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Rockets Are Prevented From Having a Blast

Pro basketball: Seattle takes advantage of Houston's poor three-point shooting to win, 100-94, and pull within 3-2 in series.

May 14, 1997|From Associated Press

HOUSTON — The three-point shooting that brought the Houston Rockets within one game of the Western Conference finals failed them Tuesday night.

The Rockets made only five for 27 three-pointer shots and missed an opportunity to close out the series as Seattle got 23 points, including four three-point baskets, from Hersey Hawkins in a 100-94 victory.

Houston leads the series, 3-2, and can wrap it up Thursday night at Seattle. The Sonics are seeking to become the sixth team in NBA history to come back from a 3-1 deficit.

Gary Payton scored 21 points and Shawn Kemp added 20 for the Sonics.

Seattle outshot Houston 48% to 39% and withstood a 31-point, 16-rebound performance by Hakeem Olajuwon and a 26-point effort from Clyde Drexler.

Houston's best outside shooters, Mario Elie and Matt Maloney, were a combined one for 15 from the field. Maloney was 0 for six and Elie 0 for five on three-pointers.

The Rockets missed their first 10 three-point attempts, then shot four for five in the second quarter to get back in the game.

Seattle led, 57-52, at halftime, and Hawkins had five points in a 14-4 spurt in the third quarter that gave Seattle a 76-62 lead with 4:39 left in the period. Houston was cold again in the quarter, missing its first six three-point shots.

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