points in the first quarter as the Los Angeles Lakers kept pace in the race for the NBA's best record with their 11th straight win, a 101-85 rout of the Houston Rockets.

Bryant made 8-of-10 shots in the opening period as the Lakers pulled ahead to stay, cruising to their sixth consecutive home win. They avenged a 97-81 loss to the Rockets here on November 12 and earned a 2-2 split of the season series.

"It was a fun first quarter," Bryant said. "I was just in a rhythm, that's all. I was just taking shots, got good passes and just got into a groove."

Bryant finished 13-of-18 from the floor and did an outstanding job of shutting down Houston point guard Steve Francis, holding the heralded rookie to six points on 2-of-11 shooting. Los Angeles has not lost since a 105-81 setback at San Antonio on February 1.

"I was just trying to play (Francis) hard," Bryant said. "I was up to the challenge. He is really quick off the dribble. We just had to make sure he didn't get into the middle and create for other people."

"Everytime I touched the ball I saw 4-5 hands in my face," Francis said. "They played good defense, I'm not going to lie about that, I swear."

Bryant also had 31 points in a 110-100 victory at Seattle on January 8.

All-Star Shaquille O'Neal had 24 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists for the Lakers, who are tied with Portland for the NBA's top record at 45-11. The Trail Blazers knocked off Utah, 101-92, earlier today.

"We just came out with a lot of energy," O'Neal said. "(Bryant) played well. He threw up a lot of shots and he hit most of them. On any given night, any one of our big three can go out and play that type of basketball."

The Lakers had an NBA season-high 16-game run from December 11-January 12, but looked human in dropping six of nine before their current streak. They have two separate winning streaks of at least 10 games in the same season for the first time since the 1987-88 campaign, when they also had streaks of 16 and 11 games. Los Angeles won its last NBA title in 1988.

Cuttino Mobley fell one point shy of a career high with 29 points for the Rockets, who have lost five in a row and eight of 10. Mobley scored 11 straight points in the fourth quarter to bring Houston within 89-79 with 4:04 to play.

"Kobe was a nightmare," Mobley said. "Yeah, I had a good game. You think you're getting it done but you're not really doing anything. You're just running around knowing that the continuity was bad all together."

Bryant forged a 2-2 tie with a thunderous slam, buried a 26-footer to put the Lakers ahead to stay and made a 21-footer to stretch the advantage to 7-2 with 8:49 left on the ensuing possession.

"It's embarrassing because it's on NBC," Francis said. "Just watching Kobe lay it up, dunk it and smile and laugh, I don't appreciate stuff like that."

Bryant stepped in front of errant pass by Shandon Anderson and fed Glen Rice for another basket in the following sequence as Los Angeles took control.

Bryant, O'Neal and Rice scored the Lakers first 42 points as they opened a 21-point bulge with 6:26 remaining in the half. Derek Fisher converted a steal into an uncontested slam, joining his three teammates in the scoring column and giving Los Angeles a 44-21 bulge 5:23 before intermission.

Rice scored 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting for Los Angeles, which shot 53 percent (41-of-77), held a 49-39 advantage on the boards and scored 16 points off turnovers.

Rookie Kenny Thomas scored 14 points for Houston, which shot 36 percent (29-of-81).

After Robert Horry's slam gave the Lakers an 85-67 cushion with 7:05 to play, Mobley did his best to close the gap, making eight free throws and a pair of 3-pointers over a 4 1/2-minute stretch.

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