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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- HOUSTON 25 25 29 25 104 BOSTON 22 22 26 31 101 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 26, CUTTINO MOBLEY 21, EDDIE GRIFFIN 19 BOS - PAUL PIERCE 38, ANTOINE WALKER 25, ERICK STRICKLAND 15

HIGH REBOUND: HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 15, KELVIN CATO 12 BOS - PAUL PIERCE 11, ANTOINE WALKER 11

HIGH ASSISTS: HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 10, CUTTINO MOBLEY 4 BOS - PAUL PIERCE 6, ANTOINE WALKER 4

ATT: 16,317


Extended Box

HOUSTON (104) AT BOSTON (101)

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

GRIFFIN F 43 6-11 4-4 0 10 10 2 5 1 3 19 THOMAS F 26 4-9 0-2 0 0 0 2 6 0 2 8 CATO C 40 6-9 2-6 3 9 12 0 3 0 0 14 FRANCIS G 45 7-20 10-13 2 13 15 10 3 1 5 26 MOBLEY G 41 8-20 0-0 1 1 2 4 1 0 2 21 MORRIS 27 4-6 0-0 2 2 4 3 6 1 1 9 NORRIS 15 2-4 2-2 1 1 2 2 1 2 0 7 TORRES 3 0-2 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 BROWN DNP - COACH'S DECISION COLLIER DNP - COACH'S DECISION LANGHI DNP - COACH'S DECISION K WILLIS DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 37-81 18-27 9 36 45 23 25 6 13 104 (.457) (.667) TEAM REBS: 12 TOTAL TO: 13(14 PTS)

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

PIERCE F 44 13-27 10-13 2 9 11 6 1 2 0 38 WALKER F 45 7-17 9-12 2 9 11 4 3 4 4 25 BATTIE C 27 2-5 1-2 4 5 9 1 4 1 0 5 ANDERSON G 33 3-9 0-0 1 2 3 3 1 1 1 6 JOHNSON G 18 0-4 0-0 0 1 1 0 2 0 1 0 STRICKLAND 31 4-11 4-5 0 4 4 1 5 0 0 15 E WILLIAMS 13 2-3 3-4 0 0 0 1 2 0 2 7 POTAPENKO 17 0-1 0-0 1 0 1 1 2 0 0 0 MCCARTY 12 2-3 0-0 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 5 BLOUNT DNP - COACH'S DECISION K BROWN DNP - COACH'S DECISION PALACIO DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 33-80 27-36 11 30 41 18 20 8 8 101 (.413) (.750) TEAM REBS: 11 TOTAL TO: 9(14 PTS)

HOUSTON 25 25 29 25 - 104 BOSTON 22 22 26 31 - 101

BLOCKED SHOTS: HOUSTON - GRIFFIN 5. BOSTON - BATTIE, POTAPENKO. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: HOUSTON 12-23 (.522), GRIFFIN 3-5, FRANCIS 2-5, MOBLEY 5-8, MORRIS 1-3, NORRIS 1-1, TORRES 0-1. BOSTON 8-20 (.400), PIERCE 2-6, WALKER 2-6, JOHNSON 0-1, STRICKLAND 3-5, E WILLIAMS 0-1, MCCARTY 1-1. TECHNICALS: HOUSTON - DEFENSIVE THREE, BOSTON - DEFENSIVE THREE 2, WALKER. OFFICIALS: TED BERNHARDT, LEON WOOD, PHIL ROBINSON. A - 16,317. T - 2:22.


Box Score

HOUSTON (104) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Griffin 43 6-11 4-4 0-10 2 5 19 Thomas 26 4-9 0-2 0-0 2 6 8 Cato 40 6-9 2-6 3-12 0 3 14 Francis 45 7-20 10-13 2-15 10 3 26 Mobley 41 8-20 0-0 1-2 4 1 21 Morris 27 4-6 0-0 2-4 3 6 9 Norris 15 2-4 2-2 1-2 2 1 7 Torres 3 0-2 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 Brown DNP - coach's decision Collier DNP - coach's decision Langhi DNP - coach's decision K Willis DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 37-81 18-27 9-45 23 25 104 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.457, FT-.667. 3-Point Goals: 12-23, .522 (Griffin 3-5, Francis 2-5, Mobley 5-8, Morris 1-3, Norris 1-1, Torres 0-1). Team rebounds: 12. Blocked shots: 5 (Griffin 5). Turnovers: 13 (Francis 5, Griffin 3, Mobley 2, Thomas 2, Morris). Steals: 6 (Norris 2, Francis, Griffin, Morris, Torres).

BOSTON (101) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Pierce 44 13-27 10-13 2-11 6 1 38 Walker 45 7-17 9-12 2-11 4 3 25 Battie 27 2-5 1-2 4-9 1 4 5 Anderson 33 3-9 0-0 1-3 3 1 6 Johnson 18 0-4 0-0 0-1 0 2 0 Strickland 31 4-11 4-5 0-4 1 5 15 E Williams 13 2-3 3-4 0-0 1 2 7 Potapenko 17 0-1 0-0 1-1 1 2 0 Mccarty 12 2-3 0-0 1-1 1 0 5 Blount DNP - coach's decision K Brown DNP - coach's decision Palacio DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 33-80 27-36 11-41 18 20 101 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.413, FT-.750. 3-Point Goals: 8-20, .400 (Pierce 2-6, Walker 2-6, Johnson 0-1, Strickland 3-5, E Williams 0-1, Mccarty 1-1). Team rebounds: 11. Blocked shots: 2 (Battie, Potapenko). Turnovers: 9 (Walker 4, E Williams 2, Anderson, Johnson). Steals: 8 (Walker 4, Pierce 2, Anderson, Battie). ____________________________________________ Houston 25 25 29 25 - 104 Boston 22 22 26 31 - 101 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: Houston 1 (Defensive Three, 3:10 1st). Boston 3 (Defensive Three 2, 0:52 1st, 0:43 2nd; Walker, 7:38 4th). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 16,317. T: 2:22. Officials: Ted Bernhardt, Leon Wood, Phil Robinson.


Game Story

BOSTON (Ticker) -- Steve Francis was back, but it was another Houston Rockets' guard that proved to be the difference.

Francis had his fourth triple-double of his career but Moochie Norris drained a key 3-pointer with 27.5 seconds left as the Rockets edged the Boston Celtics, 104-101.

The Rockets trailed just twice in the entire game but surrendered momentum down the stretch and Boston was able to get within 97-96 following a free throw by Antoine Walker with 42 seconds to go. Houston called timeout and when play resumed, Norris -- who has developed a penchant for hitting clutch shots -- found himself wide open on the left side and converted the jumper for a four-point edge.

Norris has hit clutch shots a couple of times season, with the most recent last-second shot coming 10 days ago in an win against the New York Knicks.

In those situations defenders have opted to double-team either Francis or Cuttino Mobley, leaving Norris open.

"He always does it and his man is either gonna come off and come up to me or Cuttino," Francis said. "Teams look at us play they should see it. It happens every time. Every time they try to triple or double-team me or Cuttino in that last second we always find Mooch and he's always able to knock the shot down."

"He's a guy that they have to focus on," Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich said. "He did a great job getting the ball around and Cuttino made a great, great play on the drive to the middle and hitting Mooch. Mooch is pretty doggone good. He's done that for us numerous times."

Norris matched a career high with 28 points on Wednesday as Francis' replacement and only had seven before making the 3-pointer.

Following Norris' shot, Erick Strickland converted two free throws that made got the Celtics within two with 24 seconds left.

Francis made one of two foul shots to push the lead to 101-98 and on Boston's next trip Strickland's game-tying 3-point attempt rimmed out.

Francis made another free throw and the Celtics were still in it when Walker hit a 3-pointer with five seconds left. But Francis made two more from the line and Houston survived Paul Pierce's desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Walker finished with 25 points on 7-of-17 shooting from the floor and Pierce had 38 points for his league-leading 17th 30-point game.

Francis was listed as questionable for the game after missing Wednesday's contest with headaches. But he finished with 26 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists. He also was 10-of-13 from the free throw line.

"He's always a boost," Norris said. "He's the engine. It definitely lifts me up and lightens my load and I know for the other guys they feel the same, just having him on the court. He's our captain, he's our leader out there so it was great to have him out there."

"That's a lift," Tomjanovich said. "But a win too is a lift, man oh man it's like it's the same song, the same song and you know, we've won some of them and this is a win against a team that is good, really good."

Throughout the game Boston coach Jim O'Brien decided to double-team Francis. But he consistently found an open shooter as Houston shot 46 percent (37-of-81), including 52 percent (12-of-23) from beyond the arc.

"They're a tough team," Pierce said. "They challenge you defensively, the way they spread the court. They have a lot of really good perimeter shooters, and they're really good at passing the ball. Their record (13-26) doesn't really show how good of a team they are."

The Celtics had their three-game winning streak snapped.

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