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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- HOUSTON 23 22 20 16 81 SEATTLE 26 21 30 22 99 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: HOU - CUTTINO MOBLEY 21, MOOCHIE NORRIS 19, EDDIE GRIFFIN 16 SEA - GARY PAYTON 24, DESMOND MASON 21, TWO PLAYERS WITH 15

HIGH REBOUND: HOU - KEVIN WILLIS 9, CUTTINO MOBLEY 7 SEA - BRENT BARRY 10, RASHARD LEWIS 9

HIGH ASSISTS: HOU - MOOCHIE NORRIS 6, WALT WILLIAMS 4 SEA - GARY PAYTON 8, BRENT BARRY 4

ATT: 12,838


Extended Box

HOUSTON (81) AT SEATTLE (99)

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

RICE F 24 0-3 0-0 0 0 0 0 4 0 0 0 W WILLIAMS F 34 3-9 1-1 1 2 3 4 4 1 3 8 CATO C 16 1-2 1-2 2 1 3 0 0 0 0 3 MOBLEY G 38 8-17 2-2 2 5 7 3 4 1 4 21 NORRIS G 43 8-18 2-2 1 2 3 6 4 0 2 19 K WILLIS 21 2-7 4-5 3 6 9 1 2 0 5 8 TORRES 24 2-4 2-2 0 3 3 0 1 1 3 6 MORRIS 13 0-3 0-0 1 2 3 1 0 1 0 0 GRIFFIN 27 6-11 2-4 0 5 5 1 0 0 0 16 FRANCIS DNP - PLANTAR FACIAITIS LEFT FOOT LANGHI DNP - COACH'S DECISION THOMAS DNP - RIGHT ACHILLES TENDINITIS

TOTALS 240 30-74 14-18 10 26 36 16 19 4 17 81 (.405) (.778) TEAM REBS: 13 TOTAL TO: 19(27 PTS)

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

LEWIS F 46 6-18 2-2 3 6 9 2 2 2 1 15 LONG F 10 2-3 0-0 1 1 2 0 2 0 1 4 BOOTH C 24 3-7 2-2 2 4 6 1 3 2 1 8 B BARRY G 42 5-11 3-5 1 9 10 4 4 4 1 15 PAYTON G 46 10-19 3-5 2 0 2 8 1 1 4 24 MASON 28 9-14 3-3 2 3 5 2 2 1 1 21 S WILLIAMS 6 0-2 0-0 1 1 2 2 0 0 0 0 DROBNJAK 16 2-5 0-2 1 1 2 1 2 0 0 4 RADMANOVIC 5 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 WATSON 17 4-5 0-0 2 1 3 2 2 0 0 8 HARVEY DNP - COACH'S DECISION OYEDEJI DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 41-84 13-19 15 26 41 22 19 10 9 99 (.488) (.684) TEAM REBS: 7 TOTAL TO: 10(7 PTS)

HOUSTON 23 22 20 16 - 81 SEATTLE 26 21 30 22 - 99

BLOCKED SHOTS: HOUSTON - CATO 2, GRIFFIN 2. SEATTLE - B BARRY 2, WATSON, DROBNJAK. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: HOUSTON 7-21 (.333), RICE 0-2, W WILLIAMS 1-5, MOBLEY 3-4, NORRIS 1-2, TORRES 0-2, MORRIS 0-1, GRIFFIN 2-5. SEATTLE 4-18 (.222), LEWIS 1-7, B BARRY 2-6, PAYTON 1-3, S WILLIAMS 0-1, WATSON 0-1. TECHNICALS: HOUSTON - HEAD COACH TOMJANOVICH 2 (EJECTED), SEATTLE - DEFENSIVE THREE 2. OFFICIALS: ED F RUSH, SEAN CORBIN, JIM KINSEY. A - 12,838. T - 2:04.


Box Score

HOUSTON (81) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Rice 24 0-3 0-0 0-0 0 4 0 W Williams 34 3-9 1-1 1-3 4 4 8 Cato 16 1-2 1-2 2-3 0 0 3 Mobley 38 8-17 2-2 2-7 3 4 21 Norris 43 8-18 2-2 1-3 6 4 19 K Willis 21 2-7 4-5 3-9 1 2 8 Torres 24 2-4 2-2 0-3 0 1 6 Morris 13 0-3 0-0 1-3 1 0 0 Griffin 27 6-11 2-4 0-5 1 0 16 Francis DNP - plantar faciaitis left foot Langhi DNP - coach's decision Thomas DNP - right achilles tendinitis _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 30-74 14-18 10-36 16 19 81 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.405, FT-.778. 3-Point Goals: 7-21, .333 (Rice 0-2, W Williams 1-5, Mobley 3-4, Norris 1-2, Torres 0-2, Morris 0-1, Griffin 2-5). Team rebounds: 13. Blocked shots: 4 (Cato 2, Griffin 2). Turnovers: 19 (K Willis 5, Mobley 4, Torres 3, W Williams 3, Norris 2). Steals: 4 (Mobley, Morris, Torres, W Williams).

SEATTLE (99) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Lewis 46 6-18 2-2 3-9 2 2 15 Long 10 2-3 0-0 1-2 0 2 4 Booth 24 3-7 2-2 2-6 1 3 8 B Barry 42 5-11 3-5 1-10 4 4 15 Payton 46 10-19 3-5 2-2 8 1 24 Mason 28 9-14 3-3 2-5 2 2 21 S Williams 6 0-2 0-0 1-2 2 0 0 Drobnjak 16 2-5 0-2 1-2 1 2 4 Radmanovic 5 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 0 Watson 17 4-5 0-0 2-3 2 2 8 Harvey DNP - coach's decision Oyedeji DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 41-84 13-19 15-41 22 19 99 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.488, FT-.684. 3-Point Goals: 4-18, .222 (Lewis 1-7, B Barry 2-6, Payton 1-3, S Williams 0-1, Watson 0-1). Team rebounds: 7. Blocked shots: 4 (B Barry 2, Watson, Drobnjak). Turnovers: 10 (Payton 4, B Barry, Booth, Lewis, Long, Mason). Steals: 10 (B Barry 4, Booth 2, Lewis 2, Mason, Payton). ____________________________________________ Houston 23 22 20 16 - 81 Seattle 26 21 30 22 - 99 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: Houston 2 (Head Coach Tomjanovich 2 (ejected), 4:49 3rd). Seattle 2 (Defensive Three 2, 10:20 1st, 11:07 2nd). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 12,838. T: 2:04. Officials: Ed F Rush, Sean Corbin, Jim Kinsey.


Game Story

SEATTLE (Ticker) -- Gary Payton had 24 points and eight assists as the Seattle SuperSonics successfully opened a three-game homestand with a 99-81 victory over the shorthanded Houston Rockets.

After Moochie Norris hit a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 85-79 with 5:32 remaining, Seattle held Houston without a basket and went on a 14-2 run to close the game. Desmond Mason scored six of his season-high 21 points during the run.

"I think in the second half, we came out more intense," said Mason, who made 9-of-14 shots. "Nate (Seattle coach Nate McMillan) is giving me more opportunities and when I get the ball, I gotta try to finish. That's the only way you are gonna get more opportunities is if you take advantage of it."

"It was a mismatch, we got Desmond on a different guy and he did a good job of going in there and getting baskets," Payton said. "We've gotta mix it up sometimes -- they are always gonna look for me to be the man to score. When there's another guy that can go in and do good, that will open it up for us down the line because they don't know who's gonna get the ball."

Rashard Lewis and Brent Barry each contributed 15 points for Seattle. Barry also recorded a team-high 10 rebounds.

"We got the turkey out of us at halftime," Barry said of his team, which led only 47-45 at the break. "We were all sitting in here and wondering what was going on and when the pecan pie was coming in. The coaches got on us and we just needed to play our style of basketball. We didn't do that the first two quarters. In the third quarter we picked it up a little bit."

Cuttino Mobley led Houston with 21 points despite battling the flu and two sore ankles. Norris added 19 points and rookie Eddie Griffin had 16, both season highs.

Rockets star guard Steve Francis sat out with plantar fasciaitis in his left heel. Forward Kenny Thomas, who has right Achilles tendenitis, also missed the game.

"With two guys out I was really proud of how hard we played," Houston coach Rudy Tomjanovich said. "The first half was played really hard by both teams. I made my commentary on some things and then we fought back. We had a chance when we got it to six points but Mason made some great plays and then Barry had the dagger at the end."

Tomjanovich was ejected with 4:49 remaining in the third quarter after receiving back-to-back technical fouls for arguing with the officials.

"I made my commentary but I don't think I got my money's worth because they didn't hear me and I didn't use a lot of bad language," Tomjanovich said.

"We felt like we weren't getting some calls," Norris said. "I was in a tug of war with some guys on the perimeter. When your coach fights for you, you've got to fight for your coach. When your coach gets thrown out, you can't stop playing. You're professionals, you've got to keep on playing."

The Sonics recorded more points in the paint (46-24), off the offensive glass (17-10) and on the fast break (11-8).

"We kept the ball out of the inside," Mason said. "They had to work to get the ball down in the post. I think the guys stepped up and played a little better defensively and never lost control of the game."

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