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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- HOUSTON 26 32 23 28 109 PORTLAND 22 26 27 28 103 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 32, SHANDON ANDERSON 20, CUTTINO MOBLEY 18 POR - SCOTTIE PIPPEN 28, RASHEED WALLACE 21, DALE DAVIS 14

HIGH REBOUND: HOU - WALT WILLIAMS 8, TWO PLAYERS WITH 7 POR - SCOTTIE PIPPEN 13, DALE DAVIS 13

HIGH ASSISTS: HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 10, MOOCHIE NORRIS 6 POR - DAMON STOUDAMIRE 9, TWO PLAYERS WITH 5

ATT: 20,580


Extended Box

HOUSTON (109) AT PORTLAND (103)

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

ANDERSON F 36 8-14 3-4 1 3 4 0 1 1 2 20 BULLARD F 23 1-5 0-0 1 2 3 1 2 0 1 2 CATO C 21 2-3 0-2 1 3 4 1 0 1 2 4 FRANCIS G 45 12-19 4-7 2 5 7 10 3 1 3 32 MOBLEY G 41 6-11 6-7 1 4 5 3 3 1 4 18 ROGERS 27 3-5 4-5 0 7 7 0 3 2 0 10 NORRIS 22 3-7 4-5 0 2 2 6 0 0 2 11 WILLIAMS 25 4-7 1-2 0 8 8 1 3 0 2 12 S COLSON DNP - COACH'S DECISION LANGHI DNP - COACH'S DECISION OLAJUWON DNP - SPRAINED LEFT ANKLE THOMAS DNP - BAD BACK

TOTALS 240 39-71 22-32 6 34 40 22 15 6 16 109 (.549) (.688) TEAM REBS: 8 TOTAL TO: 16(21 PTS)

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

PIPPEN F 40 12-24 1-2 3 10 13 5 5 2 1 28 WALLACE F 42 8-17 4-4 3 3 6 5 2 4 3 21 SABONIS C 10 2-4 0-0 0 2 2 1 0 1 1 4 SMITH G 36 4-9 3-3 1 2 3 2 4 1 0 13 STOUDAMIRE G 37 6-16 0-0 0 1 1 9 5 1 0 13 DAVIS 30 5-7 4-4 5 8 13 2 5 0 1 14 AUGMON 13 1-3 1-2 0 0 0 1 1 0 3 3 ANTHONY 21 1-5 0-0 1 0 1 2 1 2 0 3 STRICKLAND 11 2-5 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 4 HARVEY DNP - COACH'S DECISION PERDUE DNP - COACH'S DECISION SCHREMPF DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 41-90 13-15 13 26 39 27 23 11 11 103 (.456) (.867) TEAM REBS: 6 TOTAL TO: 11(14 PTS)

HOUSTON 26 32 23 28 - 109 PORTLAND 22 26 27 28 - 103

BLOCKED SHOTS: HOUSTON - WILLIAMS. PORTLAND - DAVIS, AUGMON. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: HOUSTON 9-20 (.450), ANDERSON 1-4, BULLARD 0-2, FRANCIS 4-7, NORRIS 1-1, WILLIAMS 3-6. PORTLAND 8-21 (.381), PIPPEN 3-8, WALLACE 1-2, SMITH 2-4, STOUDAMIRE 1-4, ANTHONY 1-3. TECHNICALS: HOUSTON - FRANCIS, PORTLAND - WALLACE. OFFICIALS: BENNETT SALVATORE, MIKE SMITH, SCOTT FOSTER. A - 20,580. T - 2:07.


Box Score

HOUSTON (109) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Anderson 36 8-14 3-4 1-4 0 1 20 Bullard 23 1-5 0-0 1-3 1 2 2 Cato 21 2-3 0-2 1-4 1 0 4 Francis 45 12-19 4-7 2-7 10 3 32 Mobley 41 6-11 6-7 1-5 3 3 18 Rogers 27 3-5 4-5 0-7 0 3 10 Norris 22 3-7 4-5 0-2 6 0 11 Williams 25 4-7 1-2 0-8 1 3 12 S Colson DNP - coach's decision Langhi DNP - coach's decision Olajuwon DNP - sprained left ankle Thomas DNP - bad back _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 39-71 22-32 6-40 22 15 109 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.549, FT-.688. 3-Point Goals: 9-20, .450 (Anderson 1-4, Bullard 0-2, Francis 4-7, Norris 1-1, Williams 3-6). Team rebounds: 8. Blocked shots: 1 (Williams). Turnovers: 16 (Mobley 4, Francis 3, Anderson 2, Cato 2, Norris 2, Williams 2, Bullard). Steals: 6 (Rogers 2, Anderson, Cato, Francis, Mobley).

PORTLAND (103) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Pippen 40 12-24 1-2 3-13 5 5 28 Wallace 42 8-17 4-4 3-6 5 2 21 Sabonis 10 2-4 0-0 0-2 1 0 4 Smith 36 4-9 3-3 1-3 2 4 13 Stoudamire 37 6-16 0-0 0-1 9 5 13 Davis 30 5-7 4-4 5-13 2 5 14 Augmon 13 1-3 1-2 0-0 1 1 3 Anthony 21 1-5 0-0 1-1 2 1 3 Strickland 11 2-5 0-0 0-0 0 0 4 Harvey DNP - coach's decision Perdue DNP - coach's decision Schrempf DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 41-90 13-15 13-39 27 23 103 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.456, FT-.867. 3-Point Goals: 8-21, .381 (Pippen 3-8, Wallace 1-2, Smith 2-4, Stoudamire 1-4, Anthony 1-3). Team rebounds: 6. Blocked shots: 2 (Davis, Augmon). Turnovers: 11 (Augmon 3, Wallace 3, Strickland 2, Davis, Pippen, Sabonis). Steals: 11 (Wallace 4, Anthony 2, Pippen 2, Sabonis, Smith, Stoudamire). ____________________________________________ Houston 26 32 23 28 - 109 Portland 22 26 27 28 - 103 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: Houston 1 (Francis, 6:17 2nd). Portland 1 (Wallace, 11:04 3rd). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 20,580. T: 2:07. Officials: Bennett Salvatore, Mike Smith, Scott Foster.


Game Story

PORTLAND, Oregon (Ticker) -- The Portland Trail Blazers keep saying they are going to snap out of it. However, the only thing they are out of is time.

The Trail Blazers continued their season-ending swoon with their 12th loss in their last 20 games, a 109-103 setback to the Houston Rockets, who got 32 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds from Steve Francis.

"Portland came out and overlooked us," Francis said.

On March 4, the Trail Blazers led the Western Conference with a 42-18 mark and had just signed point guard Rod Strickland, deepening an already talented roster. But instead of roaring to the best record in the conference, Portland badly stumbled.

The Blazers immediately dropped five straight games and really have not recovered, falling to sixth in the West. Along the way, they lost forward Shawn Kemp to drug rehabilitation and guard Bonzi Wells to a torn ACL.

"It was probably a game where we missed a Bonzi Wells," Blazers coach Mike Dunleavy said. "He has the strength to post up their people and also the quickness to defend them."

Portland had won three of its last four but the victories were against Golden State and Vancouver, the two worst teams in the conference. Against a Houston team looking to finish strong after being shut out of the postseason, the Blazers reverted to their late-season form.

Portland never led after the first three minutes and played poorly on defense. It was down six at the outset of the fourth quarter and did not make a serious push until it was too late, losing at home for the 12th time this season.

"We should have been pounding the ball into the post with our size advantage but we didn't do that nearly enough," Dunleavy said.

"We haven't played well at home this year," Portland forward Scottie Pippen said. "We just have to go out and see what we can do. We feel we can still turn this season around but it's not happening."

The loss dropped the Blazers to 50-30, one-half game behind Dallas for fifth place in the West and only one-half game ahead of Phoenix. They are virtually assured of not having home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

"We made it (seeding) a non-issue to a certain extent," Portland guard Greg Anthony said. "More importantly, we just want to get a rhythm, get our confidence in terms of knowing how good we are and going out and displaying that on the floor."

Pippen had a season-high 28 points and 13 rebounds for the Blazers, who finish with the Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio, the last two NBA champions.

"We've got two games left against two teams that we're going to have to face somewhere along the line in the playoffs so we've got to do the best we can to show ourselves we can beat them," Dunleavy said.

"This team is capable of beating anybody," Strickland said. "We just have to go in and play hard and play together."

Shandon Anderson scored 20 points and Cuttino Mobley added 18 for the Rockets, who had just eight players but shot 55 percent (39-of-71) from the field and averted a season series sweep.

"We owe it to the league to be competitive and not give a game away," Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich said. "This is the way it should be -- be professional and always play to win and believe we can win."

Anderson's driving layup gave the Rockets the lead for good at 6-5 less than three minutes into the contest. He and Francis scored nine points each in the first quarter, opening a 26-22 advantage.

Francis had 10 more in the second period as the Rockets took a 58-48 lead into halftime. They opened their largest lead at 62-50 on a jumper by Francis with 10:20 left in the third quarter.

Portland closed to 81-75 entering the final period but got no closer until the final minute.

Rasheed Wallace scored 21 points for the Blazers, who shot 46 percent (41-of-90).

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