FORWARDS: Almost a draw. Houston's Kevin Willis and Charles Barkley, who logged 27, minutes after replacing token starter Matt Bullard, combined for 30 points and 20 rebounds. Utah starters Karl Malone and Adam Keefe teamed for 28 points and 18 rebounds. The Rockets, however, get the edge for their defensive play in the first three periods.

Edge: Rockets

GUARDS: Clyde Drexler proved he isn't ready for the retirment home just yet. The 15-year veteran, who will become head coach at the University of Houston at season's end, scored a team-high 22 points and dished out six assists. Drexler, Matt Maloney and Brent Price combined to outplay John Stockton and Jeff Hornacek.

Edge: Rockets

CENTERS: Hakeem was a dream for the Rockets and a nightmare for the Jazz. Olajuwon dominated the middle with 16 points, 13 rebounds, six blocked shots and five assists in 37 minutes. Utah's three-headed monster of Greg Foster, Greg Ostertag and Antoine Carr teamed for just six rebounds.

Edge: Rockets

BENCHES: Barkley, Price and Mario Elie each came off the bench to score 12 points. Veteran Eddie Johnson added another five as the Rockets reserves outscored the Jazz 41-30. Utah's Antoine Carr had an effective night with nine points and three rebounds. Shandon Anderson pulled down five boards in 16 minutes.

Edge: Rockets

COACHING: As evidenced by the outcome, the Rockets had done their homework. In the words of Jazz coach Jerry Sloan: "They outcoached us, outplayed us, they did everything that was necessary to beat us." Little more could be said after a top seed falls at home to a No. 8. Just ask the 1994 Seattle SuperSonics.

Edge: Rockets