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NBA  FINAL            1ST  2ND  3RD  4TH  TOTAL
                      ---  ---  ---  ---  -----
     NEW YORK         26   9    22   14    71   
     HOUSTON          16   31   23   16    86      FINAL

HIGH SCORERS:   NYK - PENNY HARDAWAY 12, ALLAN HOUSTON 12, 
                      KEITH VAN HORN 11
                HOU - YAO MING 29, MAURICE TAYLOR 21, JIMMY 
                      JACKSON 14

HIGH REBOUND:   NYK - DIKEMBE MUTOMBO 8, KURT THOMAS 8, 
                      MICHAEL DOLEAC 7
                HOU - YAO MING 10, JIMMY JACKSON 8, SCOTT 
                      PADGETT 6

HIGH ASSISTS:   NYK - STEPHON MARBURY 10, THREE PLAYERS WITH 2
                HOU - CUTTINO MOBLEY 5, STEVE FRANCIS 5, JIMMY
                      JACKSON 4

         ATT:   14,976

Box Score

NEW YORK (71) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp K Van Horn 29 3-13 3-4 1-4 2 1 11 K Thomas 36 3-12 2-2 1-8 2 5 8 D Mutombo 20 4-6 0-1 2-8 1 3 8 S Marbury 40 3-8 2-2 1-3 10 3 8 A Houston 41 4-11 3-4 1-2 2 0 12 M Doleac 21 4-8 0-0 1-7 1 5 8 P Hardaway 30 6-11 0-2 0-3 1 1 12 O Harrington 12 1-2 0-0 0-1 1 1 2 M Norris 5 1-2 0-0 0-0 0 0 2 S Anderson 3 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 0 0 F Williams 3 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 0 0 B Sundov DNP - COACH'S DECISION _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 29-73 10-15 7-36 22 19 71 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.397, FT-.667. 3-Point Goals: 3-10, .300 (K Van Horn 2-4, S Marbury 0-3, A Houston 1-3). Team Rebounds: 10. Blocked Shots:2 (K Thomas, K Van Horn). Turnovers:16 (A Houston 3, O Harrington 3, S Marbury 3, K Van Horn 3, D Mutombo 2, P Hardaway, M Doleac). Steals: 6 (S Marbury 3, P Hardaway, M Norris, K Van Horn). HOUSTON (86) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp J Jackson 43 6-12 0-0 1-8 4 1 14 K Cato 16 0-2 0-0 0-1 0 2 0 Y Ming 29 12-15 5-7 2-10 0 3 29 S Francis 36 4-14 2-3 0-4 5 2 10 C Mobley 36 4-12 0-0 0-5 5 2 8 M Taylor 36 10-15 1-3 1-5 0 3 21 S Padgett 15 0-3 0-0 3-6 0 0 0 B Nachbar 14 1-3 0-0 0-0 0 2 2 M Jackson 15 1-2 0-0 0-2 3 1 2 C Weatherspoon DNP - COACH'S DECISION E Piatkowski DNP - COACH'S DECISION M Wilks DNP - COACH'S DECISION _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 38-78 8-13 7-41 17 16 86 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.487, FT-.615. 3-Point Goals: 2-14, .143 (J Jackson 2-4, S Francis 0-3, C Mobley 0-3, S Padgett 0-2, B Nachbar 0-2). Team Rebounds: 7. Blocked Shots:5 (J Jackson, K Cato, S Padgett, B Nachbar, Y Ming). Turnovers:11 (C Mobley 3, M Taylor 2, Y Ming 2, J Jackson, S Padgett, S Francis, M Jackson). Steals: 8 (S Francis 3, B Nachbar 2, C Mobley, Y Ming, S Padgett). ------------------------------------------- NEW YORK 26 9 22 14 - 71 HOUSTON 16 31 23 16 - 86 ------------------------------------------- Technical fouls: None. Flagrant fouls: None. A: 14,976. T: 2:15. Officials: Courtney Kirkland, Greg Willard, Leon Wood.


Extended Box

NEW YORK (71) AT HOUSTON (86) NEW YORK REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === K VAN HORN F 29 3-13 3-4 1 3 4 2 1 1 3 11 K THOMAS F 36 3-12 2-2 1 7 8 2 5 0 0 8 D MUTOMBO C 20 4-6 0-1 2 6 8 1 3 0 2 8 S MARBURY G 40 3-8 2-2 1 2 3 10 3 3 3 8 A HOUSTON G 41 4-11 3-4 1 1 2 2 0 0 3 12 M DOLEAC 21 4-8 0-0 1 6 7 1 5 0 1 8 P HARDAWAY 30 6-11 0-2 0 3 3 1 1 1 1 12 O HARRINGTON 12 1-2 0-0 0 1 1 1 1 0 3 2 M NORRIS 5 1-2 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 S ANDERSON 3 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 F WILLIAMS 3 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 B SUNDOV DNP - COACH'S DECISION TOTALS 240 29-73 10-15 7 29 36 22 19 6 16 71 (.397) (.667) TEAM REBS: 10 TOTAL TO: 16 (13 PTS) HOUSTON REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === J JACKSON F 43 6-12 0-0 1 7 8 4 1 0 1 14 K CATO F 16 0-2 0-0 0 1 1 0 2 0 0 0 Y MING C 29 12-15 5-7 2 8 10 0 3 1 2 29 S FRANCIS G 36 4-14 2-3 0 4 4 5 2 3 1 10 C MOBLEY G 36 4-12 0-0 0 5 5 5 2 1 3 8 M TAYLOR 36 10-15 1-3 1 4 5 0 3 0 2 21 S PADGETT 15 0-3 0-0 3 3 6 0 0 1 1 0 B NACHBAR 14 1-3 0-0 0 0 0 0 2 2 0 2 M JACKSON 15 1-2 0-0 0 2 2 3 1 0 1 2 C WEATHERSPOON DNP - COACH'S DECISION E PIATKOWSKI DNP - COACH'S DECISION M WILKS DNP - COACH'S DECISION TOTALS 240 38-78 8-13 7 34 41 17 16 8 11 86 (.487) (.615) TEAM REBS: 7 TOTAL TO: 12 (4 PTS) NEW YORK 26 9 22 14 - 71 HOUSTON 16 31 23 16 - 86 BLOCKED SHOTS: NEW YORK - K THOMAS, K VAN HORN. HOUSTON - J JACKSON, K CATO, S PADGETT, B NACHBAR, Y MING. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: NEW YORK 3-10 (.300), K VAN HORN 2-4, S MARBURY 0- 3, A HOUSTON 1-3. HOUSTON 2-14 (.143), J JACKSON 2-4, S FRANCIS 0- 3, C MOBLEY 0-3, S PADGETT 0-2, B NACHBAR 0-2. TECHNICAL FOULS: NONE. FLAGRANT FOULS: NONE. OFFICIALS: COURTNEY KIRKLAND, GREG WILLARD, LEON WOOD. A - 14,976. T - 2:15.


Game Story

HOUSTON (Ticker) -- Yao Ming wasn't crazy about playing on Chinese New Year. Nevertheless, he provided the fireworks. Yao scored a season-high 29 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as the Houston Rockets recovered from a slow start for an 86-71 victory over the New York Knicks. As billions of Chinese worldwide rang in The Year of the Monkey, the NBA's top Asian import held his own celebration. In just 29 minutes, Yao abused four-time Defensive Player of the Year Dikembe Mutombo and Michael Doleac, making 12-of-15 shots. "I hate games on holidays," Yao said through an interpreter. "It should be a day to rest. I should be at home watching TV, playing video games." Yao fell one point shy of his career high, set November 21, 2002 at Dallas. "Of course, I wanted to break my record," he said. "I knew I was close. I was very disappointed I didn't get it." "Yao was obviously the dominant force," said Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy, who swept the season series against his former team. "When he makes his jump shot, he's really hard to guard. They played two types of defenders on him. I thought he did a great job of playing to his strength against each guy." The 7-5 Yao also anchored a defense that limited the Knicks to under 40 percent (29-of-73) from the field and their lowest total since managing 70 points at Indiana on November 27. "He was dominating the paint and he was rebounding," teammate Maurice Taylor said. "When he plays like that, we're tough to beat. Taylor scored 21 points on 10-of-15 shooting off the bench for Houston, which has won four of its last five games. He had 13 points in the second quarter, when the Rockets outscored the Knicks, 31-9, to take control. "Every time I come in the game, the first thing Steve (point guard Steve Francis) says is, 'The first three plays are for you,'" Taylor said. "He wants to come to me early, so I guess I have to listen to the point guard." Stephon Marbury was held to eight points for the Knicks, who lost for the first time in four games under new coach Lenny Wilkens and had a four-game winning streak snapped. "The second quarter killed us," Marbury said. "Houston came out and made shots and we didn't. It wasn't our night. They outplayed us. We didn't take good care of the basketball. They are a very good defensive team, but I think the problem was us, not their defense." The Knicks used an 11-0 spurt to open a 20-8 lead before settling for a 26-16 advantage after one period. But the Rockets opened the second quarter with a 19-2 run, fueled by Taylor, holding the Knicks without a basket for 6 1/2 minutes and taking the lead for good. Houston widened the lead to 47-35 at halftime, making 14-of-18 shots in the second quarter while limiting New York to 4-of-16. Yao had consecutive buckets in an 11-5 surge that opened the second half and pushed the lead to 58-40. The Knicks got no closer than nine points thereafter.


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