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NBA  FINAL            1ST  2ND  3RD  4TH  TOTAL
                      ---  ---  ---  ---  -----
     HOUSTON          23   24   22   26    95   
     BOSTON           18   24   14   24    80      FINAL

HIGH SCORERS:   HOU - CUTTINO MOBLEY 24, YAO MING 21, STEVE 
                      FRANCIS 14
                BOS - MIKE JAMES 20, MARK BLOUNT 14, RICKY 
                      DAVIS 12

HIGH REBOUND:   HOU - YAO MING 15, SCOTT PADGETT 12, CUTTINO 
                      MOBLEY 4
                BOS - MARK BLOUNT 9, RICKY DAVIS 5, CHRIS MIHM
                      5

HIGH ASSISTS:   HOU - CUTTINO MOBLEY 6, STEVE FRANCIS 6, 
                      MAURICE TAYLOR 4
                BOS - RICKY DAVIS 4, JIRI WELSCH 4, PAUL 
                      PIERCE 4

         ATT:   15,445

Box Score

HOUSTON (95) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp J Jackson 39 3-10 2-2 0-1 2 1 11 S Padgett 24 2-6 2-2 3-12 2 4 7 Y Ming 38 10-14 1-2 1-15 1 2 21 S Francis 38 4-11 6-8 1-3 6 2 14 C Mobley 38 8-15 3-4 0-4 6 2 24 M Taylor 34 5-7 0-0 0-3 4 2 10 B Nachbar 19 2-5 2-2 0-3 0 4 8 M Wilks 10 0-0 0-0 0-1 3 1 0 C Weatherspoon DNP - COACH'S DECISION E Piatkowski DNP - COACH'S DECISION K Cato DNP - SPRAINED LEFT FOOT _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 34-68 16-20 5-42 24 18 95 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.500, FT-.800. 3-Point Goals: 11-22, .500 (J Jackson 3-7, S Padgett 1-1, S Francis 0-3, C Mobley 5-9, B Nachbar 2-2). Team Rebounds: 7. Blocked Shots:5 (Y Ming 4, J Jackson). Turnovers:16 (S Francis 7, J Jackson 2, M Taylor 2, C Mobley 2, S Padgett, B Nachbar, Y Ming). Steals: 6 (J Jackson, M Taylor, C Mobley, S Francis, B Nachbar, Y Ming). BOSTON (80) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp W Mccarty 29 2-7 2-2 0-3 0 1 7 J Welsch 27 2-7 2-2 0-4 4 1 8 M Blount 34 6-13 2-3 3-9 0 3 14 M James 26 7-11 2-4 0-3 2 3 20 P Pierce 37 1-10 2-2 0-2 4 2 4 R Davis 33 4-9 4-4 1-5 4 3 12 M Banks 22 4-10 0-0 1-1 2 3 10 J Jones 8 0-2 0-0 2-2 0 0 0 C Mihm 17 1-4 3-4 2-5 0 2 5 B Hunter 7 0-2 0-0 1-2 0 0 0 V Baker DNP - COACH'S DECISION M Stewart DNP - COACH'S DECISION _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 27-75 17-21 10-36 16 18 80 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.360, FT-.810. 3-Point Goals: 9-21, .429 (W Mccarty 1-4, J Welsch 2-3, M James 4-6, P Pierce 0-4, M Banks 2-4). Team Rebounds: 5. Blocked Shots:2 (J Jones, P Pierce). Turnovers:12 (J Welsch 3, R Davis 2, M Blount 2, P Pierce 2, C Mihm 2, M Banks). Steals: 9 (R Davis 2, M James 2, W Mccarty, M Banks, J Welsch, M Blount, C Mihm). ------------------------------------------- HOUSTON 23 24 22 26 - 95 BOSTON 18 24 14 24 - 80 ------------------------------------------- Technical fouls: Houston - 2 (S Francis, 1:01 1st; Defensive Three, 6:30 1st). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 15,445. T: 2:05. Officials: Bernie Fryer, Pat Fraher, Rodney Mott.


Extended Box

HOUSTON (95) AT BOSTON (80) HOUSTON REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === J JACKSON F 39 3-10 2-2 0 1 1 2 1 1 2 11 S PADGETT F 24 2-6 2-2 3 9 12 2 4 0 1 7 Y MING C 38 10-14 1-2 1 14 15 1 2 1 1 21 S FRANCIS G 38 4-11 6-8 1 2 3 6 2 1 7 14 C MOBLEY G 38 8-15 3-4 0 4 4 6 2 1 2 24 M TAYLOR 34 5-7 0-0 0 3 3 4 2 1 2 10 B NACHBAR 19 2-5 2-2 0 3 3 0 4 1 1 8 M WILKS 10 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 3 1 0 0 0 C WEATHERSPOON DNP - COACH'S DECISION E PIATKOWSKI DNP - COACH'S DECISION K CATO DNP - SPRAINED LEFT FOOT TOTALS 240 34-68 16-20 5 37 42 24 18 6 16 95 (.500) (.800) TEAM REBS: 7 TOTAL TO: 18 (22 PTS) BOSTON REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === W MCCARTY F 29 2-7 2-2 0 3 3 0 1 1 0 7 J WELSCH F 27 2-7 2-2 0 4 4 4 1 1 3 8 M BLOUNT C 34 6-13 2-3 3 6 9 0 3 1 2 14 M JAMES G 26 7-11 2-4 0 3 3 2 3 2 0 20 P PIERCE G 37 1-10 2-2 0 2 2 4 2 0 2 4 R DAVIS 33 4-9 4-4 1 4 5 4 3 2 2 12 M BANKS 22 4-10 0-0 1 0 1 2 3 1 1 10 J JONES 8 0-2 0-0 2 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 C MIHM 17 1-4 3-4 2 3 5 0 2 1 2 5 B HUNTER 7 0-2 0-0 1 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 V BAKER DNP - COACH'S DECISION M STEWART DNP - COACH'S DECISION TOTALS 240 27-75 17-21 10 26 36 16 18 9 12 80 (.360) (.810) TEAM REBS: 5 TOTAL TO: 14 (14 PTS) HOUSTON 23 24 22 26 - 95 BOSTON 18 24 14 24 - 80 BLOCKED SHOTS: HOUSTON - Y MING 4, J JACKSON. BOSTON - J JONES, P PIERCE. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: HOUSTON 11-22 (.500), J JACKSON 3-7, S PADGETT 1- 1, S FRANCIS 0-3, C MOBLEY 5-9, B NACHBAR 2-2. BOSTON 9-21 (.429), W MCCARTY 1-4, J WELSCH 2-3, M JAMES 4-6, P PIERCE 0-4, M BANKS 2- 4. TECHNICAL FOULS: HOUSTON - S FRANCIS, DEFENSIVE THREE. FLAGRANT FOULS: NONE. OFFICIALS: BERNIE FRYER, PAT FRAHER, RODNEY MOTT. A - 15,445. T - 2:05.


Game Story

BOSTON (Ticker) -- Houston Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy had no need to bench center Yao Ming against the Boston Celtics for a second time in four days. Yao contributed 21 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks to lead the Rockets to a 95-80 triumph over the Celtics. In a 97-93 home loss to the Celtics on Sunday, Van Gundy benched the 7-5 Yao for much of the second half after he scored just six points in 23 minutes. Cuttino Mobley added 24 points for the Rockets, who never trailed as they avoided being swept by the Celtics for the first time since the 1990-91 campaign. The Rockets took exception to what they felt was the Celtics' excessive celebration after their win on Sunday. "You can't talk to a team like they got their number," Mobley said. "When was the last time they beat us, besides the other day? They were saying a lot of things, a lot of towel-waving, a lot of talking." Yao scored 19 points on 9-of-10 shooting in the first half to help Houston to a 47-42 edge at the break. "Yao did a great job," Van Gundy said. "I thought he passed the ball better. He was more active and assertive but also, particularly in the first half, we passed the ball much better. I think we passed the ball better as a team (and) Yao hit a couple of jump shots. He seems to play better when he is not locked into that low post all the time." "I think we played great on the inside today, including getting the ball out of the paint to the guys on the outside," Yao said through an interpreter. "It was an outstanding day for us. I think that we were just finding the weaknesses in their defense, and we knew that if we passed the ball and found the open man, we'd have our opportunity." Steve Francis and Scott Padgett scored seven apiece in the third quarter to open a 69-56 advantage heading into the final period, and Boston got no closer than 12 points in the final minute. Mike James scored 20 points to pace the Celtics, who received just four points on 1-of-10 shooting from superstar Paul Pierce. At the end of the game, Pierce sat on the bench with an ice pack on his left hand. "I just had a really difficult time feeling my hand," Pierce said. "I got hit early in the game and I hurt it last game. There was pain in my left hand where I couldn't even touch or catch the ball. It was really difficult for me. I wasn't even a factor. It's just unfortunate because you hate to have little nagging injuries like this, but definitely it has an effect." It was the first time since a game against Dallas on November 15, 2002 that Pierce did not reach double figures, a streak of 111 games. He is expected to get his hand X-rayed Thursday. "It's hard, without a doubt," Celtics coach Jim O'Brien said of winning without an effective Pierce. "He's our All-Star, he's our main scorer, and we can win with him having an off night, but it's certainly more difficult with him not being able to knock down a shot." "When you have one of the top 10 players in the league have a bad night, it is most likely good defense on your part and missing some shots he would normally make," Van Gundy said. "We will give some credit to our guys and some to a bad night." The Celtics shot just 36 percent (27-of-75) and allowed the Rockets to make half their 68 shots. Celtics reserve Ricky Davis, who scored a season-high 33 points in a 111-103 loss at Milwaukee on Tuesday, had 12 in this one.


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