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NBA   FINAL            1ST  2ND  3RD  4TH   TOTAL
                       ---  ---  ---  ---   -----
      HOUSTON          27   26   24   20    97   
      PORTLAND         25   25   17   26    93      FINAL

HIGH SCORERS:   HOU - YAO MING 19, TRACY MCGRADY 16, TWO 
                      PLAYERS WITH 15
                POR - ZACH RANDOLPH 28, DAMON STOUDAMIRE 18, 
                      DARIUS MILES 13

HIGH REBOUND:   HOU - DIKEMBE MUTOMBO 11, YAO MING 6, FIVE 
                      PLAYERS WITH 4
                POR - ZACH RANDOLPH 14, SHAREEF ABDUR-RAHIM 6,
                      DEREK ANDERSON 6

HIGH ASSISTS:   HOU - TRACY MCGRADY 11, TYRONN LUE 8, JIMMY 
                      JACKSON 3
                POR - DAMON STOUDAMIRE 7, NICK VAN EXEL 3, 
                      SHAREEF ABDUR-RAHIM 2

         ATT:   18,025

Box Score

HOUSTON (97) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp J Jackson 36 5-9 3-3 1-4 3 3 15 M Taylor 29 3-7 0-0 1-4 2 4 6 Y Ming 26 7-11 5-5 2-6 0 5 19 T McGrady 44 5-15 5-7 1-4 11 2 16 C Ward 19 1-4 0-0 1-2 1 0 3 T Lue 29 4-9 0-0 0-4 8 0 9 B Nachbar 15 2-2 0-0 1-4 0 3 6 D Mutombo 21 5-10 5-5 6-11 0 2 15 J Howard 19 4-11 0-0 1-1 0 2 8 R Bowen 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 S Padgett 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 C Weatherspoon DNP - COACH'S DECISION _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 36-78 18-20 14-40 25 21 97 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.462, FT-.900. 3-Point Goals: 7-16, .438 (J Jackson 2-4, T McGrady 1-3, C Ward 1-4, T Lue 1-3, B Nachbar 2-2). Team Rebounds: 6. Blocked Shots:6 (Y Ming 3, T McGrady 2, D Mutombo). Turnovers:10 (Y Ming 4, T McGrady 3, J Jackson, T Lue, B Nachbar). Steals: 2 (J Howard, T McGrady). PORTLAND (93) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp S Abdur-Rahim 38 2-6 6-6 2-6 2 3 10 Z Randolph 39 11-22 6-6 9-14 1 1 28 T Ratliff 29 3-4 0-0 2-3 0 5 6 D Anderson 39 3-12 3-4 1-6 1 1 10 D Stoudamire 37 7-17 2-2 0-5 7 1 18 N Van Exel 20 1-5 3-4 0-2 3 0 5 D Miles 21 6-11 1-1 1-2 1 2 13 R Patterson 10 1-1 1-2 0-0 0 2 3 J Przybilla 7 0-0 0-0 1-1 0 4 0 G Carlisle DNP - COACH'S DECISION T Outlaw DNP - COACH'S DECISION S Telfair DNP - COACH'S DECISION _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 34-78 22-25 16-39 15 19 93 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.436, FT-.880. 3-Point Goals: 3-14, .214 (D Anderson 1-5, D Stoudamire 2-7, N Van Exel 0-2). Team Rebounds: 6. Blocked Shots:2 (T Ratliff, J Przybilla). Turnovers:5 (D Stoudamire, N Van Exel, S Abdur-Rahim, D Anderson, J Przybilla). Steals: 2 (D Anderson, R Patterson). ------------------------------------------- HOUSTON 27 26 24 20 - 97 PORTLAND 25 25 17 26 - 93 ------------------------------------------- Technical fouls: Portland - 1 (Defensive Three, 0:31 3rd). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 18,025. T: 2:16. Officials: Dick Bavetta, Jess Kersey, Matt Boland.


Extended Box

HOUSTON (97) AT PORTLAND (93) HOUSTON REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === J JACKSON G 36 5-9 3-3 1 3 4 3 3 0 1 15 M TAYLOR F 29 3-7 0-0 1 3 4 2 4 0 0 6 Y MING C 26 7-11 5-5 2 4 6 0 5 0 4 19 T MCGRADY F 44 5-15 5-7 1 3 4 11 2 1 3 16 C WARD G 19 1-4 0-0 1 1 2 1 0 0 0 3 T LUE 29 4-9 0-0 0 4 4 8 0 0 1 9 B NACHBAR 15 2-2 0-0 1 3 4 0 3 0 1 6 D MUTOMBO 21 5-10 5-5 6 5 11 0 2 0 0 15 J HOWARD 19 4-11 0-0 1 0 1 0 2 1 0 8 R BOWEN 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 S PADGETT 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 C WEATHERSPOON DNP - COACH'S DECISION TOTALS 240 36-78 18-20 14 26 40 25 21 2 10 97 (.462) (.900) TEAM REBS: 6 TOTAL TO: 10 (8 PTS) PORTLAND REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === S ABDUR-RAHIM F 38 2-6 6-6 2 4 6 2 3 0 1 10 Z RANDOLPH F 39 11-22 6-6 9 5 14 1 1 0 0 28 T RATLIFF C 29 3-4 0-0 2 1 3 0 5 0 0 6 D ANDERSON G 39 3-12 3-4 1 5 6 1 1 1 1 10 D STOUDAMIRE G 37 7-17 2-2 0 5 5 7 1 0 1 18 N VAN EXEL 20 1-5 3-4 0 2 2 3 0 0 1 5 D MILES 21 6-11 1-1 1 1 2 1 2 0 0 13 R PATTERSON 10 1-1 1-2 0 0 0 0 2 1 0 3 J PRZYBILLA 7 0-0 0-0 1 0 1 0 4 0 1 0 G CARLISLE DNP - COACH'S DECISION T OUTLAW DNP - COACH'S DECISION S TELFAIR DNP - COACH'S DECISION TOTALS 240 34-78 22-25 16 23 39 15 19 2 5 93 (.436) (.880) TEAM REBS: 6 TOTAL TO: 6 (2 PTS) HOUSTON 27 26 24 20 - 97 PORTLAND 25 25 17 26 - 93 BLOCKED SHOTS: HOUSTON - Y MING 3, T MCGRADY 2, D MUTOMBO. PORTLAND - T RATLIFF, J PRZYBILLA. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: HOUSTON 7-16 (.438), J JACKSON 2-4, T MCGRADY 1- 3, C WARD 1-4, T LUE 1-3, B NACHBAR 2-2. PORTLAND 3-14 (.214), D ANDERSON 1- 5, D STOUDAMIRE 2-7, N VAN EXEL 0-2. TECHNICAL FOULS: PORTLAND - DEFENSIVE THREE. FLAGRANT FOULS: NONE. OFFICIALS: DICK BAVETTA, JESS KERSEY, MATT BOLAND. A - 18,025. T - 2:16.


Game Story

PORTLAND, Oregon (Ticker) -- Dikembe Mutombo covered for Yao Ming's continuing struggles on the road. Mutombo had season highs of 15 points and 11 rebounds, leading a strong bench effort that gave the Houston Rockets a 97-93 victory over the slumping Portland Trail Blazers. Acquired in an offseason trade, the 38-year-old Mutombo is serving as a backup to Yao, who has made the All-Star team his first two seasons and was expected to blossom into superstardom this season. While the 7-5 Yao has averaged 25.4 points and 9.2 rebounds in five home games, he has been a different player on the road, averaging 13.0 points and 7.2 rebounds. He encountered more trouble in this one, picking up his third foul early in the second quarter. The 7-2 Mutombo stepped in and stabilized Houston's lineup, collecting 11 points and five rebounds in the period as the Rockets grabbed the lead for good. He was part of a bench that outscored Portland's reserves, 38-21. "Yao is going to be a star in the NBA for a long time, but he still has some areas to work on," Mutombo said. "I think coming here was a great opportunity for me and him." "With Dikembe on our bench, it allows me to stay aggressive," Yao said. "He helps me constantly. Tonight, he helped me with Theo Ratliff, someone I have had trouble with." Mutombo felt Yao eventually would solve his road woes. "The important thing is to stay behind him until he feels comfortable on the road," said Mutombo, who had six offensive rebounds and made all five of his free throws. "He's showing signs and heading in the right direction." "In three of our four road wins this year, he's been a critical factor," Houston coach Jeff Van Gundy said. "He gets himself ready to play and has been great for Yao's development." Tyronn Lue had nine points and eight assists, sinking a 3-pointer at the third-quarter buzzer to give the Rockets a 77-67 lead. Juwan Howard scored eight points and Bostjan Nachbar added six. Yao regrouped and finished with 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting. Tracy McGrady added 16 points and 11 assists for the Rockets, who have won two straight after dropping two in a row. Their last four games have been decided by a combined 14 points. "We are young and we don't have a cushion for a lot of error, so we are going to be in a lot of close games," Van Gundy said. "Our bench was great tonight," said McGrady, whose top of the key jumper with 13.2 seconds left derailed Portland's comeback bid and made it 95-91. "That's what we need from them, especially in close games on the road." Zach Randolph had 28 points and 14 rebounds for the Trail Blazers, who have lost five of their last seven games. Portland has lost four straight meetings with Houston.


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