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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- PHOENIX 27 27 18 18 90 HOUSTON 18 25 21 24 88 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: PHO - SHAWN MARION 26, STEPHON MARBURY 18, DAN MAJERLE 14 HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 28, CUTTINO MOBLEY 19, MOOCHIE NORRIS 12

HIGH REBOUND: PHO - SHAWN MARION 11, BO OUTLAW 4, STEPHON MARBURY 4 HOU - KELVIN CATO 13, KENNY THOMAS 9, DAN LANGHI 6

HIGH ASSISTS: PHO - STEPHON MARBURY 10, JOE JOHNSON 4, PENNY HARDAWAY 3 HOU - MOOCHIE NORRIS 4, STEVE FRANCIS 4, DAN LANGHI 4


Extended Box

PHOENIX (90) AT HOUSTON (88)

PHOENIX

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

S MARION F 39 12-21 2-2 1 10 11 1 2 2 4 26 C OUTLAW F 20 0-1 0-0 1 3 4 1 2 1 0 0 J TSAKALIDIS C 33 2-3 4-4 0 4 4 0 4 1 2 8 S MARBURY G 40 6-18 6-6 1 3 4 10 2 1 4 18 J JOHNSON G 29 1-6 0-0 2 2 4 4 1 1 1 2 A FORD 6 1-2 0-0 0 2 2 1 2 0 0 2 J VOSKUHL 9 3-3 1-2 1 0 1 0 4 0 1 7 D MAJERLE 28 5-8 0-0 0 0 0 3 1 0 1 14 P HARDAWAY 28 6-10 1-2 1 2 3 3 3 0 0 13 M PALACIO 8 0-2 0-0 0 0 0 1 2 2 1 0 J WALLACE DNP - COACH'S DECISION J CRISPIN DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 36-74 14-16 7 26 33 24 23 8 14 90 (.486) (.875) TEAM REBS: 7 TOTAL TO: 16 (20 PTS)

HOUSTON

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

D LANGHI F 26 3-10 0-0 3 3 6 4 1 1 1 6 K THOMAS F 45 5-14 2-2 1 8 9 3 4 0 3 12 K CATO C 32 4-7 1-2 5 8 13 2 3 0 0 9 S FRANCIS G 45 8-20 9-10 0 4 4 4 3 1 3 28 C MOBLEY G 42 7-16 4-5 0 2 2 1 1 3 2 19 J COLLIER 12 1-1 0-0 0 1 1 0 2 0 1 2 K WILLIS 7 0-3 0-0 2 2 4 0 1 1 1 0 O TORRES 7 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 M NORRIS 24 4-8 2-2 0 0 0 4 1 1 2 12 T MORRIS DNP - INGROWN TOENAIL T BROWN DNP - COACH'S DECISION E GRIFFIN DNP - SORE TOE

TOTALS 240 32-80 18-21 11 28 39 18 17 7 14 88 (.400) (.857) TEAM REBS: 12 TOTAL TO: 16 (22 PTS)

PHOENIX 27 27 18 18 - 90 HOUSTON 18 25 21 24 - 88

BLOCKED SHOTS: PHOENIX - C OUTLAW, D MAJERLE. HOUSTON - K CATO 2, K WILLIS, S FRANCIS, K THOMAS, D LANGHI. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: PHOENIX 4-14 (.286), S MARION 0-3, S MARBURY 0- 2, J JOHNSON 0-1, D MAJERLE 4-7, P HARDAWAY 0-1. HOUSTON 6-17 (.353), S FRANCIS 3-9, C MOBLEY 1-4, O TORRES 0-1, M NORRIS 2-3. TECHNICAL FOULS: PHOENIX - DEFENSIVE THREE, S MARBURY. FLAGRANT FOULS: NONE. OFFICIALS: DON VADEN, LEROY RICHARDSON, SCOTT WALL. A - 13,448. T - 2:16.


Box Score

PHOENIX (90)

fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp S Marion 39 12-21 2-2 1-11 1 2 26 C Outlaw 20 0-1 0-0 1-4 1 2 0 J Tsakalidis 33 2-3 4-4 0-4 0 4 8 S Marbury 40 6-18 6-6 1-4 10 2 18 J Johnson 29 1-6 0-0 2-4 4 1 2 A Ford 6 1-2 0-0 0-2 1 2 2 J Voskuhl 9 3-3 1-2 1-1 0 4 7 D Majerle 28 5-8 0-0 0-0 3 1 14 P Hardaway 28 6-10 1-2 1-3 3 3 13 M Palacio 8 0-2 0-0 0-0 1 2 0 J Wallace DNP - COACH'S DECISION J Crispin DNP - COACH'S DECISION

_____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 36-74 14-16 7-33 24 23 90 _____________________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.486, FT-.875. 3-Point Goals: 4-14, .286 (S Marion 0-3, S Marbury 0-2, J Johnson 0-1, D Majerle 4-7, P Hardaway 0-1). Team Rebounds: 7. Blocked Shots:2 (C Outlaw, D Majerle). Turnovers:14 (S Marbury 4, S Marion 4, J Tsakalidis 2, D Majerle, J Johnson, J Voskuhl, M Palacio). Steals: 8 (M Palacio 2, S Marion 2, C Outlaw, J Johnson, J Tsakalidis, S Marbury).

HOUSTON (88)

fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp D Langhi 26 3-10 0-0 3-6 4 1 6 K Thomas 45 5-14 2-2 1-9 3 4 12 K Cato 32 4-7 1-2 5-13 2 3 9 S Francis 45 8-20 9-10 0-4 4 3 28 C Mobley 42 7-16 4-5 0-2 1 1 19 J Collier 12 1-1 0-0 0-1 0 2 2 K Willis 7 0-3 0-0 2-4 0 1 0 O Torres 7 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 1 0 M Norris 24 4-8 2-2 0-0 4 1 12 T Morris DNP - INGROWN TOENAIL T Brown DNP - COACH'S DECISION E Griffin DNP - SORE TOE

_____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 32-80 18-21 11-39 18 17 88 _____________________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.400, FT-.857. 3-Point Goals: 6-17, .353 (S Francis 3-9, C Mobley 1-4, O Torres 0-1, M Norris 2-3). Team Rebounds: 12. Blocked Shots:6 (K Cato 2, K Willis, S Francis, K Thomas, D Langhi). Turnovers:14 (S Francis 3, K Thomas 3, M Norris 2, C Mobley 2, K Willis, J Collier, D Langhi, O Torres). Steals: 7 (C Mobley 3, K Willis, S Francis, D Langhi, M Norris).

------------------------------------------- PHOENIX 27 27 18 18 - 90 HOUSTON 18 25 21 24 - 88 -------------------------------------------

Technical fouls: Phoenix - 2 (Defensive Three, 6:10 1st; S Marbury, 7:50 1st). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 13,448. T: 2:16. Officials: Don Vaden, Leroy Richardson, Scott Wall.


Game Story

HOUSTON (Ticker) -- Shawn Marion scored 26 points, including the go-ahead free throws in the final minute, as the Phoenix Suns edged the Houston Rockets, 90-88.

Marion made 12-of-21 shots and pulled down 11 rebounds and Stephon Marbury added 18 points and 10 assists for the Suns, who won twice at the Compaq Center to split the four-game season series.

After Marbury made a pair of free throws to give the Suns an 88-83 advantage with 1:45 left, Moochie Norris countered with a 3-pointer and Cuttino Mobley sank a layup to tie it with 45 seconds remaining.

But Marion was fouled in the paint with 5.4 seconds left and calmly sank both free throws.

"I should've made the shot and I was confident on the free throws," Marion said. "I haven't missed a free throw in the last five or six games."

Mobley went for a tying layup, but Jake Tsakalidis blocked the shot with two-tenths of a second to play. The Rockets'

subsequent tip missed badly.

"They made a run and we withstood it," Marbury said. "We continued to peck away and withstand their run. We felt we had control of the game. We played good, solid defense and stayed in control."

Phoenix took an 80-71 lead on a six-foot running jumper by Penny Hardaway with 8:22 left, but the Rockets went on a 10-0 run that was capped by Steve Francis' 22-foot jumper with 4:57 left.

But Tsakalidis countered with a dunk off a feed from Marbury, and Hardaway and Marbury added jumpers to give the Suns a five-point cushion before the Rockets made their late push to even it at 88-88.

"Plays that shouldn't be happening were happening," Suns coach Frank Johnson said. "I got to convince them to play fundamental basketball. I've seen this before. We needed to make plays down the stretch. Somehow, I've got to get it through their heads."

Francis scored 28 points and Mobley 19 for the Rockets, who suffered their third straight loss and fell to 0-2 on a four-game homestand.

"You have to continue to dig deep," Francis said. "I thought we did a good job of that for a period of time, but we didn't maintain the intensity on that last play, where they had the fast break, and that really hurt us. Once again, we have to go back to the drawing board."

The Rockets shot just 40 percent (32-of-80) and allowed the Suns to connect at 49 percent (36-of-74).

"I just felt like we missed a lot of shots that we normally make," Norris said. "We missed shots that we had and the opportunities that we had."

After Jake Voskuhl snapped a 12-12 tie with a layup with 4:39 left in the opening quarter, the Suns built their advantage to 15 points and took a 54-43 lead into halftime.

Phoenix led, 76-65, after a turnaround jumper by Marion 67 seconds into the fourth quarter before the Rockets made their comeback.

"It's amazing how we found a way to get back into it," Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich said. "It went down to the last basket and it could've been a different outcome."

Both teams are well out of the playoff race. Phoenix improved to 34-39, while Houston fell to 26-46.

"Even though the season is nearing the end, we have to look deep down inside and think about pride," Francis said. "We have to think about where we're at because we've been losing for a while now and it's getting old for me. And I'm pretty sure for everybody on the outside, it's getting old for them, too. It's something where everybody has to look at themselves."

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