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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- BOSTON 19 22 22 21 84 HOUSTON 29 24 29 19 101 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: BOS - PAUL PIERCE 31, ANTOINE WALKER 19, TWO PLAYERS WITH 8 HOU - MAURICE TAYLOR 23, STEVE FRANCIS 19, CUTTINO MOBLEY 17

HIGH REBOUND: BOS - ANTOINE WALKER 10, MARK BLOUNT 6 HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 10, CUTTINO MOBLEY 10

HIGH ASSISTS: BOS - KENNY ANDERSON 4, ANTOINE WALKER 3 HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 8, CUTTINO MOBLEY 5

ATT: 11,617


Extended Box

BOSTON (84) AT HOUSTON (101)

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

PIERCE F 40 9-22 12-17 1 3 4 1 1 2 6 31 WALKER F 36 4-17 9-9 1 9 10 3 4 0 5 19 BLOUNT C 22 2-2 0-0 2 4 6 0 2 1 1 4 ANDERSON G 22 2-5 4-4 1 1 2 4 1 0 1 8 STITH G 28 2-6 1-1 0 3 3 2 5 0 0 6 POTAPENKO 26 0-2 0-0 0 2 2 0 2 1 2 0 PALACIO 20 1-4 0-0 0 1 1 2 0 1 1 2 E WILLIAMS 17 0-2 0-0 1 3 4 1 4 0 0 0 CARR 14 3-5 1-1 0 2 2 0 3 0 2 8 HERREN 6 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 2 2 0 0 0 MOISO 6 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 MCCARTY 3 2-3 1-2 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 6

TOTALS 240 25-68 28-34 6 29 35 16 24 5 19 84 (.368) (.824) TEAM REBS: 10 TOTAL TO: 19(28 PTS)

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

ANDERSON F 18 3-5 1-1 0 1 1 2 5 2 2 8 TAYLOR F 29 11-17 1-2 1 6 7 1 2 2 0 23 OLAJUWON C 30 5-8 3-5 2 2 4 1 0 1 1 13 FRANCIS G 39 7-17 4-6 4 6 10 8 1 3 4 19 MOBLEY G 42 7-17 1-1 0 10 10 5 1 0 3 17 CATO 18 2-5 1-2 1 2 3 0 2 0 1 5 WILLIAMS 30 1-11 3-4 0 2 2 1 5 0 0 6 THOMAS 19 2-5 0-0 6 2 8 3 4 1 1 4 NORRIS 12 2-4 0-0 1 0 1 2 0 2 1 5 LANGHI 3 0-2 1-2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 BULLARD DNP - COACH'S DECISION ROGERS DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 40-91 15-23 15 31 46 23 20 11 13 101 (.440) (.652) TEAM REBS: 17 TOTAL TO: 13(10 PTS)

BOSTON 19 22 22 21 - 84 HOUSTON 29 24 29 19 - 101

BLOCKED SHOTS: BOSTON - BLOUNT 4, PIERCE. HOUSTON - WILLIAMS 2, TAYLOR 2, OLAJUWON 2, CATO 2. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: BOSTON 6-22 (.273), PIERCE 1-5, WALKER 2-10, STITH 1-3, E WILLIAMS 0-1, CARR 1-2, MCCARTY 1-1. HOUSTON 6-18 (.333), ANDERSON 1-1, FRANCIS 1-5, MOBLEY 2-5, WILLIAMS 1-5, NORRIS 1-2. TECHNICALS: BOSTON - ILLEGAL DEFENSE, HOUSTON - ILLEGAL DEFENSE, HEAD COACH TOMJANOVICH, FRANCIS. OFFICIALS: DAN CRAWFORD, GREG WILLARD, VIOLET PALMER. A - 11,617. T - 2:13.


Box Score

BOSTON (84) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Pierce 40 9-22 12-17 1-4 1 1 31 Walker 36 4-17 9-9 1-10 3 4 19 Blount 22 2-2 0-0 2-6 0 2 4 Anderson 22 2-5 4-4 1-2 4 1 8 Stith 28 2-6 1-1 0-3 2 5 6 Potapenko 26 0-2 0-0 0-2 0 2 0 Palacio 20 1-4 0-0 0-1 2 0 2 E Williams 17 0-2 0-0 1-4 1 4 0 Carr 14 3-5 1-1 0-2 0 3 8 Herren 6 0-0 0-0 0-0 2 2 0 Moiso 6 0-0 0-0 0-1 0 0 0 Mccarty 3 2-3 1-2 0-0 1 0 6 _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 25-68 28-34 6-35 16 24 84 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.368, FT-.824. 3-Point Goals: 6-22, .273 (Pierce 1-5, Walker 2-10, Stith 1-3, E Williams 0-1, Carr 1-2, Mccarty 1-1). Team rebounds: 10. Blocked shots: 5 (Blount 4, Pierce). Turnovers: 19 (Pierce 6, Walker 5, Carr 2, Potapenko 2, Anderson, Blount, Moiso, Palacio). Steals: 5 (Pierce 2, Blount, Palacio, Potapenko).

HOUSTON (101) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Anderson 18 3-5 1-1 0-1 2 5 8 Taylor 29 11-17 1-2 1-7 1 2 23 Olajuwon 30 5-8 3-5 2-4 1 0 13 Francis 39 7-17 4-6 4-10 8 1 19 Mobley 42 7-17 1-1 0-10 5 1 17 Cato 18 2-5 1-2 1-3 0 2 5 Williams 30 1-11 3-4 0-2 1 5 6 Thomas 19 2-5 0-0 6-8 3 4 4 Norris 12 2-4 0-0 1-1 2 0 5 Langhi 3 0-2 1-2 0-0 0 0 1 Bullard DNP - coach's decision Rogers DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 40-91 15-23 15-46 23 20 101 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.440, FT-.652. 3-Point Goals: 6-18, .333 (Anderson 1-1, Francis 1-5, Mobley 2-5, Williams 1-5, Norris 1-2). Team rebounds: 17. Blocked shots: 8 (Williams 2, Taylor 2, Olajuwon 2, Cato 2). Turnovers: 13 (Francis 4, Mobley 3, Anderson 2, Cato, Norris, Olajuwon, Thomas). Steals: 11 (Francis 3, Anderson 2, Norris 2, Taylor 2, Olajuwon, Thomas). ____________________________________________ Boston 19 22 22 21 - 84 Houston 29 24 29 19 - 101 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: Boston 1 (Illegal Defense, 11:51 3rd). Houston 3 (Illegal Defense, 7:08 3rd; Head Coach Tomjanovich, 4:00 3rd; Francis, 9:29 4th). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 11,617. T: 2:13. Officials: Dan Crawford, Greg Willard, Violet Palmer.


Game Story

HOUSTON (Ticker) -- Maurice Taylor had 23 points -- one shy of his season high -- and Steve Francis added 19, 10 rebounds and eight assists as the Houston Rockets posted their fourth straight victory, a 101-84 triumph over the Boston Celtics.

The Celtics scored the first four points of the game but it was a 12-0 run by the Rockets midway through the quarter that broke things open. Houston led 12-11 with 5 1/2 minutes left in the opening period when a bucket by Taylor sparked the burst.

Cuttino Mobley added 17 points, 10 rebounds and five assists for the Rockets, who moved two games over .500 for the first time since December 19.

"The sky is the limit for us," Mobley said. "I'm 25 and he's (Francis) 23 and we're getting better and better. I appreciate it when people say things like that, but we've got to get better each day like Michael Jordan used to do."

"Hopefully, we can continue to roll like we've been doing," Francis said. "I think we are maturing as a team and with the emergence of (Hakeem) Olajuwon at center, I think it is great."

Paul Pierce led Boston with 31 points and Antoine Walker added 19 and 10 rebounds. The Celtics had dominated the previous meeting between the teams, posting a 96-81 triumph on November 22.

"They took it to us here like we took it to them at our place in November," Celtics coach Jim O'Brien said. "Their backcourt of Francis and Mobley is dynamite. There's no better backcourt in the league. They both had double-doubles and they almost had triple-doubles."

"They came out and outscrapped us," Pierce said. "We didn't show up tonight. This was an important game for us to win and they outhustled and outrebounded us. It was just one of those nights."

Kenny Anderson and Mark Blount opened the game with layups but Mobley drained 3-pointers 48 seconds apart to give Houston the lead. The Celtics were within 12-11 following a layup by Walker with 6:59 left in the quarter.

Taylor had a layup with 5:23 remaining and Mobley sank an 18-footer. Hakeem Olajuwon buried a 14-footer and Francis hit a 13-foot runner before Olajuwon sank a turnaround jumper. Francis then capped the burst with two free throws with 1:46 left.

The Rockets lead was 29-19 after a quarter as Mobley had eight points and five rebounds. Houston made 52 percent (12-of-23) of its shots over the opening 12 minutes while the Celtics made only 32 percent (7-of-22).

Houston's starters played the entire opening quarter.

Boston got within 33-27 following a basket by Pierce with 8:50 left in the half. But a layup by Mobley sparked a 10-2 burst that was capped by Moochi Norris' 3-pointer with just over four minutes remaining.

Francis had nine points in the quarter and 13 points, five rebounds and four assists in the half.

"You have to give Steve a lot of credit," Celtics guard Kenny Anderson said. "It seemed like the ball bounced into his hands the whole game. He's a very active player and he played great tonight."

"He's just a tremendous athlete," Houston coach Rudy Tomjanovich said of his point guard. "He competes on every possession. He's a great jumper and he hustles down the court every play."

Houston, which never let the lead slip under double-digits in the second half, made 55 percent of its shots and held a 23-15 rebounding edge over the first 24 minutes.

Taylor dominated the third quarter, scoring 13 points, and sat out the entire fourth quarter. Shandon Anderson and Olajuwon also did not see action over the final 12 minutes.

"Coach wanted me to be aggressive offensively because of the way they were playing us," Taylor said. "They were letting me get open shots and my teammates got me the ball. We wanted to win this game early so that some of our players could get some rest because we have a tough back-to-back in Minnesota tomorrow."

Boston's starting backcourt of Anderson and Bryant Stith combined for 14 points on 4-of-11 shooting.

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