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NBA  FINAL            1ST  2ND  3RD  4TH  TOTAL
                      ---  ---  ---  ---  -----
     HOUSTON          16   24   11   18    69   
     UTAH             23   23   16   20    82      FINAL

HIGH SCORERS:   HOU - MAURICE TAYLOR 16, CUTTINO MOBLEY 15, 
                      YAO MING 15
                UTH - GORDAN GIRICEK 23, ANDREI KIRILENKO 15, 
                      CARLOS ARROYO 13

HIGH REBOUND:   HOU - MAURICE TAYLOR 7, YAO MING 6, CUTTINO 
                      MOBLEY 4
                UTH - JARRON COLLINS 9, TOM GUGLIOTTA 8, 
                      ANDREI KIRILENKO 8

HIGH ASSISTS:   HOU - MARK JACKSON 6, STEVE FRANCIS 2, YAO 
                      MING 2
                UTH - ANDREI KIRILENKO 3, MAURICE WILLIAMS 3, 
                      TWO PLAYERS WITH 2

         ATT:   19,911

Box Score

HOUSTON (69) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp J Jackson 38 1-12 4-4 0-1 1 2 6 K Cato 16 0-2 0-0 0-2 0 4 0 Y Ming 28 5-11 5-5 2-6 2 5 15 S Francis 23 2-5 1-2 1-3 2 4 5 C Mobley 38 5-11 2-2 0-4 0 3 15 M Taylor 36 7-13 2-2 0-7 1 6 16 M Jackson 30 2-2 1-2 0-3 6 2 5 E Piatkowski 5 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 1 0 C Weatherspoon 15 2-5 1-1 1-1 0 2 5 S Padgett 10 0-3 0-0 0-1 0 0 0 M Wilks 1 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 2 B Nachbar DNP - COACH'S DECISION _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 25-66 16-18 4-28 12 29 69 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.379, FT-.889. 3-Point Goals: 3-13, .231 (J Jackson 0-5, C Mobley 3-4, E Piatkowski 0-1, S Padgett 0-3). Team Rebounds: 8. Blocked Shots:7 (Y Ming 3, C Mobley 2, S Padgett 2). Turnovers:19 (S Francis 6, C Mobley 5, M Jackson 4, K Cato 2, Y Ming 2). Steals: 8 (C Weatherspoon 2, J Jackson 2, M Jackson 2, M Taylor, C Mobley). UTAH (82) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp A Kirilenko 34 4-7 6-6 3-8 3 1 15 T Gugliotta 22 2-5 2-4 2-8 2 1 6 J Collins 22 0-5 4-6 3-9 0 3 4 C Arroyo 30 5-10 1-2 0-1 1 3 13 G Giricek 29 7-15 9-9 1-2 2 1 23 G Ostertag 26 2-2 0-0 1-7 1 4 4 A Pavlovic 13 1-4 0-0 0-0 0 2 2 M Moore 18 0-1 3-4 0-2 1 1 3 R Bell 28 4-9 0-0 0-4 1 3 8 R Lopez 5 0-2 0-0 0-0 1 0 0 M Williams 13 2-5 0-0 0-0 3 1 4 M Ruffin DNP - COACH'S DECISION _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 27-65 25-31 10-41 15 20 82 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.415, FT-.806. 3-Point Goals: 3-9, .333 (A Kirilenko 1-1, C Arroyo 2-2, G Giricek 0-1, A Pavlovic 0-2, M Williams 0-3). Team Rebounds: 10. Blocked Shots:7 (G Ostertag 3, J Collins 2, A Kirilenko, A Pavlovic). Turnovers:16 (R Bell 5, T Gugliotta 2, M Moore 2, A Kirilenko 2, R Lopez 2, G Ostertag, C Arroyo, J Collins). Steals: 13 (A Kirilenko 4, R Bell 3, T Gugliotta 2, G Giricek 2, C Arroyo, J Collins). ------------------------------------------- HOUSTON 16 24 11 18 - 69 UTAH 23 23 16 20 - 82 ------------------------------------------- Technical fouls: Utah - 1 (Defensive Three, 0:11 1st). Flagrant fouls: Houston 1 (K Cato, 8:33 3rd). A: 19,911. T: 2:14. Officials: Gary Benson, Greg Willard, Luis Grillo.


Extended Box

HOUSTON (69) AT UTAH (82) HOUSTON REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === J JACKSON F 38 1-12 4-4 0 1 1 1 2 2 0 6 K CATO F 16 0-2 0-0 0 2 2 0 4 0 2 0 Y MING C 28 5-11 5-5 2 4 6 2 5 0 2 15 S FRANCIS G 23 2-5 1-2 1 2 3 2 4 0 6 5 C MOBLEY G 38 5-11 2-2 0 4 4 0 3 1 5 15 M TAYLOR 36 7-13 2-2 0 7 7 1 6 1 0 16 M JACKSON 30 2-2 1-2 0 3 3 6 2 2 4 5 E PIATKOWSKI 5 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 C WEATHERSPOON 15 2-5 1-1 1 0 1 0 2 2 0 5 S PADGETT 10 0-3 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 M WILKS 1 1-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 B NACHBAR DNP - COACH'S DECISION TOTALS 240 25-66 16-18 4 24 28 12 29 8 19 69 (.379) (.889) TEAM REBS: 8 TOTAL TO: 20 (20 PTS) UTAH REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === A KIRILENKO F 34 4-7 6-6 3 5 8 3 1 4 2 15 T GUGLIOTTA F 22 2-5 2-4 2 6 8 2 1 2 2 6 J COLLINS C 22 0-5 4-6 3 6 9 0 3 1 1 4 C ARROYO G 30 5-10 1-2 0 1 1 1 3 1 1 13 G GIRICEK G 29 7-15 9-9 1 1 2 2 1 2 0 23 G OSTERTAG 26 2-2 0-0 1 6 7 1 4 0 1 4 A PAVLOVIC 13 1-4 0-0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 2 M MOORE 18 0-1 3-4 0 2 2 1 1 0 2 3 R BELL 28 4-9 0-0 0 4 4 1 3 3 5 8 R LOPEZ 5 0-2 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 0 M WILLIAMS 13 2-5 0-0 0 0 0 3 1 0 0 4 M RUFFIN DNP - COACH'S DECISION TOTALS 240 27-65 25-31 10 31 41 15 20 13 16 82 (.415) (.806) TEAM REBS: 10 TOTAL TO: 18 (19 PTS) HOUSTON 16 24 11 18 - 69 UTAH 23 23 16 20 - 82 BLOCKED SHOTS: HOUSTON - Y MING 3, C MOBLEY 2, S PADGETT 2. UTAH - G OSTERTAG 3, J COLLINS 2, A KIRILENKO, A PAVLOVIC. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: HOUSTON 3-13 (.231), J JACKSON 0-5, C MOBLEY 3- 4, E PIATKOWSKI 0-1, S PADGETT 0-3. UTAH 3-9 (.333), A KIRILENKO 1- 1, C ARROYO 2-2, G GIRICEK 0-1, A PAVLOVIC 0-2, M WILLIAMS 0-3. TECHNICAL FOULS: UTAH - DEFENSIVE THREE. FLAGRANT FOULS: HOUSTON 1 (K CATO, 8:33 3RD). OFFICIALS: GARY BENSON, GREG WILLARD, LUIS GRILLO. A - 19,911. T - 2:14.


Game Story

SALT LAKE CITY (Ticker) -- The Utah Jazz will need a little help to qualify for their 21st straight postseason appearance. They continue to help themselves. Gordan Giricek scored 23 points and the Jazz used a closing burst to defeat the Houston Rockets, 82-69, and keep pace in the Western Conference playoff race. Andrei Kirilenko added 15 points and Carlos Arroyo 13 for the Jazz (42-38), who remained tied with Denver for the eighth and final postseason berth, one game ahead of Portland (41-39). Utah has not missed the playoffs since 1983. It visits Minnesota on Monday and hosts Phoenix on Wednesday and must finish ahead of Denver to secure its 21st straight postseason berth. "Every game is a must-win for us," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said. "I don't see any leeway out there for us." "I think we've isolated ourselves and (are) taking it game by game," Giricek said. "We'll see at the end. Right now, we just have to play hard every game because we're a young team." But despite a poor showing from Rockets All-Star point guard Steve Francis, the win did not come easily. The Jazz took control early on, but their offense went stagnant in the fourth quarter, opening the door for a rally. "This is a tough team for us to play a lot of times," Sloan said. "It's just that we lose our concentration, forget to execute, forget to run the floor or don't give ourselves a chance a lot of times. At least it was a win, and that's what we've got to go on." Over the first eight minutes of the final period, the Jazz managed just three points. The Rockets whittled away and closed to 65-62 on Yao Ming's long jumper with 4:03 to play. On the other end, Yao was called for goaltending a shot by Kirilenko, who added two free throws. After Cuttino Mobley's 3-pointer pulled the Rockets within 69-65 with 2:42 to go, the teams traded empty possessions before Kirilenko grabbed an offensive rebound and whipped a pass to Arroyo, whose open 3-pointer triggered a game-ending 13-4 surge. "It was a very important game for us," Kirilenko said. "I think it is a great experience for a young team like we are, to be involved in this playoff race...Right now, we have a pretty good position. But we can't worry about those other teams (Denver and Portland). We have two more games we have to win." Denver has to face Sacramento and San Antonio. Utah visits Minnesota on Monday night and hosts Phoenix on Wednesday. One night after clinching their first playoff berth in five years, the Rockets (44-36) managed just 29 points in the second half and lost for sixth time in eight games. The frustration was clear in Francis. After scoring a season-high 33 points on Friday, he managed just five points and two assists. Houston coach Jeff Van Gundy kept him on the bench for the entire fourth quarter. "I was just doing what I thought would give us the best chance to win," Van Gundy said.


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