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COURTSIDE SEATS? YES, $1,200 PLEASE

SHARE COURTSIDE SEATS? YES, $1,200 PLEASE

For only $1,200, courtside seats are still available for Game 1 of the NBA finals Wednesday between the Houston Rockets and New York Knicks. If that's too steep, a midcourt ticket at The Summit can be purchased for $750, and the higher-up seats are only $100.

All a basketball fan needs to know is where to find the nearest ticket scalper.Although all four of the possible championship games at Houston are officially sold out, agencies in Houston are holding hundreds of tickets in the 16,611-seat arena.

The practice of gouging fans isn't illegal in Texas, angering consumers and Rockets management.

Scalping has boomed in Texas since the Legislature repealed laws barring the practice in 1974. Twenty-nine ticket agencies are listed in the Houston telephone book, more than double the number listed a decade ago.

Some scalpers have been less than honest about seat locations,and credit card bills sometimes turn up higher agreed-to price. Rockets officials say scalpers cause them several problems. Mostly, they can't be assured The Summit will be filled.