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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- HOUSTON 21 20 35 22 98 NEW JERSEY 20 26 32 23 101 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 28, CUTTINO MOBLEY 19, SHANDON ANDERSON 14 NJN - KEITH VAN HORN 19, JOHNNY NEWMAN 17, DOUG OVERTON 16

HIGH REBOUND: HOU - KENNY THOMAS 10, CUTTINO MOBLEY 8 NJN - KEITH VAN HORN 10, AARON WILLIAMS 10

HIGH ASSISTS: HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 5, FIVE PLAYERS WITH 2 NJN - DOUG OVERTON 4, LUCIOUS HARRIS 4

ATT: 12,142


Extended Box

HOUSTON (98) AT NEW JERSEY (101)

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

ANDERSON F 26 4-9 6-9 1 2 3 0 5 1 1 14 THOMAS F 37 2-7 3-6 4 6 10 2 3 2 2 7 OLAJUWON C 29 5-9 0-1 2 5 7 2 3 2 1 10 FRANCIS G 42 9-19 9-10 1 4 5 5 2 1 3 28 MOBLEY G 40 5-13 8-10 2 6 8 2 1 1 2 19 CATO 19 1-6 2-2 3 3 6 1 5 1 1 4 WILLIAMS 11 1-3 1-2 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 3 BULLARD 22 4-9 0-0 0 3 3 2 0 0 0 11 NORRIS 14 1-2 0-0 1 0 1 2 0 1 2 2 LANGHI DNP - COACH'S DECISION ROGERS DNP - COACH'S DECISION TAYLOR DNP - SORE LEFT/RIGHT ACHILLES

TOTALS 240 32-77 29-40 14 30 44 16 20 9 12 98 (.416) (.725) TEAM REBS: 10 TOTAL TO: 12(19 PTS)

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

NEWMAN F 37 4-11 7-8 0 1 1 3 4 2 3 17 VAN HORN F 44 7-14 5-5 3 7 10 3 4 1 5 19 ESCHMEYER C 19 2-5 2-2 3 0 3 0 4 0 0 6 HARRIS G 41 6-13 1-1 2 4 6 4 2 1 2 13 OVERTON G 36 7-13 0-0 0 6 6 4 3 1 0 16 WILLIAMS 29 5-10 5-6 3 7 10 1 6 0 1 15 E GILL 16 3-7 1-1 0 2 2 1 1 0 0 7 STRICKLAND 18 4-9 0-0 1 2 3 1 0 0 1 8 JACKSON DNP - COACH'S DECISION S MARBURY DNP - RUPTURED TENDON LEFT PINKIE SAMAKE DNP - COACH'S DECISION STEPANIA DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 38-82 21-23 12 29 41 17 24 5 12 101 (.463) (.913) TEAM REBS: 7 TOTAL TO: 13(17 PTS)

HOUSTON 21 20 35 22 - 98 NEW JERSEY 20 26 32 23 - 101

BLOCKED SHOTS: HOUSTON - OLAJUWON 4, CATO 3, THOMAS. NEW JERSEY - WILLIAMS 5, E GILL, HARRIS. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: HOUSTON 5-18 (.278), ANDERSON 0-2, FRANCIS 1-5, MOBLEY 1-2, WILLIAMS 0-2, BULLARD 3-7. NEW JERSEY 4-8 (.500), NEWMAN 2-2, VAN HORN 0-1, OVERTON 2-4, E GILL 0-1. TECHNICALS: NEW JERSEY - HARRIS. OFFICIALS: JOE FORTE, BLANE REICHELT, KEVIN FEHR. A - 12,142. T - 2:15.


Box Score

HOUSTON (98) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Anderson 26 4-9 6-9 1-3 0 5 14 Thomas 37 2-7 3-6 4-10 2 3 7 Olajuwon 29 5-9 0-1 2-7 2 3 10 Francis 42 9-19 9-10 1-5 5 2 28 Mobley 40 5-13 8-10 2-8 2 1 19 Cato 19 1-6 2-2 3-6 1 5 4 Williams 11 1-3 1-2 0-1 0 1 3 Bullard 22 4-9 0-0 0-3 2 0 11 Norris 14 1-2 0-0 1-1 2 0 2 Langhi DNP - coach's decision Rogers DNP - coach's decision Taylor DNP - sore left/right achilles _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 32-77 29-40 14-44 16 20 98 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.416, FT-.725. 3-Point Goals: 5-18, .278 (Anderson 0-2, Francis 1-5, Mobley 1-2, Williams 0-2, Bullard 3-7). Team rebounds: 10. Blocked shots: 8 (Olajuwon 4, Cato 3, Thomas). Turnovers: 12 (Francis 3, Mobley 2, Norris 2, Thomas 2, Anderson, Cato, Olajuwon). Steals: 9 (Olajuwon 2, Thomas 2, Anderson, Cato, Francis, Mobley, Norris).

NEW JERSEY (101) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Newman 37 4-11 7-8 0-1 3 4 17 Van Horn 44 7-14 5-5 3-10 3 4 19 Eschmeyer 19 2-5 2-2 3-3 0 4 6 Harris 41 6-13 1-1 2-6 4 2 13 Overton 36 7-13 0-0 0-6 4 3 16 Williams 29 5-10 5-6 3-10 1 6 15 E Gill 16 3-7 1-1 0-2 1 1 7 Strickland 18 4-9 0-0 1-3 1 0 8 Jackson DNP - coach's decision S Marbury DNP - ruptured tendon left pinkie Samake DNP - coach's decision Stepania DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 38-82 21-23 12-41 17 24 101 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.463, FT-.913. 3-Point Goals: 4-8, .500 (Newman 2-2, Van Horn 0-1, Overton 2-4, E Gill 0-1). Team rebounds: 7. Blocked shots: 7 (Williams 5, E Gill, Harris). Turnovers: 13 (Van Horn 5, Newman 3, Harris 2, Strickland, Williams). Steals: 5 (Newman 2, Harris, Overton, Van Horn). ____________________________________________ Houston 21 20 35 22 - 98 New Jersey 20 26 32 23 - 101 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: New Jersey 1 (Harris, 1:14 3rd). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 12,142. T: 2:15. Officials: Joe Forte, Blane Reichelt, Kevin Fehr.


Game Story

EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Ticker) -- Lucious Harris' tip-in snapped a tie with 1:05 remaining as the New Jersey Nets dealt the Houston Rockets' fading playoff hopes a crippling blow with a 101-98 victory.

Johnny Newman missed a driving layup, but Harris leaped over two defenders to give the Nets a 97-95 lead they never relinquished.

Houston had a chance to tie in the final seconds, but a 3-pointer by Steve Francis caromed off the back of the rim at the buzzer.

"No disrespect to them, but we should have beaten them by a large margin," Houston guard Cuttino Mobley said. "We came out like it was a walk in the park. But we let the refs decide the game. We shouldn't have let it come down to that."

The loss dropped Houston 3 1/2 games behind Minnesota in the battle for the final Western Conference playoff spot with only eight games remaining. Minnesota posted a crucial 99-95 victory at Portland on Sunday.

"It's not over yet," Francis said. "We just have to go back to prepare for the next one."

Keith Van Horn scored 19 points and Newman added 17 for the Nets, who were coming off Friday's 110-99 loss at Toronto.

Francis scored 28 points and Mobley 19 for the Rockets, who have dropped five of their last seven.

"I don't think we took them lightly because we only beat them by two points the last time we played them," Francis said. "I just thought they played extremely hard. They didn't have their star (Stephon Marbury) and they beat us."

New Jersey center Aaron Williams was asked if the Nets enjoyed playing spoiler.

"If that's what you call it, I guess so," he said. "But right now, we're just playing for pride. We can't worry about what other teams are doing."

With just eight players dressed, the Nets opened a 50-42 lead on Evan Eschmeyer's dunk with 10:35 left in the third quarter. Houston closed to 78-76 at the end of the period and the contest remained close throughout the final 12 minutes as neither team led by more than four points.

"Great win," New Jersey coach Byron Scott said. "I thought at the beginning of the game that Houston, for whatever reason, was taking us a little lightly and should have been up by 15 points because we weren't playing well at all the first three or four minutes."

After Harris' tip gave the Nets the lead for good, Mobley lost the ball out of bounds while driving to the basket. The Nets took advantage as Newman hit a pair from the line to make it 99-95 with 37 seconds remaining.

Mobley made only 1-of-2 free throws on the ensuing posession, but Houston's Shandon Anderson stripped Newman, getting the ball into the hands of Francis. The speedy guard appeared to have an easy layup, but he was fouled hard from behind by Van Horn. Francis made both free throws to make it 99-98 with 7.5 seconds left.

But Van Horn restored New Jersey's three-point lead by converting two from the line with 6.1 seconds to go and the Nets survived Houston's final possession.

The Nets frustrated the Rockets by making 21-of-23 free throws.

"They made 91 percent of their free throws," Houston coach Rudy Tomjanovich said. "We were behind most of the game. That's the most dangerous situation you can have."

Houston stayed in it by scoring eight of its final nine points from the line. Overall, the Rockets made 29-of-40 free throws, with Francis going 9-of-10 and Mobley 8-of-10.

"It would have been a different game if we made our free throws, even though 72 percent isn't bad," Tomjanovich said. "I think we hung around."

But Houston shot just 42 percent (32-of-77) from the field and was only 5-of-18 from 3-point range. The Nets were opportunistic, converting 12 Houston turnovers into 19 points.

New Jersey's Sherman Douglas, Jamie Feick and rookie Kenyon Martin did not dress due to injuries. The Rockets played without Maurice Taylor, who is nursing sore Achilles' tendons.

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