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NBA  FINAL            1ST  2ND  3RD  4TH  TOTAL
                      ---  ---  ---  ---  -----
     HOUSTON          17   27   17   26    87   
     PHOENIX          24   20   20   38    102     FINAL

HIGH SCORERS:   HOU - KELVIN CATO 16, CUTTINO MOBLEY 16, TWO 
                      PLAYERS WITH 14
                PHO - STEPHON MARBURY 25, SHAWN MARION 25, JOE
                      JOHNSON 16

HIGH REBOUND:   HOU - KELVIN CATO 14, JIMMY JACKSON 9, STEVE 
                      FRANCIS 7
                PHO - SHAWN MARION 11, JAHIDI WHITE 10, JOE 
                      JOHNSON 6

HIGH ASSISTS:   HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 5, CUTTINO MOBLEY 4, YAO 
                      MING 3
                PHO - STEPHON MARBURY 7, SHAWN MARION 5, JOE 
                      JOHNSON 3

         ATT:   15,302

Box Score

HOUSTON (87) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp J Jackson 40 4-16 0-0 4-9 2 1 9 K Cato 36 6-9 4-5 3-14 1 2 16 Y Ming 20 4-7 6-7 3-4 3 5 14 S Francis 40 5-13 3-7 3-7 5 2 14 C Mobley 41 4-16 6-6 1-3 4 0 16 E Piatkowski 21 2-7 0-0 0-1 0 0 6 M Taylor 34 4-9 2-2 1-5 2 3 10 M Norris 8 0-2 2-2 0-1 0 0 2 J Amaechi DNP - COACH'S DECISION S Padgett DNP - COACH'S DECISION A Ford DNP - COACH'S DECISION B Nachbar DNP - COACH'S DECISION _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 29-79 23-29 15-44 17 13 87 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.367, FT-.793. 3-Point Goals: 6-21, .286 (J Jackson 1-4, S Francis 1-5, C Mobley 2-7, E Piatkowski 2-5). Team Rebounds: 11. Blocked Shots:5 (K Cato 3, M Taylor, Y Ming). Turnovers:16 (S Francis 6, C Mobley 4, J Jackson 3, M Taylor 2, M Norris). Steals: 9 (K Cato 3, M Norris 2, J Jackson, S Francis, C Mobley, M Taylor). PHOENIX (102) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp S Marion 41 9-19 7-8 3-11 5 1 25 S Williams 12 2-4 0-0 1-2 1 1 6 J White 30 1-4 3-6 1-10 0 6 5 S Marbury 42 9-14 5-6 0-1 7 1 25 J Johnson 38 7-18 1-1 0-6 3 2 16 P Hardaway 28 4-9 0-0 2-5 2 2 8 J Voskuhl 15 0-2 0-0 0-2 0 6 0 C Jacobsen 24 4-7 2-2 0-1 1 1 12 L Barbosa 10 2-5 0-0 0-1 0 3 5 T Gugliotta DNP - COACH'S DECISION R Archibald DNP - COACH'S DECISION C Trybanski DNP - COACH'S DECISION _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 38-82 18-23 7-39 19 23 102 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.463, FT-.783. 3-Point Goals: 8-18, .444 (S Marion 0-3, S Williams 2-2, S Marbury 2-4, J Johnson 1-2, P Hardaway 0-1, C Jacobsen 2-4, L Barbosa 1-2). Team Rebounds: 11. Blocked Shots:7 (J White 4, S Marion 3). Turnovers:12 (S Marbury 6, J White 2, P Hardaway, S Marion, J Johnson, C Jacobsen). Steals: 9 (S Marion 5, S Marbury 2, P Hardaway, L Barbosa). ------------------------------------------- HOUSTON 17 27 17 26 - 87 PHOENIX 24 20 20 38 - 102 ------------------------------------------- Technical fouls: Houston - 4 (M Taylor, 2:33 1st; Defensive Three, 2:34 1st; S Francis, 2:31 4th; S Francis, 2:32 4th). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 15,302. T: 2:13. Officials: Jack Nies, Leon Wood, Rodney Mott.


Extended Box

HOUSTON (87) AT PHOENIX (102) HOUSTON REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === J JACKSON F 40 4-16 0-0 4 5 9 2 1 1 3 9 K CATO F 36 6-9 4-5 3 11 14 1 2 3 0 16 Y MING C 20 4-7 6-7 3 1 4 3 5 0 0 14 S FRANCIS G 40 5-13 3-7 3 4 7 5 2 1 6 14 C MOBLEY G 41 4-16 6-6 1 2 3 4 0 1 4 16 E PIATKOWSKI 21 2-7 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 6 M TAYLOR 34 4-9 2-2 1 4 5 2 3 1 2 10 M NORRIS 8 0-2 2-2 0 1 1 0 0 2 1 2 J AMAECHI DNP - COACH'S DECISION S PADGETT DNP - COACH'S DECISION A FORD DNP - COACH'S DECISION B NACHBAR DNP - COACH'S DECISION TOTALS 240 29-79 23-29 15 29 44 17 13 9 16 87 (.367) (.793) TEAM REBS: 11 TOTAL TO: 20 (27 PTS) PHOENIX REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === S MARION F 41 9-19 7-8 3 8 11 5 1 5 1 25 S WILLIAMS F 12 2-4 0-0 1 1 2 1 1 0 0 6 J WHITE C 30 1-4 3-6 1 9 10 0 6 0 2 5 S MARBURY G 42 9-14 5-6 0 1 1 7 1 2 6 25 J JOHNSON G 38 7-18 1-1 0 6 6 3 2 0 1 16 P HARDAWAY 28 4-9 0-0 2 3 5 2 2 1 1 8 J VOSKUHL 15 0-2 0-0 0 2 2 0 6 0 0 0 C JACOBSEN 24 4-7 2-2 0 1 1 1 1 0 1 12 L BARBOSA 10 2-5 0-0 0 1 1 0 3 1 0 5 T GUGLIOTTA DNP - COACH'S DECISION R ARCHIBALD DNP - COACH'S DECISION C TRYBANSKI DNP - COACH'S DECISION TOTALS 240 38-82 18-23 7 32 39 19 23 9 12 102 (.463) (.783) TEAM REBS: 11 TOTAL TO: 13 (18 PTS) HOUSTON 17 27 17 26 - 87 PHOENIX 24 20 20 38 - 102 BLOCKED SHOTS: HOUSTON - K CATO 3, M TAYLOR, Y MING. PHOENIX - J WHITE 4, S MARION 3. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: HOUSTON 6-21 (.286), J JACKSON 1-4, S FRANCIS 1- 5, C MOBLEY 2-7, E PIATKOWSKI 2-5. PHOENIX 8-18 (.444), S MARION 0- 3, S WILLIAMS 2-2, S MARBURY 2-4, J JOHNSON 1-2, P HARDAWAY 0-1, C JACOBSEN 2- 4, L BARBOSA 1-2. TECHNICAL FOULS: HOUSTON - M TAYLOR, DEFENSIVE THREE, S FRANCIS 2. FLAGRANT FOULS: NONE. OFFICIALS: JACK NIES, LEON WOOD, RODNEY MOTT. A - 15,302. T - 2:13.


Game Story

PHOENIX (Ticker) -- The Phoenix Suns overcame their recent fourth-quarter woes against an unlikely opponent. Shawn Marion scored 15 of his 25 points in the final 12 minutes as the Suns pulled away for an impressive 102-87 victory over the Houston Rockets. The Suns had dropped eight of their previous 12 games, changing coaches while falling into the basement of the Pacific Division. A major reason for the slide was poor play in the fourth quarter as the Suns shot 35 percent (86-of-243) down the stretch. But facing the NBA's third-best defensive team, the Suns shot an amazing 70 percent (12-of-17) in the final period and pulled away for their second win in six games under new coach Mike D'Antoni. "We wanted to come out with more energy," Marion said. "We had the lead going into the fourth quarter and we didn't want to give them any signs that they could make a late rush on us." "He kept coming off screens and making jump shots," Rockets center Kelvin Cato said. "We tried to limit his touches coming into the paint and getting his post-ups and lob passes. He made jump shots today, and that was the key to their victory." Phoenix shot over 40 percent in the final quarter for just the third time in the last 13 games. The Suns were nursing a 83-79 lead with 4:03 remaining before Marion scored seven points during a game-ending 19-8 spurt. Houston's first loss in five games to the Suns was a result of 37 percent shooting and the inability of 7-5 center Yao Ming to stay out of foul trouble. Yao played most of the fourth quarter with four fouls while the game was still close. Phoenix actually won after centers Jahidi White and Jake Voskuhl fouled out in a 31-second span with the Suns holding an 86-80 lead. But Marion highlighted the spurt with an uncontested dunk with 3:11 to play as the Rockets struggled to stop Phoenix's smaller, quicker lineup. "We've struggled all year with quickness when teams downsize," Houston coach Jeff Van Gundy admitted. "I have to give them a better plan because right now ... 38 points in the fourth quarter, even take away Scott Williams' two 3-pointers, that's too many points. We just didn't do a good job on the dribble penetration in the fourth quarter and it's disappointing." The Rockets, who came allowing just 84.5 points per game, gave up more than 100 for the fourth time but just the second in regulation. They allowed the Suns to shoot 46 percent (38-of-82) and suffered their fourth loss in six games. Williams sealed the win by making a pair of 3-pointers in the final minute. It marked the first time in his career he made two from the arc.


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