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NBA   FINAL            1ST  2ND  3RD  4TH   TOTAL
                       ---  ---  ---  ---   -----
      DENVER           34   15   21   17    87   
      HOUSTON          24   32   24   35    115     FINAL

HIGH SCORERS:   DEN - KENYON MARTIN 22, CARMELO ANTHONY 16, 
                      TWO PLAYERS WITH 12
                HOU - TRACY MCGRADY 32, MIKE JAMES 23, TWO 
                      PLAYERS WITH 13

HIGH REBOUND:   DEN - KENYON MARTIN 9, GREG BUCKNER 5, NENE 
                      HILARIO 5
                HOU - DIKEMBE MUTOMBO 12, YAO MING 11, MIKE 
                      JAMES 5

HIGH ASSISTS:   DEN - ANDRE MILLER 9, EARL BOYKINS 3, TWO 
                      PLAYERS WITH 2
                HOU - TRACY MCGRADY 8, MIKE JAMES 6, TWO 
                      PLAYERS WITH 5

         ATT:   18,216

Box Score

DENVER (87) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp C Anthony 36 4-17 8-9 1-2 2 2 16 K Martin 31 10-17 2-3 3-9 2 3 22 Nene 26 4-6 4-10 0-5 1 4 12 A Miller 34 4-11 4-4 0-1 9 2 12 D Johnson 15 1-1 1-2 0-1 1 1 4 G Buckner 19 2-5 1-1 2-5 1 3 6 F Elson 11 0-0 1-2 1-1 0 2 1 E Boykins 30 4-7 1-1 0-2 3 1 9 E Najera 21 1-3 0-0 1-4 1 4 2 W Person 13 1-6 0-0 0-0 0 1 3 B Russell 4 0-2 0-0 0-0 0 1 0 M Camby DNP - STRAINED RIGHT HAMSTRING _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 31-75 22-32 8-30 20 24 87 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.413, FT-.688. 3-Point Goals: 3-9, .333 (C Anthony 0-1, D Johnson 1-1, G Buckner 1-2, W Person 1-3, B Russell 0-2). Team Rebounds: 17. Blocked Shots:1 (E Najera). Turnovers:14 (K Martin 4, E Boykins 3, A Miller 2, E Najera 2, W Person, G Buckner, C Anthony). Steals: 8 (A Miller 3, E Boykins, G Buckner, E Najera, D Johnson, K Martin). HOUSTON (115) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp T McGrady 37 10-21 6-7 0-2 8 3 32 C Weatherspoon 15 2-4 0-0 1-3 0 2 4 Y Ming 23 5-8 3-6 3-11 3 3 13 B Sura 13 0-1 0-2 0-2 2 5 0 D Wesley 33 4-10 0-1 0-1 5 4 10 M James 30 9-12 2-2 0-5 6 3 23 S Padgett 30 5-10 0-0 1-3 3 3 13 D Mutombo 22 2-3 7-8 5-12 0 1 11 J Barry 24 3-5 0-0 0-1 5 1 7 R Bowen 7 0-2 0-0 0-2 0 1 0 T Braggs 3 1-1 0-0 2-2 0 0 2 M Norris 3 0-2 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 41-79 18-26 12-44 32 26 115 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.519, FT-.692. 3-Point Goals: 15-24, .625 (T McGrady 6-7, B Sura 0-1, D Wesley 2-4, M James 3-4, S Padgett 3-6, J Barry 1-2). Team Rebounds: 9. Blocked Shots:11 (Y Ming 5, D Mutombo 3, T McGrady 3). Turnovers:13 (B Sura 2, T McGrady 2, M James 2, S Padgett 2, Y Ming 2, C Weatherspoon, D Wesley, R Bowen). Steals: 10 (J Barry 4, S Padgett 2, C Weatherspoon, Y Ming, M James, D Wesley). ------------------------------------------- DENVER 34 15 21 17 - 87 HOUSTON 24 32 24 35 - 115 ------------------------------------------- Technical fouls: Houston - 3 (Defensive Three, 3:28 1st; Defensive Three, 5:25 1st; T McGrady, 6:05 4th). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 18,216. T: 2:29. Officials: Marc Davis, Michael Smith, Ron Garretson.


Extended Box

DENVER (87) AT HOUSTON (115) DENVER REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === C ANTHONY F 36 4-17 8-9 1 1 2 2 2 0 1 16 K MARTIN F 31 10-17 2-3 3 6 9 2 3 1 4 22 NENE C 26 4-6 4-10 0 5 5 1 4 0 0 12 A MILLER G 34 4-11 4-4 0 1 1 9 2 3 2 12 D JOHNSON 15 1-1 1-2 0 1 1 1 1 1 0 4 G BUCKNER G 19 2-5 1-1 2 3 5 1 3 1 1 6 F ELSON 11 0-0 1-2 1 0 1 0 2 0 0 1 E BOYKINS 30 4-7 1-1 0 2 2 3 1 1 3 9 E NAJERA 21 1-3 0-0 1 3 4 1 4 1 2 2 W PERSON 13 1-6 0-0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 3 B RUSSELL 4 0-2 0-0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 M CAMBY DNP - STRAINED RIGHT HAMSTRING TOTALS 240 31-75 22-32 8 22 30 20 24 8 14 87 (.413) (.688) TEAM REBS: 17 TOTAL TO: 14 (22 PTS) HOUSTON REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === T MCGRADY F 37 10-21 6-7 0 2 2 8 3 0 2 32 C WEATHERSPOON F 15 2-4 0-0 1 2 3 0 2 1 1 4 Y MING C 23 5-8 3-6 3 8 11 3 3 1 2 13 B SURA G 13 0-1 0-2 0 2 2 2 5 0 2 0 D WESLEY G 33 4-10 0-1 0 1 1 5 4 1 1 10 M JAMES 30 9-12 2-2 0 5 5 6 3 1 2 23 S PADGETT 30 5-10 0-0 1 2 3 3 3 2 2 13 D MUTOMBO 22 2-3 7-8 5 7 12 0 1 0 0 11 J BARRY 24 3-5 0-0 0 1 1 5 1 4 0 7 R BOWEN 7 0-2 0-0 0 2 2 0 1 0 1 0 T BRAGGS 3 1-1 0-0 2 0 2 0 0 0 0 2 M NORRIS 3 0-2 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 TOTALS 240 41-79 18-26 12 32 44 32 26 10 13 115 (.519) (.692) TEAM REBS: 9 TOTAL TO: 14 (11 PTS) DENVER 34 15 21 17 - 87 HOUSTON 24 32 24 35 - 115 BLOCKED SHOTS: DENVER - E NAJERA. HOUSTON - Y MING 5, D MUTOMBO 3, T MCGRADY 3. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: DENVER 3-9 (.333), C ANTHONY 0-1, D JOHNSON 1-1, G BUCKNER 1-2, W PERSON 1-3, B RUSSELL 0-2. HOUSTON 15-24 (.625), T MCGRADY 6-7, B SURA 0-1, D WESLEY 2-4, M JAMES 3-4, S PADGETT 3- 6, J BARRY 1-2. TECHNICAL FOULS: HOUSTON - DEFENSIVE THREE 2, T MCGRADY. FLAGRANT FOULS: NONE. OFFICIALS: MARC DAVIS, MICHAEL SMITH, RON GARRETSON. A - 18,216. T - 2:29.


Game Story

HOUSTON (Ticker) -- The Houston Rockets wore their retro red uniforms against the Denver Nuggets and relied on a retro-type player to get them going. Ageless Dikembe Mutombo provided the spark to rally the Rockets from a horrendous start to a 115-87 victory, dealing the Nuggets only their third loss in 27 games and their largest setback of the season. The 38-year-old Mutombo contributed nine points and 10 rebounds in the first half before Tracy McGrady took over the offense for Houston. "I couldn't be more disappointed in the first six minutes," said Houston coach Jeff Van Gundy, whose team fell behind, 18-4. "Mutombo's effort was what changed the game. The bench did a great job of getting us back in striking distance. Our starters played much better the second half." Guard Mike James also supplied plenty of offense off the bench and then McGrady put together one of his magical spurts. In a span of 3:59 at the end of the first half and the beginning of the second, McGrady scored 16 points to help turn a one-point edge into a 64-52 lead. He made six consecutive outside shots, including four 3-pointers. The Nuggets (48-32), who had a 10-game winning streak snapped, never recovered. "I thought we had decent control on McGrady and then he blew up on us," said Denver coach George Karl, whose team lost to someone other than the league-leading Phoenix Suns for the first time since February 16 at Charlotte. McGrady scored 32 points, making 6-for-7 from the arc, and also added eight assists. Van Gundy said he never discusses shot selection with McGrady. He said he learned a lesson from coach Don Nelson when he was Nelson's assistant in New York. "He said, 'Give a great player his head,'" Van Gundy said. "I don't really analyze (McGrady's) shots because he is unselfish and has a unique ability to rise up over people. I talk to him about his defense, about getting open for shots." With McGrady there is rarely such a thing as a bad shot. James did some pretty good shooting of his own for Houston (49-31), scoring 23 points while connecting on 9-for-12 attempts from the field. McGrady went down with 3:39 left in the third quarter after taking a hit in the groin from Denver's Greg Buckner. He left the game, but returned to start the fourth quarter. "I got a little pain in my midsection," McGrady said. "It just knocked the breath out of me. It happened, move on. I don't think it was intentional. I don't think Buckner's a dirty guy." The Rockets' bench scored 31 of their 49 points in the first half and 56 for the game, with Scott Padgett chipping in 13. Houston tied a season high with 15 3-pointers in 24 attempts. Nobody meant more to Houston than Mutombo, who ended up with 13 points, 12 rebounds and three blocked shots. "When Dikembe is in the game and he is playing like that, defending and blocking shots and rebounding, I think it carries over to everybody else," McGrady said. "We feed off that energy." Mutombo seemed to revitalize his career in Houston, accepting the role as backup to Yao Ming. "I think it was the best decision, take that step back," Mutombo said. "Don't worry about your minutes. You want to finish your career on top." Houston, which won its fifth straight game, moved into a tie with Sacramento for fifth place in the Western Conference. The Rockets finish the season with home games against the Los Angeles Clippers and Seattle. The Nuggets, who likely will play powerful San Antonio in the first round after slipping to seventh in the West, conclude their season by visiting Phoenix and hosting Portland. "We haven't lost in a long time and maybe this is a wakeup call for us," said Denver forward Carmelo Anthony, who scored 16 points but made just 4-of-17 shots.


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