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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- PHOENIX 32 19 29 28 108 HOUSTON 25 30 25 21 101 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: PHO - ANFERNEE HARDAWAY 24, TOM GUGLIOTTA 23, CLIFF ROBINSON 19 HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 32, SHANDON ANDERSON 20, CUTTINO MOBLEY 14

HIGH REBOUND: PHO - JASON KIDD 12, TOM GUGLIOTTA 9 HOU - HAKEEM OLAJUWON 8, KELVIN CATO 7

HIGH ASSISTS: PHO - ANFERNEE HARDAWAY 10, JASON KIDD 8 HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 8, TWO PLAYERS WITH 3

ATT: 14,749


Extended Box

PHOENIX (108) AT HOUSTON (101)

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

GUGLIOTTA F 39 7-12 9-9 4 5 9 3 1 5 2 23 ROBINSON F 37 7-17 4-4 1 2 3 2 1 2 1 19 LONGLEY C 10 0-3 0-0 0 3 3 0 4 0 0 0 HARDAWAY G 41 11-22 1-2 2 5 7 10 3 0 2 24 KIDD G 41 4-9 5-5 4 8 12 8 3 3 2 15 BLOUNT 12 0-3 0-0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 ROGERS 32 5-5 4-4 1 3 4 0 3 0 3 15 MARION 17 4-7 1-2 0 4 4 0 2 0 1 10 LIVINGSTON 7 1-3 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 CHAPMAN 4 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 BAILEY DNP - COACH'S DECISION WEST DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 39-82 24-26 12 30 42 23 19 11 11 108 (.476) (.923) TEAM REBS: 2 TOTAL TO: 11(14 PTS)

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

THOMAS F 29 3-8 0-0 2 4 6 2 2 1 1 6 WILLIAMS F 15 1-4 2-2 1 2 3 1 1 0 2 5 OLAJUWON C 23 5-13 2-3 3 5 8 1 1 0 1 12 ANDERSON G 41 9-15 1-1 1 3 4 3 4 1 2 20 FRANCIS G 44 13-21 0-0 0 4 4 8 3 4 5 32 CATO 26 3-4 0-2 3 4 7 1 4 0 0 6 MOBLEY 33 5-13 4-5 1 3 4 3 2 3 4 14 ROGERS 18 3-6 0-0 2 3 5 2 1 0 1 6 NORRIS 7 0-2 0-0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 DREW 4 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 GRAY DNP - COACH'S DECISION MILLER DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 42-86 9-13 13 29 42 21 19 9 17 101 (.488) (.692) TEAM REBS: 7 TOTAL TO: 18(16 PTS)

PHOENIX 32 19 29 28 - 108 HOUSTON 25 30 25 21 - 101

BLOCKED SHOTS: PHOENIX - GUGLIOTTA 2, HARDAWAY, MARION, LONGLEY. HOUSTON - CATO 2, ANDERSON, MOBLEY, WILLIAMS. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: PHOENIX 6-12 (.500), ROBINSON 1-5, HARDAWAY 1-1, KIDD 2-3, ROGERS 1-1, MARION 1-2. HOUSTON 8-25 (.320), THOMAS 0-4, WILLIAMS 1-3, ANDERSON 1-3, FRANCIS 6-11, MOBLEY 0-3, NORRIS 0-1. TECHNICALS: PHOENIX - GUGLIOTTA, HOUSTON - FRANCIS. OFFICIALS: JOE CRAWFORD, MIKE CALLAHAN, RASHAN MICHEL. A - 14,749. T - 2:12.


Box Score

PHOENIX (108) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Gugliotta 39 7-12 9-9 4-9 3 1 23 Robinson 37 7-17 4-4 1-3 2 1 19 Longley 10 0-3 0-0 0-3 0 4 0 Hardaway 41 11-22 1-2 2-7 10 3 24 Kidd 41 4-9 5-5 4-12 8 3 15 Blount 12 0-3 0-0 0-0 0 2 0 Rogers 32 5-5 4-4 1-4 0 3 15 Marion 17 4-7 1-2 0-4 0 2 10 Livingston 7 1-3 0-0 0-0 0 0 2 Chapman 4 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 Bailey DNP - coach's decision West DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 39-82 24-26 12-42 23 19 108 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.476, FT-.923. 3-Point Goals: 6-12, .500 (Robinson 1-5, Hardaway 1-1, Kidd 2-3, Rogers 1-1, Marion 1-2). Team rebounds: 2. Blocked shots: 5 (Gugliotta 2, Hardaway, Marion, Longley). Turnovers: 11 (Rogers 3, Gugliotta 2, Hardaway 2, Kidd 2, Marion, Robinson). Steals: 11 (Gugliotta 5, Kidd 3, Robinson 2, Livingston).

HOUSTON (101) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Thomas 29 3-8 0-0 2-6 2 2 6 Williams 15 1-4 2-2 1-3 1 1 5 Olajuwon 23 5-13 2-3 3-8 1 1 12 Anderson 41 9-15 1-1 1-4 3 4 20 Francis 44 13-21 0-0 0-4 8 3 32 Cato 26 3-4 0-2 3-7 1 4 6 Mobley 33 5-13 4-5 1-4 3 2 14 Rogers 18 3-6 0-0 2-5 2 1 6 Norris 7 0-2 0-0 0-0 0 1 0 Drew 4 0-0 0-0 0-1 0 0 0 Gray DNP - coach's decision Miller DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 42-86 9-13 13-42 21 19 101 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.488, FT-.692. 3-Point Goals: 8-25, .320 (Thomas 0-4, Williams 1-3, Anderson 1-3, Francis 6-11, Mobley 0-3, Norris 0-1). Team rebounds: 7. Blocked shots: 5 (Cato 2, Anderson, Mobley, Williams). Turnovers: 18 (Francis 5, Mobley 4, Anderson 2, Williams 2, Norris, Olajuwon, Rogers, Thomas). Steals: 9 (Francis 4, Mobley 3, Anderson, Thomas). ____________________________________________ Phoenix 32 19 29 28 - 108 Houston 25 30 25 21 - 101 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: Phoenix 1 (Gugliotta, 5:00 2nd). Houston 1 (Francis, 5:38 3rd). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 14,749. T: 2:12. Officials: Joe Crawford, Mike Callahan, Rashan Michel.


Game Story

HOUSTON (Ticker) -- Rodney Rogers is making a strong case for Sixth Man of the Year.

Rogers had a number of key baskets down the stretch as the red-hot Phoenix Suns won their fifth straight game, a 108-101 victory over the Houston Rockets.

Phoenix signed Rogers as free agent in the offseason away from the Los Angeles Clippers to bolster the frontcourt and provide depth off the bench. He has responded and scored eight of his 15 points over the final 8:35 tonight, when the Suns outscored Houston, 21-12.

"When I come off the bench in the fourth quarter I have to try to make things happen," Rogers said. "I scored some points and got some big rebounds."

The backcourt tandem of Penny Hardaway and Jason Kidd also had big games for the Suns, who won for the 13th time in their last 15 games. Hardaway finished with 24 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds. Kidd had 15 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists.

"It was a big road win," Kidd said. "We found a way to win even though we didn't play our best game. We didn't let Houston get too far away from us and we stayed within striking distance."

In Monday's victory over Miami, Kidd had 10 points, a season-high 17 assists and nine rebounds while Hardaway matched a season high with 28 points.

The Suns als improved to 17-6 since Hardaway returned to the lineup on January 22 after missing 21 games with a right foot injury. Phoenix (39-21) is fourth in the Western Conference, one game in front of defending champion San Antonio.

"Overall a very, a very gutsy win," Suns coach Scott Skiles said. "I'll take it after playing last night. We clearly didn't have the same energy tonight. It was a big game with a lot of big plays by several different people."

Rookie Steve Francis had his best night as a pro for Houston, scoring a season-high 32 points on 13-of-21 shooting. He scored 23 points in the second half, including 17 in the third quarter.

"It was a good scoring performance for me but it was a tough game to lose," Francis said. "We were not rebounding well near the end. We could've had control of the game but we didn't make the plays."

Shandon Anderson added 20 points for the Rockets, who had a three-game winning streak stopped.

"I thought we played a pretty game against a very good team," Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich said. "Steve Francis was phenomenal. We had a lot of good efforts but we just couldn't get it done in the end. They have a lot of weapons and were hitting on all cylinders."

Trailing 93-89 with 6:23 left after Anderson made a layup, the Suns tied it as Gugliotta made two free throws and Hardaway a jumper. Cuttino Mobley made a driving layup with 4:15 to go, giving Houston its last lead.

Gugliotta had a tip-in to tie it and Cliff Robinson drilled a 3-pointer with 3:48 left, putting Phoenix ahead for good, 98-95. Following a dunk by Houston's Kelvin Cato, Hardaway and Rogers each hit jumpers.

After Francis converted a layup to make it 102-99 with 1:53 left, Rogers responded with four consecutive points for a seven-point bulge with under a minute to go.

"We should've won tonight. We didn't make our stops defensively near the end and they made their shots," Anderson said. "They have so many weapons and a lot of guys that could hurt you in different ways."

Rogers, who came in eighth in the league in field-goal percentage, made all five of his floor shots. He also went 4-of-4 from the line.

"You don't have many perfect games in this league. I'll take advantage of those, especially after my last game," said Rogers, who scored 12 points on 4-of-15 shooting Monday.

Gugliotta netted 10 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter. He made 7-of-12 shots and also pulled down nine rebounds. Hardaway connected on 11-of-22 shots for Phoenix, which shot 48 percent (39-of-82).

"We had to gut it out. We weren't executing our offense or hitting our shots in the first half," Gugliotta said. "Our rotations got better and we got to their open shooters after struggling early."

Houston was in front by four points at halftime and took its biggest lead of the contest, 62-53, with 9:40 left in the third quarter on a 3-pointer by Francis.

The explosive Francis made 7-of-9 shots in the period, including 3-of-4 attempts from 3-point range. He finished 6-of-11 from behind the arc and surpassed his previous high of 31 points, established on January 17 at Dallas.

Mobley added 14 points and Hakeem Olajuwon 12 -- none in the second half -- for the Rockets, who shot 49 percent (42-of-86).

However, the Suns battled back and tied the contest at 80-80 heading into the final 12 minutes.

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