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NBA  FINAL            1ST  2ND  3RD  4TH  TOTAL
                      ---  ---  ---  ---  -----
     HOUSTON          22   15   20   29    86   
     NEW JERSEY       21   23   18   13    75      FINAL

HIGH SCORERS:   HOU - CUTTINO MOBLEY 20, STEVE FRANCIS 17, 
                      MAURICE TAYLOR 14
                NJN - RICHARD JEFFERSON 21, JASON KIDD 16, 
                      KERRY KITTLES 11

HIGH REBOUND:   HOU - YAO MING 11, STEVE FRANCIS 10, JIMMY 
                      JACKSON 8
                NJN - JASON KIDD 7, RICHARD JEFFERSON 7, BRIAN
                      SCALABRINE 7

HIGH ASSISTS:   HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 6, CUTTINO MOBLEY 4, JIMMY
                      JACKSON 2
                NJN - JASON KIDD 9, RICHARD JEFFERSON 4, BRIAN
                      SCALABRINE 3

         ATT:   11,784

Box Score

HOUSTON (86) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp J Jackson 40 5-9 0-0 1-8 2 3 12 K Cato 24 4-7 0-2 1-5 0 4 8 Y Ming 37 4-10 2-3 0-11 1 2 10 C Mobley 43 8-9 2-4 0-0 4 2 20 S Francis 39 6-17 4-4 0-10 6 3 17 M Taylor 28 7-10 0-0 3-7 1 4 14 B Nachbar 6 0-1 0-0 0-1 1 1 0 T Braggs 3 0-0 0-0 0-1 0 1 0 M Norris 16 1-3 3-4 0-0 1 1 5 S Padgett 4 0-0 0-0 0-1 1 1 0 J Amaechi DNP - COACH'S DECISION M Wilks DNP - COACH'S DECISION _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 35-66 11-17 5-44 17 22 86 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.530, FT-.647. 3-Point Goals: 5-10, .500 (J Jackson 2-2, C Mobley 2-3, S Francis 1-4, B Nachbar 0-1). Team Rebounds: 10. Blocked Shots:4 (M Taylor, K Cato, B Nachbar, Y Ming). Turnovers:22 (S Francis 5, Y Ming 4, C Mobley 3, J Jackson 2, M Norris 2, M Taylor 2, K Cato 2, T Braggs, B Nachbar). Steals: 9 (J Jackson 4, K Cato 2, M Taylor, C Mobley, S Francis). NEW JERSEY (75) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp R Jefferson 46 7-14 7-11 2-7 4 0 21 B Scalabrine 34 3-11 0-0 2-7 3 4 7 J Collins 22 2-5 2-2 1-3 1 4 6 K Kittles 41 3-9 3-4 1-3 2 2 11 J Kidd 40 6-18 3-3 3-7 9 1 16 A Mourning 22 3-10 2-2 0-4 0 2 8 A Williams 19 3-7 0-0 2-3 0 1 6 B Armstrong 9 0-3 0-0 0-0 0 2 0 Z Planinic 7 0-3 0-0 1-1 2 4 0 D Overton DNP - COACH'S DECISION R Rogers DNP - LEFT THUMB INJURY K Martin DNP - SPRAINED LEFT ANKLE _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 27-80 17-22 12-35 21 20 75 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.338, FT-.773. 3-Point Goals: 4-12, .333 (B Scalabrine 1-3, K Kittles 2-4, J Kidd 1-4, Z Planinic 0-1). Team Rebounds: 6. Blocked Shots:1 (B Scalabrine). Turnovers:12 (J Kidd 4, A Mourning 2, A Williams 2, K Kittles, R Jefferson, J Collins, B Scalabrine). Steals: 12 (K Kittles 5, R Jefferson 2, Z Planinic 2, J Kidd, B Armstrong, J Collins). ------------------------------------------- HOUSTON 22 15 20 29 - 86 NEW JERSEY 21 23 18 13 - 75 ------------------------------------------- Technical fouls: Houston - 1 (Defensive Three, 5:15 2nd). New Jersey - 2 (Defensive Three, 6:18 1st; Defensive Three, 4:20 2nd). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 11,784. T: 2:11. Officials: Ed Malloy, Mike Callahan, Sean Corbin.


Extended Box

HOUSTON (86) AT NEW JERSEY (75) HOUSTON REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === J JACKSON F 40 5-9 0-0 1 7 8 2 3 4 2 12 K CATO F 24 4-7 0-2 1 4 5 0 4 2 2 8 Y MING C 37 4-10 2-3 0 11 11 1 2 0 4 10 C MOBLEY G 43 8-9 2-4 0 0 0 4 2 1 3 20 S FRANCIS G 39 6-17 4-4 0 10 10 6 3 1 5 17 M TAYLOR 28 7-10 0-0 3 4 7 1 4 1 2 14 B NACHBAR 6 0-1 0-0 0 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 T BRAGGS 3 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 M NORRIS 16 1-3 3-4 0 0 0 1 1 0 2 5 S PADGETT 4 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 J AMAECHI DNP - COACH'S DECISION M WILKS DNP - COACH'S DECISION TOTALS 240 35-66 11-17 5 39 44 17 22 9 22 86 (.530) (.647) TEAM REBS: 10 TOTAL TO: 22 (21 PTS) NEW JERSEY REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === R JEFFERSON F 46 7-14 7-11 2 5 7 4 0 2 1 21 B SCALABRINE F 34 3-11 0-0 2 5 7 3 4 0 1 7 J COLLINS C 22 2-5 2-2 1 2 3 1 4 1 1 6 K KITTLES G 41 3-9 3-4 1 2 3 2 2 5 1 11 J KIDD G 40 6-18 3-3 3 4 7 9 1 1 4 16 A MOURNING 22 3-10 2-2 0 4 4 0 2 0 2 8 A WILLIAMS 19 3-7 0-0 2 1 3 0 1 0 2 6 B ARMSTRONG 9 0-3 0-0 0 0 0 0 2 1 0 0 Z PLANINIC 7 0-3 0-0 1 0 1 2 4 2 0 0 D OVERTON DNP - COACH'S DECISION R ROGERS DNP - LEFT THUMB INJURY K MARTIN DNP - SPRAINED LEFT ANKLE TOTALS 240 27-80 17-22 12 23 35 21 20 12 12 75 (.338) (.773) TEAM REBS: 6 TOTAL TO: 12 (16 PTS) HOUSTON 22 15 20 29 - 86 NEW JERSEY 21 23 18 13 - 75 BLOCKED SHOTS: HOUSTON - M TAYLOR, K CATO, B NACHBAR, Y MING. NEW JERSEY - B SCALABRINE. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: HOUSTON 5-10 (.500), J JACKSON 2-2, C MOBLEY 2- 3, S FRANCIS 1-4, B NACHBAR 0-1. NEW JERSEY 4-12 (.333), B SCALABRINE 1- 3, K KITTLES 2-4, J KIDD 1-4, Z PLANINIC 0-1. TECHNICAL FOULS: HOUSTON - DEFENSIVE THREE. NEW JERSEY - DEFENSIVE THREE 2. FLAGRANT FOULS: NONE. OFFICIALS: ED MALLOY, MIKE CALLAHAN, SEAN CORBIN. A - 11,784. T - 2:11.


Game Story

EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Ticker) -- Jeff Van Gundy made a triumphant return to the New York area. Steve Francis scored 17 points and led a fourth-quarter rally to help Van Gundy and the Houston Rockets to an 86-75 victory over the New Jersey Nets. "It wasn't one guy that won the game for us tonight," Francis said. "It was a unit. For me it was tough, I was struggling offensively. But I thought I did other things to keep us in the game." Van Gundy returned to the area where he spent 6 1/2 seasons as coach of the New York Knicks and perennially held the upper hand in the Hudson River rivalry with the Nets. Since Van Gundy abruptly resigned just under two years ago, the rivalry has tilted heavily in favor of the Nets, who have made consecutive trips to the NBA Finals while the Knicks have missed the playoffs both seasons. Now trying to get the Rockets in the postseason, Van Gundy had a happy return as Houston shot 53 percent (35-of-66) from the field and took advantage of a New Jersey squad missing Kenyon Martin, Rodney Rogers and Lucious Harris. "It was a good win for us, but I don't think anyone should minimize the effects of injuries on the game," Van Gundy said. "I'm really proud of our guys. But I don't think you can minimize who is out for the Nets. I think that is a huge factor." Francis also had 10 rebounds and six assists. Cuttino Mobley led Houston with 20 points on 8-of-9 shooting. Maurice Taylor added 14 points, Jimmy Jackson 12 and Yao Ming 10 and 11 rebounds for Houston. New Jersey took a 74-72 lead with 4:25 left on Brian Scalabrine's 3-pointer. But Houston went on a 12-0 run over the next three minutes, building an 84-74 lead with 1:22 remaining. Francis scored eight points during the burst. "No matter how bad a shooting half you have, you know he's (Francis) going to spark us at some point during the game," Taylor said. "He's a great player and he's one of those guys that can go 2-for-15 or whatever. You know that's the calm before the storm." "He is going to get going," Taylor added. "It's just a matter of time when he wakes up. Fortunately he woke up in the fourth tonight and really carried us." Richard Jefferson led New Jersey with 21 points. Jason Kidd added 16 points, nine assists and seven rebounds but was held scoreless in the second half. "I guess we were tired - we missed some free throws in the end and jump shots were not falling," Jefferson said. "We weren't at full strength but we make no excuses. We had the shots we had to take and maybe next game they'll fall." Jackson's pull-up jumper and 3-pointer gave Houston a 22-21 at the end of the first quarter. A dunk by Jefferson followed by his fast-break layup 20 seconds later helped New Jersey extend to a 44-37 halftime lead. New Jersey picked up its intensity in the third period and led the entire quarter. Taylor's 3-pointer as time expired was ruled to have come after the buzzer, helping the Nets maintain a 62-57 lead. "The shot at the end of the third was wiped away and we were down five at the end of the third," Van Gundy said. "But I thought we played well. We could have let go of the rope, but we didn't. We stayed much stronger than we did earlier in the game." The Nets struggled from the field in the fourth quarter, shooting just 4-of-18. Houston hit 5-of-6 to start the period. The Nets committed just 12 turnovers but were outrebounded, 44-35, and shot 34 percent (27-of-80).


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