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NBA   FINAL            1ST  2ND  3RD  4TH   TOTAL
                       ---  ---  ---  ---   -----
      HOUSTON          17   23   31   27    98   
      WASHINGTON       28   19   26   28    101     FINAL

HIGH SCORERS:   HOU - TRACY MCGRADY 26, MIKE JAMES 24, TWO 
                      PLAYERS WITH 12
                WAS - GILBERT ARENAS 33, LARRY HUGHES 31, 
                      ANTAWN JAMISON 13

HIGH REBOUND:   HOU - TRACY MCGRADY 9, YAO MING 7, DIKEMBE 
                      MUTOMBO 6
                WAS - KWAME BROWN 12, BRENDAN HAYWOOD 9, 
                      GILBERT ARENAS 8

HIGH ASSISTS:   HOU - TRACY MCGRADY 7, MIKE JAMES 7, TWO 
                      PLAYERS WITH 3
                WAS - GILBERT ARENAS 5, LARRY HUGHES 4, TWO 
                      PLAYERS WITH 2

         ATT:   18,415

Box Score

HOUSTON (98) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp T McGrady 42 9-19 6-8 0-9 7 2 26 J Howard 36 5-10 2-2 1-2 3 5 12 Y Ming 29 3-9 5-7 4-7 0 4 11 M James 39 10-22 0-0 0-5 7 5 24 D Wesley 36 3-8 2-2 1-4 1 4 10 D Mutombo 19 0-2 3-4 2-6 1 1 3 J Barry 22 4-5 2-2 0-2 3 1 12 C Weatherspoon 11 0-2 0-0 0-1 0 1 0 R Bowen 6 0-1 0-0 1-3 0 0 0 V Baker DNP - COACH'S DECISION M Norris DNP - COACH'S DECISION S Padgett DNP - COACH'S DECISION _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 34-78 20-25 9-39 22 23 98 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.436, FT-.800. 3-Point Goals: 10-20, .500 (T McGrady 2-8, M James 4-7, D Wesley 2-3, J Barry 2-2). Team Rebounds: 7. Blocked Shots:4 (Y Ming 3, D Mutombo). Turnovers:15 (J Howard 6, T McGrady 4, M James 2, Y Ming 2, D Wesley). Steals: 6 (D Wesley 3, J Howard, T McGrady, R Bowen). WASHINGTON (101) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp A Jamison 42 5-10 2-2 0-3 1 3 13 K Brown 32 1-6 1-2 3-12 2 4 3 B Haywood 31 5-6 2-2 4-9 2 2 12 L Hughes 37 11-20 6-9 0-6 4 3 31 G Arenas 43 9-20 13-16 3-8 5 4 33 M Ruffin 15 0-1 0-0 1-5 1 4 0 E Thomas 17 1-3 2-2 1-4 1 3 4 S Blake 23 2-11 0-0 0-0 1 1 5 A Peeler DNP - COACH'S DECISION L Profit DNP - COACH'S DECISION J Jeffries DNP - BRUISED RIGHT KNEE J Hayes DNP - RIGHT KNEE TENDINITIS _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 34-77 26-33 12-47 17 24 101 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.442, FT-.788. 3-Point Goals: 7-23, .304 (A Jamison 1-2, L Hughes 3-5, G Arenas 2-8, S Blake 1-8). Team Rebounds: 6. Blocked Shots:5 (G Arenas 2, L Hughes, B Haywood, M Ruffin). Turnovers:12 (G Arenas 6, A Jamison 3, L Hughes, B Haywood, S Blake). Steals: 11 (S Blake 3, L Hughes 2, M Ruffin 2, G Arenas 2, B Haywood, K Brown). ------------------------------------------- HOUSTON 17 23 31 27 - 98 WASHINGTON 28 19 26 28 - 101 ------------------------------------------- Technical fouls: None. Flagrant fouls: None. A: 18,415. T: 2:16. Officials: Bernie Fryer, Mark Wunderlich, Matt Boland.


Extended Box

HOUSTON (98) AT WASHINGTON (101) HOUSTON REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === T MCGRADY F 42 9-19 6-8 0 9 9 7 2 1 4 26 J HOWARD F 36 5-10 2-2 1 1 2 3 5 1 6 12 Y MING C 29 3-9 5-7 4 3 7 0 4 0 2 11 M JAMES G 39 10-22 0-0 0 5 5 7 5 0 2 24 D WESLEY G 36 3-8 2-2 1 3 4 1 4 3 1 10 D MUTOMBO 19 0-2 3-4 2 4 6 1 1 0 0 3 J BARRY 22 4-5 2-2 0 2 2 3 1 0 0 12 C WEATHERSPOON 11 0-2 0-0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 R BOWEN 6 0-1 0-0 1 2 3 0 0 1 0 0 V BAKER DNP - COACH'S DECISION M NORRIS DNP - COACH'S DECISION S PADGETT DNP - COACH'S DECISION TOTALS 240 34-78 20-25 9 30 39 22 23 6 15 98 (.436) (.800) TEAM REBS: 7 TOTAL TO: 15 (18 PTS) WASHINGTON REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === A JAMISON F 42 5-10 2-2 0 3 3 1 3 0 3 13 K BROWN F 32 1-6 1-2 3 9 12 2 4 1 0 3 B HAYWOOD C 31 5-6 2-2 4 5 9 2 2 1 1 12 L HUGHES G 37 11-20 6-9 0 6 6 4 3 2 1 31 G ARENAS G 43 9-20 13-16 3 5 8 5 4 2 6 33 M RUFFIN 15 0-1 0-0 1 4 5 1 4 2 0 0 E THOMAS 17 1-3 2-2 1 3 4 1 3 0 0 4 S BLAKE 23 2-11 0-0 0 0 0 1 1 3 1 5 A PEELER DNP - COACH'S DECISION L PROFIT DNP - COACH'S DECISION J JEFFRIES DNP - BRUISED RIGHT KNEE J HAYES DNP - RIGHT KNEE TENDINITIS TOTALS 240 34-77 26-33 12 35 47 17 24 11 12 101 (.442) (.788) TEAM REBS: 6 TOTAL TO: 12 (17 PTS) HOUSTON 17 23 31 27 - 98 WASHINGTON 28 19 26 28 - 101 BLOCKED SHOTS: HOUSTON - Y MING 3, D MUTOMBO. WASHINGTON - G ARENAS 2, L HUGHES, B HAYWOOD, M RUFFIN. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: HOUSTON 10-20 (.500), T MCGRADY 2-8, M JAMES 4- 7, D WESLEY 2-3, J BARRY 2-2. WASHINGTON 7-23 (.304), A JAMISON 1- 2, L HUGHES 3-5, G ARENAS 2-8, S BLAKE 1-8. TECHNICAL FOULS: NONE. FLAGRANT FOULS: NONE. OFFICIALS: BERNIE FRYER, MARK WUNDERLICH, MATT BOLAND. A - 18,415. T - 2:16.


Game Story

WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- The presence of Larry Hughes proved to be a big difference for the Washington Wizards. In the lineup for the first time since mid-January, Hughes scored 31 points as the Wizards squandered a 17-point lead before rallying for a 101-98 triumph over the Houston Rockets. Sidelined for 20 games with a broken thumb, Hughes returned in this one and made his presence felt in the second half, scoring seven of his 13 third-quarter points during a 12-2 period-opening run that gave Washington its largest lead at 59-42 with 9:03 to go. "I've been telling my teammates and everybody that will listen that I'm going to come back better than I was before," Hughes said. "My absence helped me figure out the mental part." "With some guys, it may take three or four games to get your swagger back. Not with this guy," Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas said. "Larry didn't miss a beat. He picked up right where he left off." The Rockets, who snapped a three-game losing streak Tuesday at Chicago, bounced back with a 26-9 spurt in which Tracy McGrady and Mike James scored seven points apiece to tie the contest at 68-68 with 2:33 remaining in the period. David Wesley buried a 3-pointer with 1:54 left to give Houston its first lead since midway through the first quarter, 71-70. With the game tied, 76-76, the Rockets used a 13-6 burst to take an 89-82 lead with 5:18 to go in the fourth quarter. But the Wizards scored the next eight points, including a 3-pointer by Hughes with 4:01 remaining, to move ahead for good, 93-91. "They did a great job of keeping their poise and coming right back at us," McGrady said. "They didn't fold at all, they came right back at us and they put the pressure on us." "We did a good job of getting back in the game, but we've got to finish that game a lot better," Wesley said. "With all that work, we've got to win that one. We just didn't close it out. I still feel like we should've won the game." Hughes, who also had six rebounds and four assists, was 11-of-20 from the field, including 3-of-5 from the arc. "It is great to have 'Larry Huge,' as we like to call him, back," Washington coach Eddie Jordan said. "I never thought he would play at this level coming back after missing seven weeks." "I thought he was going to be rusty," McGrady said. "I thought his timing was going to be off a little bit, but he definitely proved me wrong. It was good to see him back on the basketball court, but I didn't think he was going to come out and do what he did tonight." After a pair of free throws by Arenas gave Washington a 101-98 advantage, McGrady - who scored 10 points in the period - had a chance to tie it but missed a shot from the arc with two seconds to go. "Actually, I thought it was in," McGrady said. "It felt good coming off my hands, but it was a little long." Arenas scored 33 points and pulled down eight rebounds while Kwame Brown gathered 12 boards for Washington, which has won eight straight with Hughes in the lineup. "It is nice to have a big guy like Kwame," said Wizards forward Antawn Jamison, who scored 13 points. "Offensively, he can give you some baskets in the post and defensively, he is strong. He is a guy that is hard to move, but at the same time, he is quick." McGrady had 26 points, nine rebounds and seven assists and James scored 24 points for the Rockets, who had won their previous three meetings with the Wizards. "We got up eight and made mistake after mistake," Houston coach Jeff Van Gundy said. "In the first half, our problems were more offensively, but the board continues to be a problem. We got manhandled again." The Wizards ended the first quarter with a 12-1 run capped by a three-point play by Arenas, who scored eight during the burst, to take a 28-17 lead. James scored five points as the Rockets opened the second period with eight straight points to climb within 28-25 with 8:44 to go.


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