Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Hakeem's Dream Complete Olajuwon Fuels Rockets' Sweep to 2nd Crown

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Hakeem's Dream Complete Olajuwon Fuels Rockets' Sweep to 2nd Crown

Article excerpt

No more talk of one-title wonders. The no-respect Rockets must now be included in that elite group of back-to-back National Basketball Association champions.

With 35 points and 15 rebounds from its elite player, Hakeem Olajuwon, Houston completed the most unlikely of championship repeats, sweeping the Orlando Magic with a 113-101 victory Wednesday night.

Clamping down on defense, the Rockets pulled away in the final period from the Magic, whose youth and inexperience overshadowed their considerable talent in this series.

Olajuwon capped off the night with a 3-pointer - another unlikely occurrence - with 11.5 seconds left.

When the buzzer sounded Houston joined such consecutive title winners as the Bulls, the Lakers, the Pistons and the Celtics.

Those teams had Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Isiah Thomas and Larry Bird. The Rockets have Olajuwon, who topped 30 points in each game of the series and in 16 of his 22 playoff games.

Unlike last year, Olajuwon shared this championship with his college teammate and the city's hometown hero, Clyde Drexler, who after 12 seasons in the NBA savored his first taste of a title.

Drexler, who missed winning the 1983 NCAA championship with Olajuwon at the University of Houston and made two unsuccessful trips to the NBA Finals with Portland, had 15 points, nine rebounds and eight assists for the Rockets after returning to his hometown in a Feb. …

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