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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- HOUSTON 27 17 28 27 99 LA LAKERS 25 29 28 23 105 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: HOU - MOOCHIE NORRIS 15, KENNY THOMAS 14, THREE PLAYERS WITH 13 LAL - KOBE BRYANT 37, SHAQUILLE ONEAL 14, HORACE GRANT 13

HIGH REBOUND: HOU - KENNY THOMAS 8, HAKEEM OLAJUWON 7 LAL - KOBE BRYANT 10, HORACE GRANT 9

HIGH ASSISTS: HOU - MOOCHIE NORRIS 3, THREE PLAYERS WITH 2 LAL - BRIAN SHAW 4, TWO PLAYERS WITH 3

ATT: 18,997


Extended Box

HOUSTON (99) AT LA LAKERS (105)

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

TAYLOR F 12 3-5 2-2 0 3 3 0 5 0 3 8 WILLIAMS F 31 4-8 3-3 1 1 2 1 0 2 1 13 OLAJUWON C 31 4-9 5-6 1 6 7 2 4 0 0 13 ANDERSON G 22 1-2 0-0 1 2 3 2 2 0 2 3 FRANCIS G 40 3-11 4-5 0 2 2 2 4 3 3 10 THOMAS 36 5-15 3-4 3 5 8 0 4 0 1 14 MOBLEY 30 3-11 7-8 3 1 4 1 2 1 1 13 COLLIER 16 2-5 6-8 2 1 3 1 2 0 0 10 NORRIS 20 6-7 3-5 1 3 4 3 0 1 3 15 BULLARD 2 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 ROGERS DNP - COACH'S DECISION LANGHI DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 31-73 33-41 12 24 36 12 24 7 14 99 (.425) (.805) TEAM REBS: 12 TOTAL TO: 15(17 PTS)

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

BRYANT F 44 12-29 12-15 3 7 10 2 5 3 2 37 GRANT F 29 5-10 3-3 3 6 9 1 5 0 0 13 ONEAL C 32 6-14 2-5 2 3 5 3 6 0 5 14 HARPER G 26 3-5 2-5 2 5 7 0 1 0 3 8 SHAW G 22 3-7 0-0 1 2 3 4 2 1 0 8 RIDER 25 5-11 1-1 2 3 5 1 3 0 3 12 FOX 19 2-4 0-0 0 1 1 3 3 1 1 6 FOSTER 6 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 HORRY 24 2-2 0-0 2 2 4 2 4 0 1 5 PENBERTHY 9 1-3 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 MADSEN 4 0-0 0-0 1 1 2 0 2 0 1 0 GEORGE DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 39-85 20-29 16 30 46 18 33 5 16 105 (.459) (.690) TEAM REBS: 11 TOTAL TO: 17(15 PTS)

HOUSTON 27 17 28 27 - 99 LA LAKERS 25 29 28 23 - 105

BLOCKED SHOTS: HOUSTON - OLAJUWON 2, FRANCIS, COLLIER, THOMAS. LA LAKERS - ONEAL 6, HORRY, HARPER. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: HOUSTON 4-14 (.286), WILLIAMS 2-2, ANDERSON 1-1, FRANCIS 0-4, THOMAS 1-4, MOBLEY 0-2, NORRIS 0-1. LA LAKERS 7-13 (.538), BRYANT 1-1, HARPER 0-1, SHAW 2-4, RIDER 1-1, FOX 2-4, HORRY 1-1, PENBERTHY 0-1. TECHNICALS: HOUSTON - FRANCIS. OFFICIALS: BOB DELANEY, NOLAN FINE, LEROY RICHARDSON. A - 18,997. T - 2:30.


Box Score

HOUSTON (99) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Taylor 12 3-5 2-2 0-3 0 5 8 Williams 31 4-8 3-3 1-2 1 0 13 Olajuwon 31 4-9 5-6 1-7 2 4 13 Anderson 22 1-2 0-0 1-3 2 2 3 Francis 40 3-11 4-5 0-2 2 4 10 Thomas 36 5-15 3-4 3-8 0 4 14 Mobley 30 3-11 7-8 3-4 1 2 13 Collier 16 2-5 6-8 2-3 1 2 10 Norris 20 6-7 3-5 1-4 3 0 15 Bullard 2 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 0 Rogers DNP - coach's decision Langhi DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 31-73 33-41 12-36 12 24 99 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.425, FT-.805. 3-Point Goals: 4-14, .286 (Williams 2-2, Anderson 1-1, Francis 0-4, Thomas 1-4, Mobley 0-2, Norris 0-1). Team rebounds: 12. Blocked shots: 5 (Olajuwon 2, Francis, Collier, Thomas). Turnovers: 15 (Francis 3, Norris 3, Taylor 3, Anderson 2, Mobley, Thomas, Williams). Steals: 7 (Francis 3, Williams 2, Mobley, Norris).

LA LAKERS (105) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Bryant 44 12-29 12-15 3-10 2 5 37 Grant 29 5-10 3-3 3-9 1 5 13 Oneal 32 6-14 2-5 2-5 3 6 14 Harper 26 3-5 2-5 2-7 0 1 8 Shaw 22 3-7 0-0 1-3 4 2 8 Rider 25 5-11 1-1 2-5 1 3 12 Fox 19 2-4 0-0 0-1 3 3 6 Foster 6 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 2 0 Horry 24 2-2 0-0 2-4 2 4 5 Penberthy 9 1-3 0-0 0-0 1 0 2 Madsen 4 0-0 0-0 1-2 0 2 0 George DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 39-85 20-29 16-46 18 33 105 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.459, FT-.690. 3-Point Goals: 7-13, .538 (Bryant 1-1, Harper 0-1, Shaw 2-4, Rider 1-1, Fox 2-4, Horry 1-1, Penberthy 0-1). Team rebounds: 11. Blocked shots: 8 (Oneal 6, Horry, Harper). Turnovers: 17 (Oneal 5, Harper 3, Rider 3, Bryant 2, Fox, Horry, Madsen). Steals: 5 (Bryant 3, Fox, Shaw). ____________________________________________ Houston 27 17 28 27 - 99 La Lakers 25 29 28 23 - 105 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: Houston 1 (Francis, 8:05 1st). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 18,997. T: 2:30. Officials: Bob Delaney, Nolan Fine, Leroy Richardson.


Game Story

LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- With Shaquille O'Neal off his game, Kobe Bryant did it all, from carrying the Los Angeles Lakers to victory to protecting a baby at courtside.

Bryant had season highs of 37 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Lakers to a 105-99 victory over the Houston Rockets that snapped a two-game losing streak for the defending NBA champions.

O'Neal, the reigning NBA Most Valuable Player, came in averaging 28.8 points and 13.2 rebounds. But he had his worst game of the season, managing just 14 points, five boards and six blocks before fouling out with 4:24 to play.

"It's a little bit frustrating sitting on the bench in the final minutes," said O'Neal, who has two injured thumbs. "Kobe threw up some shots. He hit some shots and played very well. We moved the ball on the offense better. It was a pretty good team effort. We have to build momentum from here."

Having carried the offense to that point, Bryant took complete control in the final three-plus minutes. After the Rockets got within four points, the All-Star guard scored Los Angeles' last six points.

"I'm just playing within the flow of the game and let the game come to me," Bryant said. "I think I was the biggest threat on the floor, as far as opportunities. I think I got the ball in position where I could do some damage, even though they knew I would get it. The natural sequence in the game just played out that way but it's not a conscious effort."

Bryant's heroics rescued the Lakers (4-3) from dropping below .500 for the first time since November 25, 1996, when they were 6-7. However, that was nothing compared to the save he made in the third quarter.

In pursuit of a loose ball along the sideline, Bryant hurtled out of bounds and nimbly jumped between a pair of courtside seats, one of which was occupied by a woman holding an infant. Bryant landed in a walkway behind them, took a pat on the back from Oscar winner Cuba Gooding Jr. and just shook his head.

Moochie Norris scored 15 points and Kenny Thomas had 14 and eight assists for the Rockets, who are winless in four road games this season. Houston defeated Los Angeles, 84-74, at home on Tuesday.

"We did not lose by that much, despite the way some of the guys played on their team," said Houston guard Steve Francis, who scored 10 points. "We played them good the whole game, with Shaq in and with Shaq out. But we weren't able to make the big shots."

The Lakers, who held a 16-point lead in the third quarter, was up 82-72 at the start of the fourth but Houston scored the first six points of the final quarter.

Norris' two free throws pulled the Rockets within 99-95 with 3:09 remaining. One minute later, Bryant converted two free throws. After Kenny Thomas and Bryant traded baskets, Francis made two free throws to cut Houston's deficit to 103-98 with 1:21 left.

Bryant missed a short jumper and a tip-in. Fighting for a rebound, he was fouled by Thomas and made one of two shots from the free-throw line with 44 seconds to go.

After a Rockets timeout, Mobley missed on a 20-foot jumper and Francis was forced to foul Bryant, who only converted one of two three throws.

Mobley could not make a 3-pointer with 16 seconds left but Ron Harper failed on both of his free throws. Houston tried to close within three points again but Norris was off from the right sideline and Bryant grabbed the rebound with less than four seconds remaining.

"Kobe was a factor," Francis said. "He made some big shots, got some bounces and some calls late in the game. But you knew, everybody knew, he was going to shoot the ball. If you don't know, you shouldn't have been watching the game."

Playing 44 minutes, Bryant shot 12-for-29 from the field and 12-for-15 from the free-throw line to come within three points of his career-high of 20 achieved on March 12 against Sacramento.

Horace Grant contributed 13 points and nine rebounds and Isaiah Rider added 12 points off the bench for the Lakers, who shot 46 percent (39-for-85) and held a 46-36 edge in rebounding.

Hakeem Olajuwon, Walt Williams, and Mobley had 13 points apiece with Olajuwon grabbing seven rebounds for the Rockets, who shot 43 percent (31-for-73, but just 4-of-14 (29 percent) from 3-point range.

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