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NBA  FINAL            1ST  2ND  3RD  4TH  TOTAL
                      ---  ---  ---  ---  -----
     HOUSTON          29   26   22   21    98   
     CHICAGO          22   13   13   18    66      FINAL

HIGH SCORERS:   HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 19, CUTTINO MOBLEY 14, TWO
                      PLAYERS WITH 12
                CHI - JAMAL CRAWFORD 19, TYSON CHANDLER 14, 
                      TWO PLAYERS WITH 5

HIGH REBOUND:   HOU - KELVIN CATO 8, YAO MING 7, JIMMY JACKSON
                      6
                CHI - TYSON CHANDLER 17, KENDALL GILL 5, TWO 
                      PLAYERS WITH 4

HIGH ASSISTS:   HOU - MOOCHIE NORRIS 5, JIMMY JACKSON 4, TWO 
                      PLAYERS WITH 3
                CHI - EDDIE ROBINSON 3, JAMAL CRAWFORD 3, 
                      THREE PLAYERS WITH 2

         ATT:   17,792

Box Score

HOUSTON (98) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp K Cato 23 1-3 0-2 0-8 0 5 2 J Jackson 31 5-8 0-0 0-6 4 0 10 Y Ming 29 5-9 2-2 0-7 3 3 12 S Francis 27 9-14 0-0 0-4 3 2 19 C Mobley 31 4-10 3-4 0-4 2 0 14 M Taylor 26 2-9 5-6 0-3 2 4 9 M Norris 24 2-5 3-3 0-3 5 2 8 T Braggs 12 1-3 2-2 1-3 0 2 4 B Nachbar 22 4-4 0-0 0-0 2 1 12 S Padgett 6 3-3 0-0 0-3 0 1 6 M Wilks 9 1-3 0-0 0-0 1 0 2 J Amaechi DNP - COACH'S DECISION _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 37-71 15-19 1-41 22 20 98 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.521, FT-.789. 3-Point Goals: 9-15, .600 (J Jackson 0-1, S Francis 1-2, C Mobley 3-5, M Norris 1-2, B Nachbar 4-4, M Wilks 0-1). Team Rebounds: 8. Blocked Shots:10 (K Cato 3, M Taylor 2, Y Ming 2, C Mobley, S Francis, B Nachbar). Turnovers:14 (S Francis 4, M Norris 3, M Taylor 2, T Braggs 2, K Cato, C Mobley, B Nachbar). Steals: 12 (K Cato 3, C Mobley 3, J Jackson 2, S Francis 2, Y Ming, M Wilks). CHICAGO (66) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp T Chandler 35 3-8 8-11 5-17 1 3 14 J Rose 30 2-9 0-0 0-3 2 2 5 E Curry 28 0-8 1-4 1-4 1 6 1 J Crawford 37 6-18 4-4 1-2 3 2 19 K Gill 25 0-7 3-4 2-5 0 1 3 D Marshall 17 2-6 0-0 0-2 2 1 5 R Mason Jr 23 1-5 0-0 0-2 2 2 3 E Robinson 20 2-7 0-0 2-4 3 0 4 M Fizer 6 1-3 2-2 2-2 1 1 4 C Blount 10 2-3 0-0 0-1 0 2 4 L Baxter 9 2-5 0-0 0-0 0 1 4 S Pippen DNP - SWOLLEN LEFT KNEE _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 21-79 18-25 13-42 15 21 66 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.266, FT-.720. 3-Point Goals: 6-14, .429 (J Rose 1-3, J Crawford 3-6, D Marshall 1-2, R Mason Jr 1-3). Team Rebounds: 12. Blocked Shots:5 (D Marshall 2, J Rose, T Chandler, L Baxter). Turnovers:18 (J Rose 4, K Gill 3, T Chandler 3, J Crawford 3, E Curry 2, E Robinson, L Baxter, M Fizer). Steals: 6 (C Blount 2, K Gill, J Rose, E Curry, R Mason Jr). ------------------------------------------- HOUSTON 29 26 22 21 - 98 CHICAGO 22 13 13 18 - 66 ------------------------------------------- Technical fouls: None. Flagrant fouls: None. A: 17,792. T: 2:06. Officials: Dan Crawford, Tony Brothers, Zak Zarba.


Extended Box

HOUSTON (98) AT CHICAGO (66) HOUSTON REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === K CATO F 23 1-3 0-2 0 8 8 0 5 3 1 2 J JACKSON F 31 5-8 0-0 0 6 6 4 0 2 0 10 Y MING C 29 5-9 2-2 0 7 7 3 3 1 0 12 S FRANCIS G 27 9-14 0-0 0 4 4 3 2 2 4 19 C MOBLEY G 31 4-10 3-4 0 4 4 2 0 3 1 14 M TAYLOR 26 2-9 5-6 0 3 3 2 4 0 2 9 M NORRIS 24 2-5 3-3 0 3 3 5 2 0 3 8 T BRAGGS 12 1-3 2-2 1 2 3 0 2 0 2 4 B NACHBAR 22 4-4 0-0 0 0 0 2 1 0 1 12 S PADGETT 6 3-3 0-0 0 3 3 0 1 0 0 6 M WILKS 9 1-3 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 2 J AMAECHI DNP - COACH'S DECISION TOTALS 240 37-71 15-19 1 40 41 22 20 12 14 98 (.521) (.789) TEAM REBS: 8 TOTAL TO: 15 (6 PTS) CHICAGO REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === T CHANDLER F 35 3-8 8-11 5 12 17 1 3 0 3 14 J ROSE F 30 2-9 0-0 0 3 3 2 2 1 4 5 E CURRY C 28 0-8 1-4 1 3 4 1 6 1 2 1 J CRAWFORD G 37 6-18 4-4 1 1 2 3 2 0 3 19 K GILL G 25 0-7 3-4 2 3 5 0 1 1 3 3 D MARSHALL 17 2-6 0-0 0 2 2 2 1 0 0 5 R MASON JR 23 1-5 0-0 0 2 2 2 2 1 0 3 E ROBINSON 20 2-7 0-0 2 2 4 3 0 0 1 4 M FIZER 6 1-3 2-2 2 0 2 1 1 0 1 4 C BLOUNT 10 2-3 0-0 0 1 1 0 2 2 0 4 L BAXTER 9 2-5 0-0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 4 S PIPPEN DNP - SWOLLEN LEFT KNEE TOTALS 240 21-79 18-25 13 29 42 15 21 6 18 66 (.266) (.720) TEAM REBS: 12 TOTAL TO: 19 (21 PTS) HOUSTON 29 26 22 21 - 98 CHICAGO 22 13 13 18 - 66 BLOCKED SHOTS: HOUSTON - K CATO 3, M TAYLOR 2, Y MING 2, C MOBLEY, S FRANCIS, B NACHBAR. CHICAGO - D MARSHALL 2, J ROSE, T CHANDLER, L BAXTER. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: HOUSTON 9-15 (.600), J JACKSON 0-1, S FRANCIS 1- 2, C MOBLEY 3-5, M NORRIS 1-2, B NACHBAR 4-4, M WILKS 0-1. CHICAGO 6- 14 (.429), J ROSE 1-3, J CRAWFORD 3-6, D MARSHALL 1-2, R MASON JR 1- 3. TECHNICAL FOULS: NONE. FLAGRANT FOULS: NONE. OFFICIALS: DAN CRAWFORD, TONY BROTHERS, ZAK ZARBA. A - 17,792. T - 2:06.


Game Story

CHICAGO (Ticker) -- Steve Francis and the Houston Rockets became the latest team to take advantage of the Chicago Bulls. Francis scored 19 points and Yao Ming added 12 as the Rockets added to the Bulls' woes with a 98-66 whipping. Chicago has lost three of four to start the new season and has not been competitive in its defeats. The Bulls have lost by an average of over 29 points and surpassed Saturday's 98-68 setback in Milwaukee for their worst loss of the young season. "Some things are not easy to explain," Bulls coach Bill Cartwright said. "This is a tough situation, when you are not confident to make a move." Houston never trailed and used six early points from Yao for a 16-5 advantage. Chicago had seven turnovers in the first six minutes and 14 by halftime as the Rockets continued to extend their lead. Driving layups by Francis and Scott Padgett capped a 15-4 burst to close the half and give Houston a 55-35 bulge. The Rockets shot 56 percent (23-of-41) in the first half and limited the self-destructing Bulls to 24 percent (9-of-37). "When the percentage is as low tonight for the Bulls, you know your defense had something to do with it," Houston coach Jeff Van Gundy said. "Our team has some real good capabilities, defensively. We just need to bring it out of us each game." The performance of center Eddy Curry typified Chicago's struggles. Curry was dominated by Yao on the defensive end, fouled out with one point in 28 minutes and missed all eight of his shots. Curry also had just four rebounds. "He could not get himself going," Cartwright said. "The other side of it is that it is OK to miss shots, but you can still go out and get 10 boards. There are a lot of things you can do on the basketball court. It is something he's going to have to learn." The tone for the game was set on the first two possessions for each team. Yao scored easily over Tyson Chandler and Curry was woefully short on a hook shot. After Yao drove past Curry for a dunk, Chandler was emphatically blocked by Kelvin Cato. "I think we played pretty well," Yao said through an interpreter. "Personally, I was satisfied with my performance." While Houston drilled 6-of-10 from beyond the arc in the first half, its hot shooting was mostly a result of Chicago's porous defense. The Rockets repeatedly sent cutters to the basket who lost their defenders for layups. The Bulls were booed unmercifully in their 98-73 loss to Washington in the season opener Wednesday. They received more of the same treatment in an effort that included 13-point quarters in the second and third. "It's tough, I guess I'll go home and lose some more sleep," Chandler said. "We have to stay together as a team, come into tomorrow as a team and play together and not get down on one another." Cuttino Mobley drilled three 3-pointers and netted 14 points and reserve Bostjan Nachbar was 4-of-4 from the arc for 12 points. Jim Jackson also contributed some hot shooting for 12 points. "We played the way we wanted to play," Francis said. "We got the ball to the open guy." Houston's bench combined for 35 points and shot 48 percent (13-of-27) from the field. Chicago continues to be plagued by its lack of team play on offense. The Bulls managed only 15 assists, their average in their three losses. Jamal Crawford led the Bulls with 19 points on 6-of-18 shooting. Chandler collected 14 points and 17 rebounds and was the only other player for Chicago in double figures. "It is not happening," Cartwright said. "We are going to have to find someone that can get us some production." Chicago learned earlier in the day that Scottie Pippen will be out at least one week with a sore left knee. Kendall Gill, who has supplanted Pippen as a starter, missed all seven shots and managed only three free throws.


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