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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- HOUSTON 21 16 35 29 101 INDIANA 22 22 25 20 89 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 20, MATT BULLARD 18, WALT WILLIAMS 16 IND - REGGIE MILLER 28, TRAVIS BEST 16, AUSTIN CROSHERE 14

HIGH REBOUND: HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 9, HAKEEM OLAJUWON 6 IND - AUSTIN CROSHERE 11, ZAN TABAK 11

HIGH ASSISTS: HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 6, TWO PLAYERS WITH 4 IND - TRAVIS BEST 10, REGGIE MILLER 7

ATT: 16,611


Extended Box

HOUSTON (101) AT INDIANA (89)

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

TAYLOR F 28 6-15 2-2 2 3 5 0 2 0 1 14 WILLIAMS F 34 6-8 0-0 0 1 1 4 1 1 0 16 OLAJUWON C 33 6-9 1-2 2 4 6 3 4 1 1 13 ANDERSON G 24 4-5 0-0 0 5 5 3 3 0 0 9 FRANCIS G 41 6-14 7-8 3 6 9 6 3 3 5 20 COLLIER 15 0-5 0-0 0 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 MOBLEY 26 4-10 1-1 0 2 2 4 0 1 1 9 BULLARD 24 7-10 0-0 1 1 2 0 1 0 0 18 THOMAS 8 0-1 0-0 1 3 4 1 2 0 1 0 NORRIS 7 1-2 0-0 1 0 1 3 0 0 1 2 LANGHI DNP - COACH'S DECISION ROGERS DNP - PERSONAL REASONS

TOTALS 240 40-79 11-13 10 27 37 24 16 6 10 101 (.506) (.846) TEAM REBS: 3 TOTAL TO: 10(11 PTS)

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

CROSHERE F 36 6-12 0-0 4 7 11 1 2 3 2 14 ONEAL F 36 4-7 5-9 4 5 9 2 1 1 3 13 PERKINS C 8 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 BEST G 44 7-19 1-1 0 2 2 10 4 0 1 16 R MILLER G 42 11-19 4-4 0 3 3 7 1 0 0 28 HARRINGTON 13 0-4 0-0 0 2 2 2 3 0 1 0 TABAK 28 6-7 0-2 3 8 11 0 5 0 4 12 FOSTER 12 0-1 1-2 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 J BENDER 11 2-2 0-0 1 0 1 0 2 0 1 5 SUNDOV 9 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 MCKEY 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 ROSE DNP - FRACTURED LEFT WRIST

TOTALS 240 36-73 11-18 12 27 39 23 19 4 13 89 (.493) (.611) TEAM REBS: 6 TOTAL TO: 14(13 PTS)

HOUSTON 21 16 35 29 - 101 INDIANA 22 22 25 20 - 89

BLOCKED SHOTS: HOUSTON - OLAJUWON, TAYLOR. INDIANA - BEST, ONEAL, J BENDER, TABAK, SUNDOV. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: HOUSTON 10-17 (.588), WILLIAMS 4-5, ANDERSON 1-2, FRANCIS 1-2, MOBLEY 0-1, BULLARD 4-7. INDIANA 6-13 (.462), CROSHERE 2-3, PERKINS 0-1, BEST 1-3, R MILLER 2-4, J BENDER 1-1, SUNDOV 0-1. TECHNICALS: NONE. OFFICIALS: MIKE MATHIS, JOE CRAWFORD, LEROY RICHARDSON. A - 16,611. T - 1:57.


Box Score

HOUSTON (101) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Taylor 28 6-15 2-2 2-5 0 2 14 Williams 34 6-8 0-0 0-1 4 1 16 Olajuwon 33 6-9 1-2 2-6 3 4 13 Anderson 24 4-5 0-0 0-5 3 3 9 Francis 41 6-14 7-8 3-9 6 3 20 Collier 15 0-5 0-0 0-2 0 0 0 Mobley 26 4-10 1-1 0-2 4 0 9 Bullard 24 7-10 0-0 1-2 0 1 18 Thomas 8 0-1 0-0 1-4 1 2 0 Norris 7 1-2 0-0 1-1 3 0 2 Langhi DNP - coach's decision Rogers DNP - personal reasons _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 40-79 11-13 10-37 24 16 101 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.506, FT-.846. 3-Point Goals: 10-17, .588 (Williams 4-5, Anderson 1-2, Francis 1-2, Mobley 0-1, Bullard 4-7). Team rebounds: 3. Blocked shots: 2 (Olajuwon, Taylor). Turnovers: 10 (Francis 5, Mobley, Norris, Olajuwon, Taylor, Thomas). Steals: 6 (Francis 3, Mobley, Olajuwon, Williams).

INDIANA (89) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Croshere 36 6-12 0-0 4-11 1 2 14 Oneal 36 4-7 5-9 4-9 2 1 13 Perkins 8 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 Best 44 7-19 1-1 0-2 10 4 16 R Miller 42 11-19 4-4 0-3 7 1 28 Harrington 13 0-4 0-0 0-2 2 3 0 Tabak 28 6-7 0-2 3-11 0 5 12 Foster 12 0-1 1-2 0-0 1 1 1 J Bender 11 2-2 0-0 1-1 0 2 5 Sundov 9 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 Mckey 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 Rose DNP - fractured left wrist _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 36-73 11-18 12-39 23 19 89 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.493, FT-.611. 3-Point Goals: 6-13, .462 (Croshere 2-3, Perkins 0-1, Best 1-3, R Miller 2-4, J Bender 1-1, Sundov 0-1). Team rebounds: 6. Blocked shots: 5 (Best, Oneal, J Bender, Tabak, Sundov). Turnovers: 14 (Tabak 4, Oneal 3, Croshere 2, Best, Harrington, J Bender, Perkins). Steals: 4 (Croshere 3, Oneal). ____________________________________________ Houston 21 16 35 29 - 101 Indiana 22 22 25 20 - 89 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: None. Flagrant fouls: None. A: 16,611. T: 1:57. Officials: Mike Mathis, Joe Crawford, Leroy Richardson.


Game Story

INDIANAPOLIS (Ticker) -- A big second half by Steve Francis gave the Houston Rockets their first road win of the season.

Francis scored 18 of his 20 points in the second half, rallying the Rockets to a 101-89 victory over the Indiana Pacers.

Francis scored just two points on 1-of-6 shooting in the first half as Houston fell behind, 44-37. But the co-Rookie of the Year took charge after halftime, when he was the best player on the floor.

"I think it's more me learning on the job," Francis said. "Just like last season, I was learning on the job. This year is the same thing. All I have to do is maintain my composure, get my teammates involved and everything will come."

The high-flying guard scored 12 points in the third period, when the Rockets took the lead for good. He added six more in the final quarter, including a soaring alley-oop dunk over Travis Best that ended an Indiana surge and began Houston's clinching run.

"If they threw the ball up, I knew he couldn't jump with me," said Francis, who said he had a vertical leap of 43 inches in college.

Matt Bullard scored a season-high 18 points and Walt Williams added 16 for the Rockets, who had lost their first four road games.

"It's a big boost for us," said Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich, whose team began a three-game trip. We've beat LA (Lakers), we've beat Phoenix but that was at home. This was a gigantic win for a first game of a road trip."

Houston became the second Western Conference team to win at Conseco Fieldhouse, joining Golden State. Last season, Indiana went 14-0 at home against the West.

Reggie Miller scored 28 points and Travis Best added 16 and 10 assists for the Pacers, who have lost three in a row following a five-game winning streak.

"Defensively I thought we had a good first half, but in the third and fourth quarters we couldn't get their guards under control and couldn't defend the screen-and-roll," Pacers coach Isaih Thomas said. "None of us are pleased with the way we ended the fourth quarter but give them credit."

After a jumper by Miller gave Indiana its largest lead at 53-42 with 9:26 left in the third quarter, Francis scored 12 points in the remainder of the period. Houston took the lead for good at 66-65 on a jumper by Maurice Taylor with 2:12 left.

"We didn't move the ball around like we wanted to in the first half," Francis said. "I thought we came out in the second half with a lot more intensity. I looked for my shot more ... and tried to get some more buckets."

The Rockets took a 72-69 lead into the final period and Francis' play seemed to energize backcourt mate Cuttino Mobley, who was scoreless through the first three quarters but had nine in the fourth.

"In the fourth quarter I told coach, `Let's run some pick-and-rolls," Mobley said. "Pick-and-rolls were open, not just for myself, but the team. It worked for us."

The Pacers got within 80-78 on a dunk by former Rocket Zan Tabak midway through the period. But Francis' dunk triggered a 14-2 run that put away the game.

Tabak's hook was answered by a 3-pointer from Bullard and Mobley made a pair of jumpers around two missed free throws by Tabak. Hakeem Olajuwon's jumper and Walt Williams' 3-pointer made it 94-80 with 2:28 to play.

"We made a switch at halftime and went to the pick-and-roll," Bullard said. "It got us back in the game in the third quarter and allowed us to take over in the fourth."

Taylor scored 14 points and Olajuwon added 13 for the Rockets, who shot 51 percent (40-of-79) from the field and committed just 10 turnovers. Francis had team highs of nine rebounds and six assists.

Austin Croshere scored 14 points, Jermaine O'Neal added 13 and Tabak 12 and 11 rebounds for the Pacers, who shot 49 percent (36-of-73) and held a 39-37 rebounding edge.

Best scored 11 and Croshere 10 as Indiana grabbed a seven-point lead at halftime. However, the Pacers lost center Sam Perkins to back spasms in the second quarter.

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