Rockets 109, Nuggets 105, OT
DENVER (AP) _ Kenny Thomas scored five of his season-high 18 points in overtime and Steve Francis and Cuttino Mobley had 22 points each as the Houston Rockets ended the Denver Nuggets’ five-game home winning streak with a 109-105 victory Thursday night.
Francis also had six assists and seven rebounds. Hakeem Olajuwon scored only nine points but had a basket and two steals in overtime as the Rockets outscored the Nuggets 11-7.
The effort offset the season-high 40-point, 20-rebound performance of Denver’s Antonio McDyess. Raef LaFrentz had 16 points and Nick Van Exel added 15 points and seven rebounds.
Olajuwon’s layup 49 seconds into overtime put the Rockets ahead 100-98 and were the only points until LaFrentz hit one free throw with 2:28 left. After Olajuwon’s steal set up a 3-pointer by Thomas, McDyess hit one free throw to cut Houston’s lead to 103-99.
Mobley’s reverse layup and two free throws by Thomas increased the Houston lead to 107-100.
Mobley made two layups to cut the Rockets’ deficit to 94-93, and after Van Exel’s gliding layup made it 96-93, Mobley sank two free throws with 1:32 left to get the Rockets to 96-95.
James Posey missed badly from the corner with 25 seconds left and Francis penetrated and found Olajuwon alone on the right wing for a 10-foot jumper. McDyess’ dunk off a feed from George McCloud with 7.4 seconds left put the Nuggets back ahead, 98-97 and Francis managed to make only one of two free throws with 3.2 seconds left to tie it and send the game into overtime.
Notes Maurice Taylor reached 1,000 career rebounds. ... Van Exel and coach Dan Issel drew technicals with 3:23 left in the first quarter disputing a non-call on Van Exel’s airball. ... Denver was 17-for-18 from the free throw line in the third quarter.