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NBA FINAL IN 3RD OT

1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH OT 2OT 3OT --- --- --- --- --- --- --- INDIANA 25 23 28 16 10 10 6 HOUSTON 25 30 19 18 10 10 15

TOTAL ----- 118 127 FINAL IN 3RD OT

HIGH SCORERS: IND - JALEN ROSE 39, JERMAINE ONEAL 28, AL HARRINGTON 22 HOU - MOOCHIE NORRIS 28, CUTTINO MOBLEY 27, MAURICE TAYLOR 27

HIGH REBOUND: IND - JERMAINE ONEAL 18, JALEN ROSE 11 HOU - MAURICE TAYLOR 13, KELVIN CATO 11

HIGH ASSISTS: IND - JALEN ROSE 9, REGGIE MILLER 7 HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 11, MOOCHIE NORRIS 4

ATT: 13,097


Extended Box

INDIANA (118) AT HOUSTON (127) - FINAL IN 3RD OT

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

HARRINGTON F 54 7-19 8-10 5 5 10 2 6 4 3 22 ONEAL F 54 9-20 10-14 5 13 18 2 5 0 2 28 PERKINS C 12 0-2 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 R MILLER G 55 3-14 6-6 0 4 4 7 3 2 1 14 ROSE G 61 16-34 5-6 1 10 11 9 5 0 5 39 BEST 23 4-10 1-2 0 2 2 4 6 3 1 9 CROSHERE 21 1-5 0-0 0 3 3 1 3 0 2 2 FOSTER 29 2-3 0-0 5 1 6 1 3 0 0 4 J BENDER 5 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 2 0 1 0 KETNER 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 T MILLS DNP - COACH'S DECISION TABAK DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 315 42-108 30-38 16 38 54 26 33 10 15 118 (.389) (.789) TEAM REBS: 16 TOTAL TO: 16(22 PTS)

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

ANDERSON F 34 4-8 6-7 0 3 3 2 3 1 2 14 TAYLOR F 51 12-22 3-4 1 12 13 1 5 0 2 27 CATO C 38 2-3 4-4 4 7 11 0 6 0 1 8 FRANCIS G 52 6-20 3-4 2 8 10 11 6 2 2 16 MOBLEY G 58 10-29 6-7 1 9 10 0 5 2 2 27 NORRIS 38 9-17 8-9 1 5 6 4 2 1 2 28 THOMAS 12 1-2 0-0 0 1 1 0 2 0 0 2 WILLIAMS 11 2-4 0-0 0 2 2 0 3 0 1 5 ROGERS 20 0-1 0-0 0 2 2 0 2 1 1 0 LANGHI 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 S COLSON DNP - COACH'S DECISION HAKEEM OLAJUWON DNP - BLOOD CONDITION LOWER LEFT LEG

TOTALS 315 46-106 30-35 9 49 58 18 34 7 13 127 (.434) (.857) TEAM REBS: 11 TOTAL TO: 14(18 PTS)

INDIANA 25 23 28 16 10 10 6 - 118 HOUSTON 25 30 19 18 10 10 15 - 127

BLOCKED SHOTS: INDIANA - ONEAL 8, HARRINGTON, FOSTER. HOUSTON - CATO 2, TAYLOR, ANDERSON. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: INDIANA 4-18 (.222), HARRINGTON 0-1, PERKINS 0-2, R MILLER 2-8, ROSE 2-4, CROSHERE 0-3. HOUSTON 5-18 (.278), ANDERSON 0-3, FRANCIS 1-6, MOBLEY 1-4, NORRIS 2-3, WILLIAMS 1-2. TECHNICALS: INDIANA - HARRINGTON, HOUSTON - TAYLOR. OFFICIALS: JOE DEROSA, MIKE CALLAHAN, GEORGE TOLIVER. A - 13,097. T - 3:13.


Box Score

INDIANA (118) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Harrington 54 7-19 8-10 5-10 2 6 22 Oneal 54 9-20 10-14 5-18 2 5 28 Perkins 12 0-2 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 R Miller 55 3-14 6-6 0-4 7 3 14 Rose 61 16-34 5-6 1-11 9 5 39 Best 23 4-10 1-2 0-2 4 6 9 Croshere 21 1-5 0-0 0-3 1 3 2 Foster 29 2-3 0-0 5-6 1 3 4 J Bender 5 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 2 0 Ketner 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 T Mills DNP - coach's decision Tabak DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 31542-108 30-38 16-54 26 33 118 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.389, FT-.789. 3-Point Goals: 4-18, .222 (Harrington 0-1, Perkins 0-2, R Miller 2-8, Rose 2-4, Croshere 0-3). Team rebounds: 16. Blocked shots: 10 (Oneal 8, Harrington, Foster). Turnovers: 16 (Rose 5, Harrington 3, Croshere 2, Oneal 2, Best, J Bender, R Miller). Steals: 10 (Harrington 4, Best 3, R Miller 2, Perkins).

HOUSTON (127) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Anderson 34 4-8 6-7 0-3 2 3 14 Taylor 51 12-22 3-4 1-13 1 5 27 Cato 38 2-3 4-4 4-11 0 6 8 Francis 52 6-20 3-4 2-10 11 6 16 Mobley 58 10-29 6-7 1-10 0 5 27 Norris 38 9-17 8-9 1-6 4 2 28 Thomas 12 1-2 0-0 0-1 0 2 2 Williams 11 2-4 0-0 0-2 0 3 5 Rogers 20 0-1 0-0 0-2 0 2 0 Langhi 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 S Colson DNP - coach's decision Hakeem OlajuwonDNP - blood condition lower left leg _______________________________________________ TOTALS 31546-106 30-35 9-58 18 34 127 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.434, FT-.857. 3-Point Goals: 5-18, .278 (Anderson 0-3, Francis 1-6, Mobley 1-4, Norris 2-3, Williams 1-2). Team rebounds: 11. Blocked shots: 4 (Cato 2, Taylor, Anderson). Turnovers: 14 (Anderson 2, Francis 2, Mobley 2, Norris 2, Taylor 2, Cato, Rogers, Williams). Steals: 7 (Francis 2, Mobley 2, Anderson, Norris, Rogers). ___________________________________________________________ Indiana 25 23 28 16 10 10 6 - 118 Houston 25 30 19 18 10 10 15 - 127 ___________________________________________________________ Technical fouls: Indiana 1 (Harrington, 4:40 3rd). Houston 1 (Taylor, 4:40 3rd). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 13,097. T: 3:13. Officials: Joe Derosa, Mike Callahan, George Toliver.


Game Story

HOUSTON (Ticker) -- At the end of the fourth quarter, the Indiana Pacers failed to cover Moochie Norris. In the third overtime, they could not stop him.

Norris nailed a 3-pointer with three seconds left in regulation and scored 11 of his career-high 28 points in the third extra session as the Houston Rockets outlasted the Indiana Pacers, 127-118.

Houston closed the fourth quarter with a furious 12-2 run. Steve Francis, the Rockets' No. 1 option who finished with his third career triple-double, had the ball at the top of the arc and drew three defenders. But last season's co-Rookie of the Year passed to the right wing, where Norris was uncovered and nailed a 3-pointer to tie the score, 92-92.

"I feel a little punch drunk," Houston coach Rudy Tomjanovich said. "It looked like we were done a couple of times. It was Moochie's night. It was a great team win. We can take the lesson of never giving up."

"He had the courage to take those shots," Francis said about Norris. "Once he got in rhythm few people can stop him. I saw it in his eyes."

Despite their collapse down the stretch, the Pacers had a chance to win it and called timeout to set up a final play. Reggie Miller was surrounded by three players when he got the ball at the top left arc. Miller found Jermaine O'Neal near the baseline, but O'Neal's shot bounced off the iron as time expired.

"There is not much to describe," O'Neal said. "Reggie made the pass to me and I was open and I missed the shot. There's not much else to say. It doesn't matter we lost. We've got to close these games out especially on the road. It's a real difficult loss for us. Everytime between overtimes we thought we had it won. They made us pay when we lost our focus."

Seemingly indefatigable at the start of the third extra session, the 6-1 Norris sprinted up the left sideline to save the opening tip. He found an open spot on the left baseline for a 3-pointer and a 115-112 lead with 4:48 remaining.

After battling basket-for-basket in the first two overtimes, the Pacers did not even the score again. Houston forward Carlos Rogers stole a pass on Indiana's first possession and Norris hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key for a 117-112 lead with 3:55 left.

"I felt I could make some shots," Norris said. "I was struggling early, but I was the guy they were leaving open. I'm usually the odd-man out because of double teams. I had to take those shots and it felt great to hit them. Those were clutch shots."

Jalen Rose banked in a lane jumper to pull the Pacers within three with 3:55 left. But Maurice Taylor tipped in a miss of Cuttino Mobley's 3-pointer to make it 119-114 with 3:31 to go.

After Houston won a jump ball, Morris drained a jumper from the left wing for a 121-114 lead with 2:51 left, drawing chants of "Mooooch" from the remainder of the crowd of 13,097.

The Rockets received bad news earlier in the day when they learned that center Hakeem Olajuwon will miss the rest of the season with a blood clot in his lower left leg.

"We got the bad news today about `Dream,' Tomjanovich said. "But this has been a great year, this year. We're learning our lessons and growing up fast."

Francis recorded 16 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds for his first triple-double since January 26 against the team that drafted him, the Vancouver Grizzlies. Mobley and Taylor each scored 27 points as Houston improved to 15-0 against teams from the Central Division.

Taylor pulled down 13 rebounds and Kelvin Cato grabbed a season-high 10 boards before fouling out with 1:40 left in the second overtime.

Playing the first triple-overtime game in team history, the Rockets shot 43 percent (46-of-106) from the floor and 86 percent (30-of-35) from the free-throw line.

Rose scored 39 points and O'Neal added 28 and 18 rebounds for Indiana, which lost for the sixth time in seven games.

Al Harrington scored five of his career-high 22 points during an 11-2 surge that gave the Pacers a 76-72 lead when Rose hit a 20-footer with 48 seconds left in the third quarter. Mobley dunked off an alley-oop pass from Francis 22 seconds later to close the quarter.

The Pacers scored the first nine points of the fourth quarter to grab their biggest lead, 85-76, when O'Neal made 1-of-2 free throws with 5:37 remaining.

Indiana had a 90-80 lead when Rose made an 18-footer with 3:28 to go. Taylor answered with a 21-footer 23 seconds later to trigger the 12-2 burst.

O'Neal dunked to start the first overtime and Miller followed with a 17-footer, giving the Pacers a 96-92 advantage with 3:50 left. But Indiana could not build the lead as Taylor drove for a layup with 3:03 left and completed a three-point play 39 seconds later to give Houston a 97-96 edge.

Taylor scored eight of Houston's 10 points in the first overtime. He made 1-of-2 free throws to put the Rockets ahead, 102-100, with 34 seconds left. Rose answered with an 11-footer from the right wing nine seconds later. Taylor then took a jumper from the left wing that bounced off the rim in the closing seconds.

Rose opened the second extra session with a turnaround jumper and Mobley drove for a layup at the other end to tie the score, 104-104, with 4:32 left. Mobley had eight of Houston's 10 points in the second overtime. Rose nailed a 3-pointer to put Indiana ahead, 112-109, with 55 seconds left. But Mobley responded with a 26-footer from the left wing to tie the score with 9.9 seconds left.

The Pacers had a chance for victory at the end of the second overtime, but Austin Croshere's 3-pointer bounced off the rim.

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