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NBA  FINAL            1ST  2ND  3RD  4TH  TOTAL
                      ---  ---  ---  ---  -----
     MIAMI            26   30   14   24    94   
     HOUSTON          18   23   20   21    82      FINAL

HIGH SCORERS:   MIA - CARON BUTLER 24, TRAVIS BEST 15, MIKE 
                      JAMES 15
                HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 27, EDDIE GRIFFIN 14, TWO 
                      PLAYERS WITH 10

HIGH REBOUND:   MIA - BRIAN GRANT 9, VLADIMIR STEPANIA 8, 
                      RASUAL BUTLER 6
                HOU - EDDIE GRIFFIN 12, KELVIN CATO 8, YAO 
                      MING 8

HIGH ASSISTS:   MIA - TRAVIS BEST 6, MIKE JAMES 3, BRIAN GRANT
                      2
                HOU - CUTTINO MOBLEY 3, YAO MING 3, FOUR 
                      PLAYERS WITH 1

         ATT:   15,310

Box Score

MIAMI (94) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp M Allen 33 7-11 0-0 2-4 1 1 14 C Butler 39 8-15 8-9 1-3 0 4 24 B Grant 39 2-7 0-0 1-9 2 4 4 T Best 27 3-8 9-10 0-3 6 6 15 E House 24 5-8 1-2 0-2 1 5 12 V Stepania 20 2-3 1-1 0-8 0 3 5 R Butler 26 2-6 1-4 0-6 1 3 5 M James 21 5-8 3-4 1-2 3 4 15 L Ellis 11 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 0 L Ellis DNP - COACH'S DECISION E Jones DNP - STRAINED LEFT GROIN S Marks DNP - COACH'S DECISION _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 34-66 23-30 5-37 14 31 94 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.515, FT-.767. 3-Point Goals: 3-5, .600 (E House 1-1, R Butler 0-1, M James 2-3). Team Rebounds: 9. Blocked Shots:3 (B Grant 2, V Stepania). Turnovers:9 (C Butler 3, B Grant 2, T Best 2, E House, R Butler). Steals: 5 (C Butler 2, B Grant, T Best, E House). HOUSTON (82) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp E Griffin 35 6-13 1-2 4-12 0 0 14 J Posey 28 2-10 2-4 1-6 1 4 6 Y Ming 32 4-8 2-2 1-8 3 4 10 S Francis 41 6-18 14-18 5-6 1 5 27 C Mobley 42 3-10 3-6 0-3 3 2 10 T Morris 18 1-3 0-0 0-3 1 3 3 K Cato 16 2-5 1-2 6-8 0 4 5 M Taylor 13 2-10 2-2 2-2 0 1 6 M Norris 10 0-0 1-2 0-0 1 0 1 J Hawkins 5 0-2 0-2 0-1 0 1 0 J Collier DNP - COACH'S DECISION B Nachbar DNP - COACH'S DECISION _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 26-79 26-40 19-49 10 24 82 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.329, FT-.650. 3-Point Goals: 4-21, .190 (E Griffin 1-4, J Posey 0-3, S Francis 1-6, C Mobley 1-6, T Morris 1-2). Team Rebounds: 11. Blocked Shots:2 (K Cato, E Griffin). Turnovers:8 (S Francis 3, J Posey 3, M Taylor, E Griffin). Steals: 6 (S Francis 3, K Cato, E Griffin, C Mobley). ------------------------------------------- MIAMI 26 30 14 24 - 94 HOUSTON 18 23 20 21 - 82 ------------------------------------------- Technical fouls: Miami - 2 (Defensive Three, 6:20 2nd; E House, 4:28 4th). Houston - 1 (S Francis, 4:28 4th). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 15,310. T: 2:24. Officials: Blane Reichelt, Mike Henderson, Tom Washington.


Extended Box

MIAMI (94) AT HOUSTON (82) MIAMI REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === M ALLEN F 33 7-11 0-0 2 2 4 1 1 0 0 14 C BUTLER F 39 8-15 8-9 1 2 3 0 4 2 3 24 B GRANT C 39 2-7 0-0 1 8 9 2 4 1 2 4 T BEST G 27 3-8 9-10 0 3 3 6 6 1 2 15 E HOUSE G 24 5-8 1-2 0 2 2 1 5 1 1 12 V STEPANIA 20 2-3 1-1 0 8 8 0 3 0 0 5 R BUTLER 26 2-6 1-4 0 6 6 1 3 0 1 5 M JAMES 21 5-8 3-4 1 1 2 3 4 0 0 15 L ELLIS 11 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 L ELLIS DNP - COACH'S DECISION E JONES DNP - STRAINED LEFT GROIN S MARKS DNP - COACH'S DECISION TOTALS 240 34-66 23-30 5 32 37 14 31 5 9 94 (.515) (.767) TEAM REBS: 9 TOTAL TO: 10 (10 PTS) HOUSTON REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === E GRIFFIN F 35 6-13 1-2 4 8 12 0 0 1 1 14 J POSEY F 28 2-10 2-4 1 5 6 1 4 0 3 6 Y MING C 32 4-8 2-2 1 7 8 3 4 0 0 10 S FRANCIS G 41 6-18 14-18 5 1 6 1 5 3 3 27 C MOBLEY G 42 3-10 3-6 0 3 3 3 2 1 0 10 T MORRIS 18 1-3 0-0 0 3 3 1 3 0 0 3 K CATO 16 2-5 1-2 6 2 8 0 4 1 0 5 M TAYLOR 13 2-10 2-2 2 0 2 0 1 0 1 6 M NORRIS 10 0-0 1-2 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 J HAWKINS 5 0-2 0-2 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 J COLLIER DNP - COACH'S DECISION B NACHBAR DNP - COACH'S DECISION TOTALS 240 26-79 26-40 19 30 49 10 24 6 8 82 (.329) (.650) TEAM REBS: 11 TOTAL TO: 8 (8 PTS) MIAMI 26 30 14 24 - 94 HOUSTON 18 23 20 21 - 82 BLOCKED SHOTS: MIAMI - B GRANT 2, V STEPANIA. HOUSTON - K CATO, E GRIFFIN. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: MIAMI 3-5 (.600), E HOUSE 1-1, R BUTLER 0-1, M JAMES 2- 3. HOUSTON 4-21 (.190), E GRIFFIN 1-4, J POSEY 0-3, S FRANCIS 1-6, C MOBLEY 1-6, T MORRIS 1-2. TECHNICAL FOULS: MIAMI - DEFENSIVE THREE, E HOUSE. HOUSTON - S FRANCIS. FLAGRANT FOULS: NONE. OFFICIALS: BLANE REICHELT, MIKE HENDERSON, TOM WASHINGTON. A - 15,310. T - 2:24.


Game Story

HOUSTON (Ticker) -- Rookie Caron Butler played like the veteran the Miami Heat were missing. Butler stepped up in the absence of Eddie Jones and scored 24 points as the Heat stopped an eight-game road losing streak with a 94-82 victory over the slumping Houston Rockets. "This is one of our best games in a long time," Heat coach Pat Riley said. "We played well from beginning to end. It was a good win against a very good team." Jones, the Heat's leading scorer, is expected to miss at least a couple of games after aggravating a left groin injury in Wednesday's loss to New Orleans. In January, Miami went 1-6, including 0-5 on the road, while Jones was out with a sprained right ankle. Without their leader, the Heat played a spirited game, never trailing and shooting a season-best 51.5 percent (34-of-66). Butler led the way, falling one point shy of a season high. "Coach said for me to be ready to attack tonight," Butler said. "Every time I got the ball, I tried to take it to the rack. We're missing Eddie Jones, so the offense has to go through me. My teammates did an excellent job of getting me the ball in a position where I could do something with it." "He played great. We're going to go to him from now on," Riley added. "He's really matured. It's time for him step up like he did. And he wants it." Travis Best and Mike James each added 15 points for Miami, which led by as many as 18 in the first half. Steve Francis scored 27 points to lead the Rockets, who lost for the ninth time in their last 13 games. After the latest defeat, the Rockets held a team meeting. "I think he (coach Rudy Tomjanovich) really got his point across," Francis said. "Right now, the way we're playing, we're not going to beat anyone. They gave us an old-fashioned butt-whooping." Houston fell to 12-10 against sub-.500 teams. "It's something that the guys are very aware of," Tomjanovich said. "The only way this is going to change is for everyone to evaluate what they're doing. It's some kind of syndrome and it's mostly mental." The Heat were in control throughout, building a double-digit lead less than six minutes into the contest and holding a 26-18 advantage after one quarter behind 10 points from Butler. Vladimir Stepania and James combined to score the Heat's first nine points of the second quarter, extending the lead to 35-20. James led a strong effort by Miami's bench, which outscored the Rockets' reserves, 25-15. Butler, who was 8-of-15 from the floor and 8-of-9 from the line, sank a jumper and Best split a pair of foul shots, giving the Heat their biggest lead of the first half at 48-30. They settled for a 50-33 advantage at the break. Upset when he slid to 10th in June's draft, Butler clearly was the best rookie on the floor. Houston center Yao Ming, the top overall pick, finished with 10 points and eight rebounds. "The way he played today, he could've been an All-Star," said Yao, who played in the All-Star Game on Sunday. The Rockets, who were stagnant offensively for much of the night, finally found their rhythm in the third quarter and closed to 66-58 with 4:20 left in the period on two foul shots by Francis. Francis was 6-of-18 from the floor but 14-of-18 at the line. Eddie Griffin added 14 points and 12 rebounds for Houston, which shot just 33 percent (26-of-79. A jumper by Terence Morris pulled the Rockets within 75-68 with 6:55 remaining in the fourth quarter. But Eddie House answered with a jumper and Brian Grant dunked to help the Heat regain control.


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