Final / OT

Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 11/24

Game 1: Sunday, November 24th
Game 2: Saturday, December 14th
Game 3: Wednesday, March 12th
Game 4: Monday, March 24th

Clippers 114

(20-44, 9-23 away)

Rockets 119


    Coverage: FSW

    7:30 PM ET, March 12, 2003

    1 2 3 4 OT T
    LAC 28 26 27 23 10114
    HOU 26 29 25 24 15119

    Top Performers

    Los Angeles: C. Maggette 29 Pts, 9 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Stl

    Houston: S. Francis 25 Pts, 6 Reb, 9 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

    Miller's lane violation proves costly for L.A.

    HOUSTON (AP) -- Andre Miller's tendency to cross the foul line before his free throws hit the rim cost him dearly Wednesday night.

     Andre Miller

    Miller was called for a lane violation after hitting a go-ahead free throw with one second left in regulation. The free throw was nullified, Miller missed the second attempt and the Los Angeles Clippers went on to lose 118-114 in overtime to the Houston Rockets.

    "It wasn't a violation, it's always Andre," said Clippers center Sean Rooks. "I guess he just has a habit of falling across the line. They've called it on him at least seven times."

    "It's obviously a habit of his they're paying attention to," Rooks added. "They (referees) line themselves up at the foul line and look for it."

    NBA referees have been told to crack down on the violation this season, and Miller has been one of their primary targets. Under league rules, a player cannot cross the foul line after shooting the ball until it reaches the rim.

    Miller has a habit of letting his momentum carry him into the lane too soon.

    "I'm not talking," Miller said as he hurriedly left the dressing room. "No comment."

    Teammate Cherokee Parks, who scored a season-high 18 points, was upset by the call.

    "I've never seen that. I don't know who makes up our rules. It's a technicality. With the game on the line, it's really frustrating," Parks said.

    Steve Francis and Glen Rice led Houston with 25 points each, Francis scoring six in overtime.

    "It isn't a miracle that it happened," Francis said. "Things happen like that where guys step on the line and the next time they're a little more nervous about the situation and he came up short on the (second) free throw."

    After a pair of baskets by Francis, the Rockets led 110-108. Francis then stole the ball from Lamar Odom and passed to a wide-open Rice for a breakaway slam to give Houston a four-point lead with 39 seconds left.

    The Rockets then sank six free throws, two each by Francis, Rice and Cuttino Mobley, to secure the victory.

    Mobley had 23, followed by Maurice Taylor with 18 and Yao Ming with 10.

    Corey Maggette led the Clippers with 29 points, while Miller had 22, Parks had 18 and Odom 17.

    With the Clippers leading 90-84, Houston went on a 12-2 run to move ahead to 96-92 with 4:22 left.

    Los Angeles then scored nine in a row to lead 101-96 with 42 seconds remaining. Houston tied the game 104-104 with 13 seconds left after 3-point shots by Rice and Francis.

    Maggette scored 15 first-period points as the Clippers led 28-26 going into the second quarter.

    Houston scored eight straight, five by Francis, to end the first half and take a 55-54 lead.

    Game notes
    Houston snapped a five-game losing streak to the Clippers. ... Houston is 18-4 when Yao gets three or more blocks in a game... The Clippers' bench has outscored their opponents' bench in 15 of their last 17 games... Maggette has led the Clippers in scoring for seven straight games.. Houston improved to 13-2 when Francis and Mobley each score 20 points.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 114 119
    FGM-FGA 42-81 (.519) 46-93 (.495)
    3PM-3PA 7-17 (.412) 11-32 (.344)
    FTM-FTA 23-30 (.767) 15-17 (.882)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 8-39 9-36
    Assists 25 23
    Turnovers 18 14
    Steals 10 7
    Blocks 4 8
    Fast Break Points 5 5
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 19 (2/0) 23 (3/0)

    Top Performers

    Los Angeles
    Corey Maggette Maggette
    Points: 29
    Reb: 9
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Steve Francis Francis
    Points: 25
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 9
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 1