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NBA   FINAL            1ST  2ND  3RD  4TH   TOTAL
                       ---  ---  ---  ---   -----
      SEATTLE          24   14   19   21    78   
      HOUSTON          28   28   34   16    106     FINAL

HIGH SCORERS:   SEA - RONALD MURRAY 22, VITALY POTAPENKO 13, 
                      ROBERT SWIFT 10
                HOU - MIKE JAMES 24, BOB SURA 18, JON BARRY 14

HIGH REBOUND:   SEA - NICK COLLISON 9, DAMIEN WILKINS 7, THREE
                      PLAYERS WITH 3
                HOU - RYAN BOWEN 7, THREE PLAYERS WITH 6

HIGH ASSISTS:   SEA - LUKE RIDNOUR 8, RONALD MURRAY 4, DAMIEN 
                      WILKINS 2
                HOU - DAVID WESLEY 4, JON BARRY 4, BOB SURA 3

         ATT:   18,194

Box Score

SEATTLE (78) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp R Evans 24 0-2 0-0 0-3 0 2 0 R Murray 41 10-25 0-0 0-2 4 1 22 J James 13 1-2 0-0 0-2 0 5 2 D Wilkins 44 4-10 1-2 3-7 2 3 9 L Ridnour 24 3-6 2-2 1-2 8 1 8 V Potapenko 18 4-6 5-7 0-2 1 4 13 M Cleaves 31 3-8 2-2 1-3 0 0 8 N Collison 28 2-9 2-2 4-9 1 1 6 R Swift 17 4-4 2-3 1-3 0 3 10 R Allen DNP - SPRAINED RIGHT ANKLE D Fortson DNP - COACH'S DECISION R Lewis DNP - TENDINITIS LEFT KNEE _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 31-72 14-18 10-33 16 20 78 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.431, FT-.778. 3-Point Goals: 2-18, .111 (R Murray 2-10, D Wilkins 0-5, L Ridnour 0-1, M Cleaves 0-2). Team Rebounds: 6. Blocked Shots:5 (R Swift 4, J James). Turnovers:11 (R Murray 3, D Wilkins 2, V Potapenko, J James, M Cleaves, L Ridnour, N Collison, R Evans). Steals: 3 (J James, M Cleaves, L Ridnour). HOUSTON (106) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp R Bowen 39 3-8 4-5 1-7 2 3 10 C Weatherspoon 15 1-2 0-0 0-1 0 1 2 Y Ming 23 3-7 7-10 1-6 1 2 13 B Sura 27 6-8 6-8 0-6 3 1 18 D Wesley 23 3-7 3-3 0-1 4 0 12 J Barry 17 5-6 2-2 0-0 4 4 14 S Padgett 28 3-6 0-0 1-5 2 2 8 D Mutombo 25 0-3 1-1 1-4 0 2 1 M James 22 10-13 0-0 0-1 2 0 24 T Braggs 12 1-3 0-0 3-6 0 3 2 M Norris 9 1-4 0-0 0-0 1 0 2 T McGrady DNP - BACK SPASMS _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 36-67 23-29 7-37 19 18 106 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.537, FT-.793. 3-Point Goals: 11-16, .688 (D Wesley 3-5, J Barry 2-2, S Padgett 2-4, M James 4-5). Team Rebounds: 6. Blocked Shots:4 (D Mutombo 3, Y Ming). Turnovers:8 (J Barry 2, Y Ming 2, D Mutombo, M Norris, M James, T Braggs). Steals: 7 (B Sura 4, D Wesley, S Padgett, R Bowen). ------------------------------------------- SEATTLE 24 14 19 21 - 78 HOUSTON 28 28 34 16 - 106 ------------------------------------------- Technical fouls: Seattle - 3 (COACH McMillan, 7:48 1st; R Evans, 2:39 3rd; J James 2 (ejected), 7:13 3rd). Houston - 1 (J Barry, 2:39 3rd). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 18,194. T: 2:05. Officials: Bennie Adams, David Jones, Steve Javie.


Extended Box

SEATTLE (78) AT HOUSTON (106) SEATTLE REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === R EVANS F 24 0-2 0-0 0 3 3 0 2 0 1 0 R MURRAY F 41 10-25 0-0 0 2 2 4 1 0 3 22 J JAMES C 13 1-2 0-0 0 2 2 0 5 1 1 2 D WILKINS G 44 4-10 1-2 3 4 7 2 3 0 2 9 L RIDNOUR G 24 3-6 2-2 1 1 2 8 1 1 1 8 V POTAPENKO 18 4-6 5-7 0 2 2 1 4 0 1 13 M CLEAVES 31 3-8 2-2 1 2 3 0 0 1 1 8 N COLLISON 28 2-9 2-2 4 5 9 1 1 0 1 6 R SWIFT 17 4-4 2-3 1 2 3 0 3 0 0 10 R ALLEN DNP - SPRAINED RIGHT ANKLE D FORTSON DNP - COACH'S DECISION R LEWIS DNP - TENDINITIS LEFT KNEE TOTALS 240 31-72 14-18 10 23 33 16 20 3 11 78 (.431) (.778) TEAM REBS: 6 TOTAL TO: 13 (14 PTS) HOUSTON REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === R BOWEN F 39 3-8 4-5 1 6 7 2 3 1 0 10 C WEATHERSPOON F 15 1-2 0-0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 2 Y MING C 23 3-7 7-10 1 5 6 1 2 0 2 13 B SURA G 27 6-8 6-8 0 6 6 3 1 4 0 18 D WESLEY G 23 3-7 3-3 0 1 1 4 0 1 0 12 J BARRY 17 5-6 2-2 0 0 0 4 4 0 2 14 S PADGETT 28 3-6 0-0 1 4 5 2 2 1 0 8 D MUTOMBO 25 0-3 1-1 1 3 4 0 2 0 1 1 M JAMES 22 10-13 0-0 0 1 1 2 0 0 1 24 T BRAGGS 12 1-3 0-0 3 3 6 0 3 0 1 2 M NORRIS 9 1-4 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 2 T MCGRADY DNP - BACK SPASMS TOTALS 240 36-67 23-29 7 30 37 19 18 7 8 106 (.537) (.793) TEAM REBS: 6 TOTAL TO: 10 (6 PTS) SEATTLE 24 14 19 21 - 78 HOUSTON 28 28 34 16 - 106 BLOCKED SHOTS: SEATTLE - R SWIFT 4, J JAMES. HOUSTON - D MUTOMBO 3, Y MING. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: SEATTLE 2-18 (.111), R MURRAY 2-10, D WILKINS 0- 5, L RIDNOUR 0-1, M CLEAVES 0-2. HOUSTON 11-16 (.688), D WESLEY 3- 5, J BARRY 2-2, S PADGETT 2-4, M JAMES 4-5. TECHNICAL FOULS: SEATTLE - COACH MCMILLAN, R EVANS, J JAMES 2 (EJECTED). HOUSTON - J BARRY. FLAGRANT FOULS: NONE. OFFICIALS: BENNIE ADAMS, DAVID JONES, STEVE JAVIE. A - 18,194. T - 2:05.


Game Story

HOUSTON (Ticker) -- The Houston Rockets can feel good about their play heading into the playoffs. The same cannot be said of the Seattle SuperSonics. With Tracy McGrady resting his tender back, Mike James scored 24 points to lead the Rockets to a seventh straight victory, a 106-78 triumph over the slumping SuperSonics, who were resting All-Stars Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis. Bob Sura added 18 points for the Rockets (51-31), who will face fourth seed and intrastate rival Dallas in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs. Houston went 45-37 last campaign before losing to the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round. "I wish we'd seen them with those guys (Allen and Lewis), because when they have them, they play a lot like Dallas," said Rockets guard Jon Barry, who scored 14 points. "Dallas is a tough team. They're (16-2) since Avery Johnson took over. We'll be the underdog, but if this team plays to its capabilities, I like our chances. I don't care who we're playing." "Dallas is as good a pick-and-roll team as anybody in the league," Houston coach Jeff Van Gundy said. "I think we've regressed a little bit in that area. But we've done some better things on the offensive end at times. We're not an athletic team, so we're going to have to be committed to blocking out and getting rebounds." Yao Ming scored all of his 13 points and James added 11 in the first half to help Houston take a 56-38 cushion into the break. The Rockets, who held just a four-point lead after one quarter, pushed their advantage to 90-57 heading into the final period. "Houston looked good," Seattle coach Nate McMillan said. "When they picked up Mike (James), coach Van Gundy got what he wanted - a guy that could shoot the ball and the defender he wanted. He has 3-point range and is the X factor that makes them a dangerous team." The Rockets should be much more potent for Game One at Dallas on Saturday as McGrady is expected to be in the lineup. "He'll be ready," Barry said. "I'll be over at his house massaging him if I have to." The emergence of James' offense is a positive sign for the Rockets heading into Saturday's game. "I've been working hard, and hard works pays off," said James, who made 10-of-13 shots from the floor. "I've been in the gym every day putting up extra shots. I feel good." Ronald Murray scored 22 points to pace the SuperSonics, who absorbed their 10th loss in their final 14 games. Still, Seattle went 52-30 - a 15-win improvement from last season - and won the inaugural Northwest Division title to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2002. The third-seeded SuperSonics face sixth seed Sacramento in the first round. "I'm excited and proud of what our team has accomplished. We had a very good season, played well and won 52 games and our division title," McMillan said. "I don't think anyone expected us to do that. "We want to have fun and be loose and enjoy the playoffs. I think we're going to be OK with three more days off to get ready." Murray says the Sonics' less-than-stellar finish to the regular season is of little concern. "The regular season is over, and we are coming on to the big show," Murray said. "Nothing else matters but this weekend. I think we match up pretty well with Sacramento. They push the ball and run the floor a lot like we do. It will be a very good series."


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