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NBA  FINAL            1ST  2ND  3RD  4TH  TOTAL
                      ---  ---  ---  ---  -----
     HOUSTON          20   26   28   16    90   
     DALLAS           29   20   31   23    103     FINAL

HIGH SCORERS:   HOU - YAO MING 30, STEVE FRANCIS 22, GLEN RICE
                      16
                DAL - MICHAEL FINLEY 28, DIRK NOWITZKI 24, 
                      STEVE NASH 15

HIGH REBOUND:   HOU - YAO MING 16, EDDIE GRIFFIN 7, CUTTINO 
                      MOBLEY 6
                DAL - EDUARDO NAJERA 11, DIRK NOWITZKI 9, 
                      ADRIAN GRIFFIN 8

HIGH ASSISTS:   HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 5, EDDIE GRIFFIN 5, 
                      MOOCHIE NORRIS 4
                DAL - STEVE NASH 8, DIRK NOWITZKI 4, SHAWN 
                      BRADLEY 3

         ATT:   19,853

Box Score

HOUSTON (90) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp K Thomas 15 1-1 0-0 0-1 0 3 2 G Rice 29 5-10 1-1 0-5 1 4 16 E Griffin 23 3-9 0-2 1-7 5 1 7 S Francis 40 9-20 2-3 1-2 5 0 22 C Mobley 36 0-8 3-4 1-6 3 3 3 Y Ming 33 10-12 10-12 4-16 1 4 30 J Hawkins 20 1-5 0-0 2-5 2 2 2 M Taylor 23 2-10 0-0 1-4 1 2 4 M Norris 19 2-4 0-0 0-2 4 3 4 J Collier 2 0-1 0-0 0-1 0 0 0 K Cato DNP - COACH'S DECISION B Nachbar DNP - PERSONAL REASONS _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 33-80 16-22 10-49 22 22 90 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.413, FT-.727. 3-Point Goals: 8-23, .348 (G Rice 5-10, E Griffin 1-4, S Francis 2-6, C Mobley 0-2, J Hawkins 0-1). Team Rebounds: 5. Blocked Shots:3 (Y Ming 2, E Griffin). Turnovers:16 (M Norris 3, S Francis 3, Y Ming 3, C Mobley 2, G Rice, M Taylor, K Thomas, E Griffin, J Hawkins). Steals: 7 (S Francis 2, G Rice, M Norris, E Griffin, M Taylor, C Mobley). DALLAS (103) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp A Griffin 22 4-6 0-0 0-8 0 3 8 D Nowitzki 45 11-21 1-2 1-9 4 2 24 S Bradley 20 0-1 0-0 0-2 3 5 0 M Finley 42 9-19 4-4 0-6 2 1 28 S Nash 35 6-17 2-2 1-1 8 1 15 E Najera 26 5-7 4-4 5-11 0 4 14 W Williams 28 1-5 2-5 1-4 2 2 4 A Johnson 12 5-6 0-1 0-1 2 0 10 R Bell 8 0-2 0-0 0-0 2 0 0 M Strickland 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 A Harrington 1 0-0 0-0 0-1 0 0 0 P Jones DNP - COACH'S DECISION E Eschmeyer DNP - KNEE INJURY _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 41-84 13-18 8-43 23 18 103 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.488, FT-.722. 3-Point Goals: 8-13, .615 (D Nowitzki 1-1, M Finley 6-8, S Nash 1-4). Team Rebounds: 4. Blocked Shots:4 (S Bradley, W Williams, R Bell, M Finley). Turnovers:10 (S Nash 6, S Bradley, D Nowitzki, M Finley, A Johnson). Steals: 8 (A Griffin 2, E Najera 2, S Bradley, M Finley, A Johnson, S Nash). ------------------------------------------- HOUSTON 20 26 28 16 - 90 DALLAS 29 20 31 23 - 103 ------------------------------------------- Technical fouls: Dallas - 4 (S Bradley, 9:10 1st; D Nowitzki, 3:37 2nd; Defensive Three, 6:47 2nd; Defensive Three, 4:35 4th). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 19,853. T: 2:18. Officials: Jason Phillips, Joe Crawford, Violet Palmer.


Extended Box

HOUSTON (90) AT DALLAS (103) HOUSTON REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === K THOMAS F 15 1-1 0-0 0 1 1 0 3 0 1 2 G RICE F 29 5-10 1-1 0 5 5 1 4 1 1 16 E GRIFFIN C 23 3-9 0-2 1 6 7 5 1 1 1 7 S FRANCIS G 40 9-20 2-3 1 1 2 5 0 2 3 22 C MOBLEY G 36 0-8 3-4 1 5 6 3 3 1 2 3 Y MING 33 10-12 10-12 4 12 16 1 4 0 3 30 J HAWKINS 20 1-5 0-0 2 3 5 2 2 0 1 2 M TAYLOR 23 2-10 0-0 1 3 4 1 2 1 1 4 M NORRIS 19 2-4 0-0 0 2 2 4 3 1 3 4 J COLLIER 2 0-1 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 K CATO DNP - COACH'S DECISION B NACHBAR DNP - PERSONAL REASONS TOTALS 240 33-80 16-22 10 39 49 22 22 7 16 90 (.413) (.727) TEAM REBS: 5 TOTAL TO: 17 (16 PTS) DALLAS REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === A GRIFFIN F 22 4-6 0-0 0 8 8 0 3 2 0 8 D NOWITZKI F 45 11-21 1-2 1 8 9 4 2 0 1 24 S BRADLEY C 20 0-1 0-0 0 2 2 3 5 1 1 0 M FINLEY G 42 9-19 4-4 0 6 6 2 1 1 1 28 S NASH G 35 6-17 2-2 1 0 1 8 1 1 6 15 E NAJERA 26 5-7 4-4 5 6 11 0 4 2 0 14 W WILLIAMS 28 1-5 2-5 1 3 4 2 2 0 0 4 A JOHNSON 12 5-6 0-1 0 1 1 2 0 1 1 10 R BELL 8 0-2 0-0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 M STRICKLAND 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 A HARRINGTON 1 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 P JONES DNP - COACH'S DECISION E ESCHMEYER DNP - KNEE INJURY TOTALS 240 41-84 13-18 8 35 43 23 18 8 10 103 (.488) (.722) TEAM REBS: 4 TOTAL TO: 11 (11 PTS) HOUSTON 20 26 28 16 - 90 DALLAS 29 20 31 23 - 103 BLOCKED SHOTS: HOUSTON - Y MING 2, E GRIFFIN. DALLAS - S BRADLEY, W WILLIAMS, R BELL, M FINLEY. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: HOUSTON 8-23 (.348), G RICE 5-10, E GRIFFIN 1-4, S FRANCIS 2-6, C MOBLEY 0-2, J HAWKINS 0-1. DALLAS 8-13 (.615), D NOWITZKI 1- 1, M FINLEY 6-8, S NASH 1-4. TECHNICAL FOULS: DALLAS - S BRADLEY, D NOWITZKI, DEFENSIVE THREE 2. FLAGRANT FOULS: NONE. OFFICIALS: JASON PHILLIPS, JOE CRAWFORD, VIOLET PALMER. A - 19,853. T - 2:18.


Game Story

DALLAS (Ticker) -- Not even Yao Ming could stop the Dallas Mavericks. Michael Finley scored a season-high 28 points and Dirk Nowitzki added 24 as the Mavericks overcame a stellar performance by the 7-5 rookie and remained unbeaten with a 103-90 triumph over the Houston Rockets. The Mavs set a franchise record with their 12th straight win and moved within three victories of tying the NBA mark for best start, set by the 1948-49 Washington Capitols and matched by the 1993-94 Rockets. "I just think the longer the winning streak goes, the more vulnerable you become because somewhere along the line someone is going to get hot and you are going to get cold," Mavs coach Don Nelson said. "It is kind of fun because you never know what is going to happen. It could very well have ended tonight because I thought they played really well. Again, we are just having fun with it to see how long it will go." Yao was dominant in 33 minutes off the bench, scoring a season-high 30 points and grabbing 16 rebounds. He shot 10-of-12 from the field and the line and has made 31 of his last 35 shots (89 percent). "I was definitely comfortable tonight," Yao said through an interpreter. "From a technical standpoint I felt I was in the right place." "He's had great practices, doing things that you don't think a guy his size can do," Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich said. "He's got quickness and the guy has a heart. He does it at a really even temperament, he loves the games and he is so unselfish. Late in the game, he gets a 1-on-1 underneath and could have gone for the points but passes the ball off to an open guy. He's just a class player." Often matched up with 7-6 center Shawn Bradley, Yao's aggressiveness and head fakes landed the slightly taller player in foul trouble, and Bradley finished with no points and five fouls in 20 minutes. "We all knew Yao Ming was going to be good," Nelson said. "I didn't think he was going to be good for two years, but he was good tonight. He's got the whole package. All he needs to do is learn a little bit about the way we play. Rudy has got him running some simple things, using his strengths and staying away from his weakness. And he is some factor." Eduardo Najera took over for Bradley down the stretch and held the No. 1 overall draft pick without a basket in the fourth quarter. Najera finished with 12 points and a season-high 11 rebounds and gave the Mavs their biggest lead, 101-84, on a reverse layup around Yao with 2:29 left. "I guess what I did tonight was use my quickness against his height and strength," Najera said. "It worked out pretty well. What I was trying to do was stay between the ball and Yao Ming. I knew if they were going to lob it that Dirk was behind me to help me out." Dallas took the lead for good, 64-62, on a jumper by Adrian Griffin with 6:53 to play in the third quater that sparked a 11-0 run. Nowitzki capped the burst with a 3-pointer from the right corner with 4:24 to go in the period. Steve Francis scored 22 points and Glen Rice had 16 for the Rockets, who shot 41 percent (33-of-80) and allowed the Mavs to connect at 49 percent (41-84). "Tonight we couldn't really get other guys to hit shots that they normally hit," Rice said. "That's going to happen from time to time. The great thing about it is that we see that there are openings. And when you have the big fellow rolling like he was rolling, there's no way you can cover all the grounds defending him." Rice made 5-of-10 3-pointers but was one-upped by Finley, who sank 6-of-8 to help Dallas shoot 62 percent from the arc (8-of-13). "I thought Finley was sensational," Nelson said. "I thought he kept our heads above water when things weren't going well for us. He always seemed to walk into a shot or make some sort of sensational play and did it on both ends of the floor. I thought he was good defensively tonight." Steve Nash added 15 points and eight assists for the Mavs, who foiled the Rockets' bid for a third straight win. "They are really good, very hard to guard," Tomjanovich said. "Everybody makes mistakes in a game. They're so good that if you just miss an assignment or leave a guy open for a couple feet, they're just nailing it. That's what they had today." Dallas took a 49-46 halftime lead despite 21 points from Yao - one more than his previous season high, set in Sunday's road win over the Los Angeles Lakers. "We played a subpar first half," Finley said. "They were going into Yao a lot. In the second half we made some adjustments to make it tougher on Yao and that's the reason we got the lead and the win."


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