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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- PHILADELPHIA 15 20 20 17 72 HOUSTON 19 16 29 13 77 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: PHI - DERRICK COLEMAN 20, DIKEMBE MUTOMBO 16, SPEEDY CLAXTON 12 HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 18, KENNY THOMAS 14, GLEN RICE 14

HIGH REBOUND: PHI - DIKEMBE MUTOMBO 18, DERRICK COLEMAN 9 HOU - KEVIN WILLIS 9, TWO PLAYERS WITH 7

HIGH ASSISTS: PHI - AARON MCKIE 10, SPEEDY CLAXTON 6 HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 6, THREE PLAYERS WITH 4

ATT: 12,351


Extended Box

PHILADELPHIA (72) AT HOUSTON (77)

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

COLEMAN F 39 9-20 2-3 5 4 9 0 4 1 1 20 HARPRING F 36 3-5 0-0 0 8 8 2 3 2 0 7 MUTOMBO C 42 6-12 4-6 5 13 18 0 2 0 4 16 CLAXTON G 43 5-11 2-2 0 0 0 6 3 2 4 12 MCKIE G 42 3-15 1-2 0 6 6 10 1 0 5 8 BLOUNT 14 1-3 0-0 0 2 2 0 4 0 1 2 BELL 18 3-5 0-0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 7 JAMES 4 0-1 0-0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 CUMMINGS 2 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 BROWN DNP - COACH'S DECISION GEIGER DNP - KNEE INJURY IVERSON DNP - RIGHT ELBOW REHAB

TOTALS 240 30-72 9-13 11 33 44 19 19 5 15 72 (.417) (.692) TEAM REBS: 5 TOTAL TO: 17(15 PTS)

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

RICE F 36 5-10 2-2 0 0 0 4 1 1 2 14 THOMAS F 35 5-8 4-5 1 4 5 4 2 4 2 14 CATO C 31 4-6 1-2 1 6 7 0 6 0 1 9 FRANCIS G 43 5-13 8-8 2 5 7 6 3 2 4 18 MOBLEY G 39 5-13 0-0 1 4 5 4 2 1 4 11 TORRES 11 1-1 1-2 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 4 K WILLIS 17 1-10 0-0 3 6 9 0 1 1 0 2 GRIFFIN 11 1-2 0-0 0 3 3 0 2 0 0 3 W WILLIAMS 5 1-2 0-1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 NORRIS 12 0-5 0-0 1 1 2 1 1 0 1 0 BROWN DNP - COACH'S DECISION MORRIS DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 28-70 16-20 10 29 39 19 18 9 14 77 (.400) (.800) TEAM REBS: 4 TOTAL TO: 14(15 PTS)

PHILADELPHIA 15 20 20 17 - 72 HOUSTON 19 16 29 13 - 77

BLOCKED SHOTS: PHILADELPHIA - NONE. HOUSTON - THOMAS 3, MOBLEY. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: PHILADELPHIA 3-7 (.429), COLEMAN 0-1, HARPRING 1-2, CLAXTON 0-1, MCKIE 1-2, BELL 1-1. HOUSTON 5-18 (.278), RICE 2-5, FRANCIS 0-1, MOBLEY 1-4, TORRES 1-1, GRIFFIN 1-2, W WILLIAMS 0-1, NORRIS 0-4. TECHNICALS: PHILADELPHIA - DEFENSIVE THREE. OFFICIALS: JESS KERSEY, BILL SPOONER, GARY BENSON. A - 12,351. T - 2:24.


Box Score

PHILADELPHIA (72) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Coleman 39 9-20 2-3 5-9 0 4 20 Harpring 36 3-5 0-0 0-8 2 3 7 Mutombo 42 6-12 4-6 5-18 0 2 16 Claxton 43 5-11 2-2 0-0 6 3 12 Mckie 42 3-15 1-2 0-6 10 1 8 Blount 14 1-3 0-0 0-2 0 4 2 Bell 18 3-5 0-0 0-0 1 1 7 James 4 0-1 0-0 1-1 0 0 0 Cummings 2 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 0 Brown DNP - coach's decision Geiger DNP - knee injury Iverson DNP - right elbow rehab _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 30-72 9-13 11-44 19 19 72 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.417, FT-.692. 3-Point Goals: 3-7, .429 (Coleman 0-1, Harpring 1-2, Claxton 0-1, Mckie 1-2, Bell 1-1). Team rebounds: 5. Blocked shots: None. Turnovers: 17 (Mckie 5, Claxton 4, Mutombo 4, Blount, Coleman). Steals: 5 (Claxton 2, Harpring 2, Coleman).

HOUSTON (77) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Rice 36 5-10 2-2 0-0 4 1 14 Thomas 35 5-8 4-5 1-5 4 2 14 Cato 31 4-6 1-2 1-7 0 6 9 Francis 43 5-13 8-8 2-7 6 3 18 Mobley 39 5-13 0-0 1-5 4 2 11 Torres 11 1-1 1-2 1-1 0 0 4 K Willis 17 1-10 0-0 3-9 0 1 2 Griffin 11 1-2 0-0 0-3 0 2 3 W Williams 5 1-2 0-1 0-0 0 0 2 Norris 12 0-5 0-0 1-2 1 1 0 Brown DNP - coach's decision Morris DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 28-70 16-20 10-39 19 18 77 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.400, FT-.800. 3-Point Goals: 5-18, .278 (Rice 2-5, Francis 0-1, Mobley 1-4, Torres 1-1, Griffin 1-2, W Williams 0-1, Norris 0-4). Team rebounds: 4. Blocked shots: 4 (Thomas 3, Mobley). Turnovers: 14 (Francis 4, Mobley 4, Rice 2, Thomas 2, Cato, Norris). Steals: 9 (Thomas 4, Francis 2, K Willis, Mobley, Rice). ____________________________________________ Philadelphia 15 20 20 17 - 72 Houston 19 16 29 13 - 77 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: Philadelphia 1 (Defensive Three, 7:09 2nd). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 12,351. T: 2:24. Officials: Jess Kersey, Bill Spooner, Gary Benson.


Game Story

HOUSTON (Ticker) -- Just when it looked like the Houston Rockets would never make another shot, Kenny Thomas came through.

Thomas scored a pair of clutch baskets less than a minute apart in the fourth quarter, helping the Rockets hold off the winless Philadelphia 76ers, 77-72.

The Rockets held a nine-point lead entering the final period but missed their first 13 shots. Still struggling on offense, the 76ers weren't much better but closed to 65-63 on Matt Harpring's jumper with 5:43 to go.

After a timeout, Houston went to Thomas, who drew a foul and hit a pair of free throws. On the next possession, he beat Derrick Coleman for a driving layup and a 69-63 lead with 4:14 left.

"When you're playing Derrick Coleman, you have to stay down," Thomas said. "Down the stretch, I was able to come through for us and hit some big shots."

Dikembe Mutombo scored for the 76ers, but Thomas answered again with another inside basket over Coleman with 3:36 remaining. Kelvin Cato's dunk off a lob from Steve Francis built the lead to 73-65 with 2:25 to play.

"Everyone wants to be scoring," Thomas said. "If you say you're not, you're crazy. But I like to play defense and doing the little things. Scoring is good when it counts."

"Kenny Thomas, I think, is one of the most underrated players in this league," Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich said. "He can shoot, rebound, pass. He can do it all and he's doing it for us."

Cato's hoop was the last for the Rockets, who shot 3-of-20 in the fourth quarter. But it was enough to hold off the Sixers (0-5), who matched their worst start under coach Larry Brown.

Francis scored 18 points and Thomas and Glen Rice added 14 apiece for the Rockets (5-1), who are accustomed to quick starts. Houston has started 5-1 or better is six of the last nine years.

"Once we recognize that we have a good team and that we're all capable of scoring, we're gonna win big," Francis said. "We expect more. We feel that we're a better team than the one that has been playing. The good thing is that last year, we were losing these games."

Francis scored 10 points in the third quarter, when the Rockets took the lead for good. He weaved his way through the entire defense for a layup just before the buzzer that opened a 64-55 advantage.

Coleman had 20 points and nine rebounds and Dikembe Mutombo added 16 and 18 for the Sixers, who again were without NBA Most Valuable Player Allen Iverson and remained the lone winless team in the Eastern Conference.

"I think our guys were trying too hard tonight," Brown said. "We have a lot of young players out there that aren't sure of themselves. When Iverson gets back, that'll help, and I'm seeing a lot of improvement in our team."

The Sixers welcomed back guard Aaron McKie, who missed all of training camp and the first four games while recovering from shoulder surgery. The 2001 Sixth Man Award winner started and played 42 minutes, collecting eight points and 10 assists.

"I felt good, but my shot was not falling," said McKie, who was just 3-of-15 from the field. "That'll take some time and I just have to get my rhythm back."

"I thought he made it easier on our bench," Brown added. "He showed great leadership out there. He had 10 assists, but I really played him too long. He's got no legs right now. This is his training camp."

Philadelphia trailed by nine points in the second quarter before Coleman went to work on rookie Eddie Griffin, fueling a 14-5 run that forged a 33-33 tie late in the first half.

Houston took the lead for good at 46-44 with 7:51 left in the third quarter when Francis hit Cuttino Mobley with an alley-oop pass for a dunk.

Neither team shot well. The Rockets shot 40 percent (28-of-70) while the Sixers were at 42 percent (30-of-72).

"It wasn't pretty, but we got the defense," Tomjanovich said. "We missed a lot of easy shots and we have to start making some of those."

"We've got to be a little concerned," McKie said. "We have to find a way to get a win without our key guy."

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