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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- HOUSTON 22 43 23 23 111 SEATTLE 26 32 27 19 104 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 21, MAURICE TAYLOR 20, TWO PLAYERS WITH 17 SEA - GARY PAYTON 35, VIN BAKER 17, RUBEN PATTERSON 15

HIGH REBOUND: HOU - MAURICE TAYLOR 7, STEVE FRANCIS 6 SEA - VIN BAKER 9, TWO PLAYERS WITH 7

HIGH ASSISTS: HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 10, MOOCHIE NORRIS 9 SEA - GARY PAYTON 15, FOUR PLAYERS WITH 2

ATT: 15,730


Extended Box

HOUSTON (111) AT SEATTLE (104)

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

TAYLOR F 33 7-13 6-9 1 6 7 0 2 0 2 20 WILLIAMS F 22 1-9 1-1 0 2 2 1 1 0 1 3 OLAJUWON C 27 7-9 3-4 1 4 5 0 4 1 1 17 ANDERSON G 21 1-4 0-0 2 2 4 3 3 0 0 2 FRANCIS G 43 6-15 7-8 3 3 6 10 5 3 2 21 MOBLEY 32 6-15 3-3 0 1 1 0 3 1 1 17 THOMAS 19 4-7 0-0 0 2 2 0 6 0 1 11 BULLARD 19 5-8 0-0 1 2 3 1 0 0 0 14 NORRIS 24 2-5 2-4 0 2 2 9 2 1 1 6 LANGHI DNP - COACH'S DECISION MILLER DNP - COACH'S DECISION ROGERS DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 39-85 22-29 8 24 32 24 26 6 9 111 (.459) (.759) TEAM REBS: 13 TOTAL TO: 10(10 PTS)

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

LEWIS F 40 2-8 0-2 0 4 4 2 4 0 2 5 MCCOY F 22 4-4 0-0 1 4 5 0 4 1 1 8 EWING C 27 2-5 2-2 0 7 7 0 5 0 2 6 PATTERSON G 37 5-7 5-6 2 5 7 2 2 0 3 15 PAYTON G 43 15-25 5-8 1 4 5 15 2 2 3 35 BAKER 21 8-16 1-1 6 3 9 0 6 0 2 17 B BARRY 15 1-2 0-0 0 3 3 2 1 0 2 2 MASON 30 6-11 2-2 1 2 3 1 0 0 0 14 S WILLIAMS 5 1-2 0-0 0 1 1 2 1 0 0 2 DAVIS DNP - COACH'S DECISION ELLISON DNP - COACH'S DECISION WOLKOWYSKI DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 44-80 15-21 11 33 44 24 25 3 15 104 (.550) (.714) TEAM REBS: 6 TOTAL TO: 15(12 PTS)

HOUSTON 22 43 23 23 - 111 SEATTLE 26 32 27 19 - 104

BLOCKED SHOTS: HOUSTON - OLAJUWON 5, BULLARD. SEATTLE - LEWIS 2, EWING 2, BAKER, PAYTON. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: HOUSTON 11-23 (.478), TAYLOR 0-1, WILLIAMS 0-2, ANDERSON 0-1, FRANCIS 2-4, MOBLEY 2-6, THOMAS 3-4, BULLARD 4-5. SEATTLE 1-8 (.125), LEWIS 1-3, PATTERSON 0-1, PAYTON 0-3, MASON 0-1. TECHNICALS: HOUSTON - FRANCIS, SEATTLE - ILLEGAL DEFENSE 4, PAYTON, LEWIS, BAKER. OFFICIALS: TERRY DURHAM, BENNIE ADAMS, DEREK RICHARDSON. A - 15,730. T - 2:19.


Box Score

HOUSTON (111) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Taylor 33 7-13 6-9 1-7 0 2 20 Williams 22 1-9 1-1 0-2 1 1 3 Olajuwon 27 7-9 3-4 1-5 0 4 17 Anderson 21 1-4 0-0 2-4 3 3 2 Francis 43 6-15 7-8 3-6 10 5 21 Mobley 32 6-15 3-3 0-1 0 3 17 Thomas 19 4-7 0-0 0-2 0 6 11 Bullard 19 5-8 0-0 1-3 1 0 14 Norris 24 2-5 2-4 0-2 9 2 6 Langhi DNP - coach's decision Miller DNP - coach's decision Rogers DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 39-85 22-29 8-32 24 26 111 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.459, FT-.759. 3-Point Goals: 11-23, .478 (Taylor 0-1, Williams 0-2, Anderson 0-1, Francis 2-4, Mobley 2-6, Thomas 3-4, Bullard 4-5). Team rebounds: 13. Blocked shots: 6 (Olajuwon 5, Bullard). Turnovers: 10 (Francis 2, Taylor 2, Mobley, Norris, Olajuwon, Thomas, Williams). Steals: 6 (Francis 3, Mobley, Norris, Olajuwon).

SEATTLE (104) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Lewis 40 2-8 0-2 0-4 2 4 5 Mccoy 22 4-4 0-0 1-5 0 4 8 Ewing 27 2-5 2-2 0-7 0 5 6 Patterson 37 5-7 5-6 2-7 2 2 15 Payton 43 15-25 5-8 1-5 15 2 35 Baker 21 8-16 1-1 6-9 0 6 17 B Barry 15 1-2 0-0 0-3 2 1 2 Mason 30 6-11 2-2 1-3 1 0 14 S Williams 5 1-2 0-0 0-1 2 1 2 Davis DNP - coach's decision Ellison DNP - coach's decision Wolkowyski DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 44-80 15-21 11-44 24 25 104 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.550, FT-.714. 3-Point Goals: 1-8, .125 (Lewis 1-3, Patterson 0-1, Payton 0-3, Mason 0-1). Team rebounds: 6. Blocked shots: 6 (Lewis 2, Ewing 2, Baker, Payton). Turnovers: 15 (Patterson 3, Payton 3, B Barry 2, Baker 2, Ewing 2, Lewis 2, Mccoy). Steals: 3 (Payton 2, Mccoy). ____________________________________________ Houston 22 43 23 23 - 111 Seattle 26 32 27 19 - 104 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: Houston 1 (Francis, 4:29 3rd). Seattle 7 (Illegal Defense 4, 7:10 1st, 5:21 1st, 11:50 2nd, 11:25 4th; Payton, 0:09 2nd; Lewis, 8:48 4th; Baker, 2:13 4th). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 15,730. T: 2:19. Officials: Terry Durham, Bennie Adams, Derek Richardson.


Game Story

SEATTLE (Ticker) -- Steve Francis had 21 points and highlighted a decisive 9-0 run in the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer as the Houston Rockets overcame a record-setting performance by Gary Payton to post a 111-104 victory over the Seattle SuperSonics.

Houston's Hakeem Olajuwon hit a free throw to tie it at 99-99 before blocking a shot by Desmond Mason on the ensuing possession. The ball was worked to Francis, who drilled a 3-pointer from the left arc to give the Rockets a lead they did not relinquish.

"We kind of let them come back in the game by taking ill-advised shots," Francis said. "We were able to maintain our composure in certain situations. It was a great team effort. Hakeem had some big-time blocks for us down the stretch and we were able to get some rebounds."

Francis, who had 11 assists, added a jumper from the right side on Houston's next possession before Cuttino Mobley increased the lead to 105-99 by draining a free throw that cappped the run.

Mobley was on the line after Seattle's Vin Baker was hit with a technical for arguing an out-of-bounds call.

"You don't want to lose your cool at any point and certainly when the game is close," Sonics guard Brent Barry said. "There are some things that you definitely have to tone down and just concentrate and focus on trying to win the basketball game. The stuff really cost us at some critical points and in a close ball game, it's going to kill you."

Seattle had seven technicals in the game, including four illegal defenses.

"Execution for the most part was OK," Sonics coach Nate McMillan said. "Mentally, we lost it for a few minutes. The game was close and I know the guys were competing and some of the calls didn't go their way."

Payton scored 35 points, including a basket with 5:18 remaining in the second quarter for his 14,019th career point, breaking Fred Brown's franchise record. He went 15-of-25 from the field but missed all three of his 3-point attempts.

"I just told him congratulations on a job well done," McMillan said. "He's a guy who has worked hard. He's a competitor and I told him when he retires, we'll be hanging together forever once they put his number in the rafters."

The Rockets have alternated wins and losses over the last nine games and were coming off a 111-98 loss to Sacramento on Friday that began a four-game road trip. They are 4-6 away from home.

"It's huge," Houston's Matt Bullard said. "(Coming back) is a thing we haven't been very good at and being able to do it on the road against a good team with the crowd into it."

Houston tied an NBA record by hitting nine 3-pointers in the second quarter but had 10 the entire game.

"We were just executing our spread game and (Moochie Norris) was doing a (heck) of a job passing the ball around," Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich said.

Houston had six different players score in double figures and shot 46 percent from the field (39-of-85). The Rockets committed just nine turnovers compared to the Sonics' 15.

"I thought it was one of the best team efforts we had," Francis said. "We did a great job moving the ball around. We kind of offset them with our matchups, going small. We kind of neutralized them. We caught them off guard."

Baker scored 17 points off the bench and Ruben Patterson added 15 for Seattle, which connected on 55 percent of its shots from the field (44-of-80) while holding a 58-30 scoring advantage in the paint.

"We let a lot ot things get to us tonight," Payton said. "They executed and we missed a lot of assignments and we just have to understand that we need to be consistent. What we're doing is that we're losing at home and winning on the road and that's a big negative."

Seattle dropped to 5-4 at home compared to a 5-8 mark on the road.

Seattle scored the game's first eight points and held a 16-8 advantage with 5:38 remaining in the first quarter before cutting the deficit to 24-22, capped by five straight points from Bullard.

The Rockets took their first lead with 8:46 left in the first half when Kenny Thomas hit a 3-pointer for a 40-37 advantage. Houston continued it torrid shooting and took a 65-58 lead into the intermission.

Houston led by as much as 10 points early in the third quarter before Seattle began to regroup. Despite Olajuwon blocking three shots late in the third, the Sonics got six points apiece from Patterson, Mason and Payton to close within 88-85.

Seattle regained the lead with 8 1/2 minutes remaining when Patterson's driving layup gave the Sonics a 91-90 advantage.

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