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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- HOUSTON 27 13 36 22 98 TORONTO 28 24 20 28 100 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: HOU - SHANDON ANDERSON 25, WALT WILLIAMS 19, STEVE FRANCIS 16 TOR - VINCE CARTER 37, KEVIN WILLIS 19, TRACY MCGRADY 16

HIGH REBOUND: HOU - SHANDON ANDERSON 8, KENNY THOMAS 8 TOR - KEVIN WILLIS 13, TWO PLAYERS WITH 7

HIGH ASSISTS: HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 7, TWO PLAYERS WITH 4 TOR - DOUG CHRISTIE 5, TWO PLAYERS WITH 4

ATT: 19,876


Extended Box

HOUSTON (98) AT TORONTO (100)

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

THOMAS F 26 3-7 0-0 0 8 8 4 1 1 1 7 WILLIAMS F 38 7-15 4-4 2 3 5 2 2 0 0 19 OLAJUWON C 27 5-11 2-3 2 1 3 1 4 1 2 12 ANDERSON G 41 9-13 4-7 3 5 8 4 0 3 3 25 FRANCIS G 45 4-9 6-6 2 5 7 7 3 0 1 16 CATO 13 1-3 3-4 2 1 3 0 4 0 1 5 MOBLEY 25 3-9 1-2 0 1 1 2 3 0 1 8 ROGERS 12 0-2 2-4 0 2 2 1 0 0 0 2 NORRIS 7 1-4 0-0 0 2 2 0 0 0 2 2 DREW 6 1-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 GRAY DNP - COACH'S DECISION MILLER DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 34-74 22-30 11 28 39 21 17 5 11 98 (.459) (.733) TEAM REBS: 12 TOTAL TO: 12(14 PTS)

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

CARTER F 42 14-28 6-6 1 3 4 3 4 1 2 37 OAKLEY F 29 2-7 2-3 2 5 7 3 5 0 1 6 THOMAS C 13 0-0 1-2 2 2 4 1 0 1 1 1 CHRISTIE G 33 4-13 0-0 4 1 5 5 1 1 1 8 MCGRADY G 43 8-16 0-0 4 3 7 4 2 2 1 16 K WILLIS 27 8-15 3-3 6 7 13 0 4 0 0 19 CURRY 17 1-5 0-0 0 3 3 0 0 1 2 2 BOGUES 21 1-4 0-0 1 0 1 4 0 0 0 2 DAVIS 15 2-3 5-6 1 2 3 0 3 0 0 9 STEWART DNP - COACH'S DECISION A WILLIAMS DNP - COACH'S DECISION WORKMAN DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 40-91 17-20 21 26 47 20 19 6 8 100 (.440) (.850) TEAM REBS: 4 TOTAL TO: 8(12 PTS)

HOUSTON 27 13 36 22 - 98 TORONTO 28 24 20 28 - 100

BLOCKED SHOTS: HOUSTON - OLAJUWON 2, ROGERS, FRANCIS. TORONTO - MCGRADY 7, K WILLIS 2, OAKLEY. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: HOUSTON 8-20 (.400), THOMAS 1-3, WILLIAMS 1-4, ANDERSON 3-4, FRANCIS 2-5, MOBLEY 1-3, NORRIS 0-1. TORONTO 3-8 (.375), CARTER 3-6, CHRISTIE 0-1, CURRY 0-1. TECHNICALS: NONE. OFFICIALS: RON GARRETSON, TED BERNHARDT, LEON WOOD. A - 19,876. T - 2:21.


Box Score

HOUSTON (98) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Thomas 26 3-7 0-0 0-8 4 1 7 Williams 38 7-15 4-4 2-5 2 2 19 Olajuwon 27 5-11 2-3 2-3 1 4 12 Anderson 41 9-13 4-7 3-8 4 0 25 Francis 45 4-9 6-6 2-7 7 3 16 Cato 13 1-3 3-4 2-3 0 4 5 Mobley 25 3-9 1-2 0-1 2 3 8 Rogers 12 0-2 2-4 0-2 1 0 2 Norris 7 1-4 0-0 0-2 0 0 2 Drew 6 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 2 Gray DNP - coach's decision Miller DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 34-74 22-30 11-39 21 17 98 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.459, FT-.733. 3-Point Goals: 8-20, .400 (Thomas 1-3, Williams 1-4, Anderson 3-4, Francis 2-5, Mobley 1-3, Norris 0-1). Team rebounds: 12. Blocked shots: 4 (Olajuwon 2, Rogers, Francis). Turnovers: 12 (Anderson 3, Norris 2, Olajuwon 2, Cato, Francis, Mobley, Thomas). Steals: 5 (Anderson 3, Olajuwon, Thomas).

TORONTO (100) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Carter 42 14-28 6-6 1-4 3 4 37 Oakley 29 2-7 2-3 2-7 3 5 6 Thomas 13 0-0 1-2 2-4 1 0 1 Christie 33 4-13 0-0 4-5 5 1 8 Mcgrady 43 8-16 0-0 4-7 4 2 16 K Willis 27 8-15 3-3 6-13 0 4 19 Curry 17 1-5 0-0 0-3 0 0 2 Bogues 21 1-4 0-0 1-1 4 0 2 Davis 15 2-3 5-6 1-3 0 3 9 Stewart DNP - coach's decision A Williams DNP - coach's decision Workman DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 40-91 17-20 21-47 20 19 100 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.440, FT-.850. 3-Point Goals: 3-8, .375 (Carter 3-6, Christie 0-1, Curry 0-1). Team rebounds: 4. Blocked shots: 10 (Mcgrady 7, K Willis 2, Oakley). Turnovers: 8 (Carter 2, Curry 2, Christie, Mcgrady, Oakley, Thomas). Steals: 6 (Mcgrady 2, Carter, Christie, Curry, Thomas). ____________________________________________ Houston 27 13 36 22 - 98 Toronto 28 24 20 28 - 100 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: None. Flagrant fouls: Houston 1 (Francis, 3:25 2nd). A: 19,876. T: 2:21. Officials: Ron Garretson, Ted Bernhardt, Leon Wood.


Game Story

TORONTO (Ticker) -- The Houston Rockets kept putting Toronto Raptors superstar Vince Carter down hard, but could not put him or his high-flying game out.

Carter got off the deck several times after taking hard fouls and scored 37 points, including the winning basket on a thunderous slam with less than two seconds remaining, as the Raptors held off the feisty Rockets, 100-98.

Carter went 14-of-28 from the floor, 7-of-7 at the line and as has been his penchant all season, the 6-7 forward held the game in his hands as the clock wound down. He beat the Boston Celtics at the buzzer with a 3-pointer on March 1 and sent the Los Angeles Clippers home with a loss on March 8 after drilling a 30-footer as time expired.

Today, the reigning NBA Rookie of the Year and Slam Dunk champion got a tremendous first step on overmatched Houston forward Shandon Anderson and took a few more powerful strides before throwing down the go-ahead slam with 1.9 seconds left.

"I was focusing on the time and what I had to do to get to the basket," Carter said. "I was getting hit all game, so when I saw the rim, I just elevated. Lately, I've been taking a lot of hard fouls, but I've just got to play through it."

"We played our normal defense," said Anderson. "He had a quick move. Once he got off I dont think anyone could've blocked it. He only took one dribble and jumped. There was not time to recover. He was pointing, pointing and then, bam."

Kevin Willis scored 19 points and Tracy McGrady added 16 for the red-hot Raptors, who have won 11 of their last 12 games.

Anderson scored 25 points and rookie Steve Francis had 16 for Houston, which has lost seven in a row and was swept by Toronto in the season series.

Francis was charged with a flagrant foul when he threw Carter down on his tailbone on a layup attempt. The league's brightest new star was slow to get up before draining both free throws to give the Raptors a 42-32 lead with 3:25 left in the first half. Carter remained on the court until the next stoppage in play, then headed to the locker room.

"That was a real hard foul, but he comes back," McGrady said. "He's been doing it all year, every night. It's something else. He's got a lot of talent and he brings it every night. He's our man, our go-to guy, and he's coming through for us. That's what we need."

Carter was sent sprawling to the hardwood on several occasions in the second half, but would not be denied on his final trip to the basket.

"It's the start of what's to come," Toronto coach Butch Carter said of the physical abuse taken by his star player. "He has to mentally prepare himself for a war. He always seems to come back. He will get knocked down because they expect him not to come back or not to come back as strong."

Walt Williams scored 19 points and Hakeem Olajuwon added 12, including a pair of clutch jumpers, the second of which gave Houston a 96-95 lead with 52 seconds to play.

with the shot clock winding down on the ensuing possession, Carter hoisted a 3-pointer that bounced and teetered along the rim for several seconds before falling through as the Raptors went ahead, 98-96, with 33 seconds left.

"My guys played their hearts out and lost to a real good team," Tomjanovich said. "Vince Carter is a special player. With that 3-point shot that bounced around, only special players get those."

"After the first bounce I thought I missed, but it bounced and bounced and obviously, I had luck on my side today," Carter said.

Houston's Cuttino Mobley responded by fearlessly driving through several defenders for a tying layup with 17 seconds remaining, setting the stage for Carter's final heroics.

Willis was 8-of-15 from the field and grabbed 13 rebounds for the Raptors, who shot 44 percent (40-of-91), held a 47-39 edge on the boards and commmitted only eight turnovers.

The Rockets shot 46 percent (34-of-74) and surrendered just 12 points off giveaways.

Carter's 18 first-half points helped the Raptors to a 52-40 lead at the break, but Houston came out on fire in the third quarter. Williams and Olajuwon combined to make four from the line before Anderson's driving layup gave the Rockets a 62-61 lead with 5:32 remaining in the period.

Rookie Kenny Thomas knocked down a 24-footer to give Houston a 76-72 lead entering the fourth quarter.

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