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NBA  FINAL            1ST  2ND  3RD  4TH  TOTAL
                      ---  ---  ---  ---  -----
     HOUSTON          27   30   21   24    102  
     LA CLIPPERS      15   21   24   19    79      FINAL

HIGH SCORERS:   HOU - JIMMY JACKSON 21, CUTTINO MOBLEY 21, 
                      MAURICE TAYLOR 14
                LAC - COREY MAGGETTE 22, ELTON BRAND 20, 
                      PREDRAG DROBNJAK 17

HIGH REBOUND:   HOU - YAO MING 10, MAURICE TAYLOR 8, KELVIN 
                      CATO 7
                LAC - ELTON BRAND 10, MATT BARNES 9, THREE 
                      PLAYERS WITH 6

HIGH ASSISTS:   HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 11, MARK JACKSON 6, 
                      CUTTINO MOBLEY 4
                LAC - DOUG OVERTON 3, KEYON DOOLING 3, MATT 
                      BARNES 3

         ATT:   19,469

Box Score

HOUSTON (102) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp J Jackson 35 8-12 0-0 0-3 0 3 21 K Cato 27 3-5 0-0 1-7 1 3 6 Y Ming 22 6-12 0-0 3-10 0 5 12 C Mobley 36 8-17 4-5 1-4 4 2 21 S Francis 33 3-5 4-4 1-4 11 0 10 M Taylor 29 7-12 0-0 3-8 1 2 14 E Piatkowski 23 3-7 0-0 0-5 1 0 8 M Jackson 15 0-1 0-0 0-1 6 1 0 C Weatherspoon 13 2-4 2-2 2-3 0 0 6 S Padgett 3 0-2 2-2 0-0 0 1 2 B Nachbar 2 0-0 0-0 0-1 0 0 0 M Wilks 2 1-1 0-0 0-2 0 0 2 _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 41-78 12-13 11-48 24 17 102 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.526, FT-.923. 3-Point Goals: 8-16, .500 (J Jackson 5-7, C Mobley 1-2, E Piatkowski 2-5, S Padgett 0-2). Team Rebounds: 2. Blocked Shots:10 (K Cato 6, Y Ming 4). Turnovers:17 (S Francis 4, C Mobley 3, M Jackson 2, E Piatkowski 2, Y Ming 2, K Cato 2, J Jackson, M Taylor). Steals: 8 (J Jackson 3, C Mobley 2, S Francis 2, M Taylor). LA CLIPPERS (79) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp M Barnes 27 4-8 3-5 5-9 3 3 11 E Brand 41 8-20 4-6 4-10 1 2 20 C Kaman 25 0-5 1-2 3-6 2 1 1 C Maggette 40 5-14 11-13 0-6 1 3 22 K Dooling 31 0-6 0-0 0-2 3 2 0 P Drobnjak 31 7-17 2-2 2-6 0 2 17 E House 25 2-5 0-0 0-0 2 0 4 D Overton 17 2-2 0-0 0-0 3 1 4 M Ely 3 0-2 0-0 0-0 1 2 0 B Simmons DNP - STRAINED LEFT HIP C Wilcox DNP - STRAINED LEFT ACHILLES _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 28-79 21-28 14-39 16 16 79 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.354, FT-.750. 3-Point Goals: 2-5, .400 (C Maggette 1-2, P Drobnjak 1-2, E House 0-1). Team Rebounds: 7. Blocked Shots:2 (E Brand 2). Turnovers:13 (P Drobnjak 3, M Barnes 3, C Maggette 2, C Kaman 2, E Brand 2, M Ely). Steals: 11 (K Dooling 4, M Barnes 4, E House 3). -------------------------------------------- HOUSTON 27 30 21 24 - 102 LA CLIPPERS 15 21 24 19 - 79 -------------------------------------------- Technical fouls: Houston - 1 (Defensive Three, 11:46 3rd). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 19,469. T: 2:08. Officials: Anthony Jordan, Bob Delaney, Sean Corbin.


Extended Box

HOUSTON (102) AT LA CLIPPERS (79) HOUSTON REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === J JACKSON F 35 8-12 0-0 0 3 3 0 3 3 1 21 K CATO F 27 3-5 0-0 1 6 7 1 3 0 2 6 Y MING C 22 6-12 0-0 3 7 10 0 5 0 2 12 C MOBLEY G 36 8-17 4-5 1 3 4 4 2 2 3 21 S FRANCIS G 33 3-5 4-4 1 3 4 11 0 2 4 10 M TAYLOR 29 7-12 0-0 3 5 8 1 2 1 1 14 E PIATKOWSKI 23 3-7 0-0 0 5 5 1 0 0 2 8 M JACKSON 15 0-1 0-0 0 1 1 6 1 0 2 0 C WEATHERSPOON 13 2-4 2-2 2 1 3 0 0 0 0 6 S PADGETT 3 0-2 2-2 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 B NACHBAR 2 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 M WILKS 2 1-1 0-0 0 2 2 0 0 0 0 2 TOTALS 240 41-78 12-13 11 37 48 24 17 8 17 102 (.526) (.923) TEAM REBS: 2 TOTAL TO: 17 (24 PTS) LA CLIPPERS REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === M BARNES F 27 4-8 3-5 5 4 9 3 3 4 3 11 E BRAND F 41 8-20 4-6 4 6 10 1 2 0 2 20 C KAMAN C 25 0-5 1-2 3 3 6 2 1 0 2 1 C MAGGETTE G 40 5-14 11-13 0 6 6 1 3 0 2 22 K DOOLING G 31 0-6 0-0 0 2 2 3 2 4 0 0 P DROBNJAK 31 7-17 2-2 2 4 6 0 2 0 3 17 E HOUSE 25 2-5 0-0 0 0 0 2 0 3 0 4 D OVERTON 17 2-2 0-0 0 0 0 3 1 0 0 4 M ELY 3 0-2 0-0 0 0 0 1 2 0 1 0 B SIMMONS DNP - STRAINED LEFT HIP C WILCOX DNP - STRAINED LEFT ACHILLES TOTALS 240 28-79 21-28 14 25 39 16 16 11 13 79 (.354) (.750) TEAM REBS: 7 TOTAL TO: 13 (9 PTS) HOUSTON 27 30 21 24 - 102 LA CLIPPERS 15 21 24 19 - 79 BLOCKED SHOTS: HOUSTON - K CATO 6, Y MING 4. LA CLIPPERS - E BRAND 2. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: HOUSTON 8-16 (.500), J JACKSON 5-7, C MOBLEY 1- 2, E PIATKOWSKI 2-5, S PADGETT 0-2. LA CLIPPERS 2-5 (.400), C MAGGETTE 1- 2, P DROBNJAK 1-2, E HOUSE 0-1. TECHNICAL FOULS: HOUSTON - DEFENSIVE THREE. FLAGRANT FOULS: NONE. OFFICIALS: ANTHONY JORDAN, BOB DELANEY, SEAN CORBIN. A - 19,469. T - 2:08.


Game Story

LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- The Houston Rockets entered Wednesday needing three wins to secure a playoff spot. Jim Jackson, Cuttino Mobley and a stellar defensive effort have that number down to two. Jackson and Mobley scored 21 points apeice and the Rockets held the lowly Los Angeles Clippers to 35 percent shooting en route to a 102-79 victory, which snapped a season-high five-game losing streak. The Rockets (43-35) hold a two-game cushion over Denver, Utah and Portland (41-37) for seventh place in the Western Conference with four games remaining. They are looking for their first postseason berth since 1999. "We played hard defensively," Houston coach Jeff Van Gundy said. "We're trying to play well every day. ... We have to get on the plane tomorrow morning and get ready for Denver." "We got back to what we normally do," said Houston guard Steve Francis, who had 10 points and 11 assists. "We played defense and we moved the ball really well. We've got a good opportunity these next couple of games to clinch a playoff spot. We need to play it one game at a time." Former Clipper Maurice Taylor chipped in 14 points and eight rebounds and Yao Ming added 12 and 10 for the Rockets, who limited the Clippers to 29 percent shooting (12-of-42) in the first half as they built a 57-36 cushion at the break. "We've been playing poor defensively," Mobley said. "The Clippers are already wounded, so we wanted to come out aggressively. We found our fast break tonight. That is something we have lost the past few games." Jackson hit his first five 3-pointers and shot 8-of-12 overall. "We had some open shots that we knocked down because we were able to penetrate their defense," Jackson said. "We were able to kick it out and get some good looks." The Rockets led throughout as they extended the Clippers' losing streak to 12 games. "What was on my mind was winning this game, and to do whatever we had to do to get it," Jackson said. "I think our defense was stronger, and at the beginning of the game we kind of set the tone with how we played defense. Now I just want to win the next four games and go into the playoffs on a high streak." Corey Maggette scored 22 points, Elton Brand added 20 and 10 rebounds and Predrag Drobnjak had 17 points for Los Angeles, which shot just 28-of-79. "I don't like losing and I take these games pretty tough," Maggette said. "It's just been a rough stretch for us when everything that could go wrong has. With all the injuries we have had it gives some guys who haven't played much this year a chance to improve for next season. That's how you have to look at these last few games."


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