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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- DENVER 24 21 16 21 82 SAN ANTONIO 25 13 26 32 96 FINAL


Box Score

DENVER (82) AT SAN ANTONIO (96)

DENVER REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == ===

FORTSON F 35 8-18 0-0 6 2 8 1 3 0 4 16 L ELLIS F 38 6-12 2-2 0 7 7 3 2 2 0 15 D GARRETT C 22 2-5 0-0 0 5 5 2 3 1 0 4 GOLDWIRE G 37 5-7 2-2 0 3 3 2 0 1 1 14 ALEXANDER G 37 3-11 2-2 1 5 6 5 3 2 4 9 NEWMAN 32 3-7 6-9 0 2 2 0 0 0 1 13 JACKSON 16 0-3 1-2 0 2 2 1 1 2 3 1 BATTIE 14 2-7 1-2 1 5 6 0 3 0 3 5 STITH 5 1-2 0-0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 2 WASHINGTON 2 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 H ELLIS 2 1-2 1-1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 LAUDERDALE DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 31-74 15-20 8 31 39 15 17 8 16 82 (.419) (.750) TEAM REBS: 7 TOTAL TO: 16(16 PTS)

SAN ANTONIO REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == ===

DUNCAN F 33 12-16 1-2 2 5 7 4 2 0 1 25 ROBINSON F 12 3-7 3-3 2 2 4 0 1 1 1 9 W PERDUE C 34 5-7 2-2 5 12 17 4 3 0 1 12 JACKSON G 27 5-10 0-0 0 2 2 1 2 2 1 13 JOHNSON G 18 1-3 1-4 0 1 1 7 2 1 1 3 DEL NEGRO 25 2-6 0-0 0 2 2 4 1 1 0 4 GEARY 31 2-6 2-7 1 3 4 1 2 0 3 7 C PERSON 19 1-3 0-0 0 2 2 1 2 1 1 2 HERRERA 9 0-5 0-0 1 1 2 1 0 0 0 0 M WILLIAMS 17 2-7 6-8 0 1 1 3 1 0 0 10 ROSE 13 5-6 1-2 0 2 2 3 2 1 0 11 LOHAUS 2 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0

TOTALS 240 38-76 16-28 11 34 45 29 18 7 9 96 (.500) (.571) TEAM REBS: 7 TOTAL TO: 10(11 PTS)

DENVER 24 21 16 21 - 82 SAN ANTONIO 25 13 26 32 - 96

BLOCKED SHOTS: DENVER - BATTIE 2, D GARRETT 2. SAN ANTONIO - JOHNSON 2, W PERDUE 2, ROSE. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: DENVER 5-15 (.333), FORTSON 0-1, L ELLIS 1-4, GOLDWIRE 2-2, ALEXANDER 1-5, NEWMAN 1-2, JACKSON 0-1. SAN ANTONIO 4-10 (.400), JACKSON 3-7, GEARY 1-2, C PERSON 0-1. TECHNICALS: SAN ANTONIO - ILLEGAL DEFENSE. OFFICIALS: RONNIE NUNN, KEVIN FEHR, SEAN CORBIN. A - 18,912. T - 2:00.


Agate Box Score

DENVER (82) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Fortson 35 8-18 0-0 6-8 1 3 16 L Ellis 38 6-12 2-2 0-7 3 2 15 D Garrett 22 2-5 0-0 0-5 2 3 4 Goldwire 37 5-7 2-2 0-3 2 0 14 Alexander 37 3-11 2-2 1-6 5 3 9 Newman 32 3-7 6-9 0-2 0 0 13 Jackson 16 0-3 1-2 0-2 1 1 1 Battie 14 2-7 1-2 1-6 0 3 5 Stith 5 1-2 0-0 0-0 1 1 2 Washington 2 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 0 H Ellis 2 1-2 1-1 0-0 0 0 3 Lauderdale DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 31-74 15-20 8-39 15 17 82 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.419, FT-.750. 3-Point Goals: 5-15, .333 (Fortson 0-1, L Ellis 1-4, Goldwire 2-2, Alexander 1-5, Newman 1-2, Jackson 0-1). Team rebounds: 7. Blocked shots: 4 (Battie 2, D Garrett 2). Turnovers: 16 (Alexander 4, Fortson 4, Battie 3, Jackson 3, Goldwire, Newman). Steals: 8 (Alexander 2, Jackson 2, L Ellis 2, D Garrett, Goldwire).

SAN ANTONIO (96) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Duncan 33 12-16 1-2 2-7 4 2 25 Robinson 12 3-7 3-3 2-4 0 1 9 W Perdue 34 5-7 2-2 5-17 4 3 12 Jackson 27 5-10 0-0 0-2 1 2 13 Johnson 18 1-3 1-4 0-1 7 2 3 Del Negro 25 2-6 0-0 0-2 4 1 4 Geary 31 2-6 2-7 1-4 1 2 7 C Person 19 1-3 0-0 0-2 1 2 2 Herrera 9 0-5 0-0 1-2 1 0 0 M Williams 17 2-7 6-8 0-1 3 1 10 Rose 13 5-6 1-2 0-2 3 2 11 Lohaus 2 0-0 0-0 0-1 0 0 0 _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 38-76 16-28 11-45 29 18 96 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.500, FT-.571. 3-Point Goals: 4-10, .400 (Jackson 3-7, Geary 1-2, C Person 0-1). Team rebounds: 7. Blocked shots: 5 (Johnson 2, W Perdue 2, Rose). Turnovers: 10 (Geary 3, C Person, Duncan, Jackson, Johnson, Robinson, W Perdue). Steals: 7 (Jackson 2, C Person, Del Negro, Johnson, Robinson, Rose). ____________________________________________ Denver 24 21 16 21 - 82 San Antonio 25 13 26 32 - 96 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: San Antonio 1 (Illegal Defense, 5:39 4th). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 18,912. T: 2:00. Officials: Ronnie Nunn, Kevin Fehr, Sean Corbin.


Game Recap

Tim Duncan scored 15 of his 25 points in the second half as the San Antonio Spurs bettered their own NBA mark for a single-season turnaround, recording a 96-82 victory over the woeful Denver Nuggets in their season finale.

Jaren Jackson added 13 points for the Spurs, who finished 56-26, a 36-game improvement from last season. San Antonio, which finished fifth in the Western Conference and will play Phoenix in the first round of the playoffs, went 20-62 last season as center David Robinson missed most of the campaign with back and foot problems.

But that miserable season -- which marked the worst turnaround in NBA annals -- ended with San Antonio winning the lottery for the NBA draft. The Spurs took Duncan, who emerged as one of the best players in the league in his rookie season.

Robinson, who helped the Spurs to a 35-game improvment in his rookie season in 1989-90, teamed with Duncan to better the mark by one game.

"This team has come a long way," said Robinson. "We have confidence in one another. We feel good defensively that we can make stops. I'm excited about how far we've come and I'm excited to get going in the playoffs and have some fun."

"I don't remember, did we even play last year," asked Spurs guard Vinny Del Negro when asked about the difference between last season and this one. "The difference between last year and this year is like night and day. We're playing good basketball now."

Danny Fortson scored 18 points and LaPhonso Ellis added 15 for the Nuggets, who endured a miserable 11-71 campaign. The Nuggets became just the fourth team in NBA history to suffer a 70-loss season, joining the 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers (73), 1992-93 Dallas Mavericks (71) and 1986-87 Los Angeles Clippers (70).

"It feels good to be done with it," said Ellis. "It was a long, brutal year. A tough season like that, who would want to keep going through that?"

"I'd like to commend the effort we got in the last 20 games or so," said Nuggets coach Bill Hanzlik, who set an NBA record for worst first-year record by a coach. "We played a lot of close games against tough teams when other teams in this league had already packed it in. We never did that."

San Antonio won all four games between the teams this season and the last five between the teams dating back to last season.

Denver led by as many as 13 points and still held a 55-45 lead with 8:22 to play in the third quarter. But Duncan keyed a 9-0 burst with six points to pull the Spurs within 55-54 with 2:49 left. After a basket by Johnny Newman pushed the lead to three, Jackson tied the game with a three-pointer and Duncan had a three-point play to give San Antonio a 60-57 lead.

Newman made a free throw, but Reggie Geary made two to give the Spurs a 62-58 lead. San Antonio then put away the game in the fourth quarter. After a basket by Tony Battie pulled Denver within 69-63 with 10:04 to go, Malik Rose and Will Perdue had baskets to create a 10-point cushion.

Chuck Person followed with a basket, and Rose added one of his own before Jackson capped an 11-0 run with a three-pointer, giving the Spurs an 80-63 lead with just under six minutes to play.

Perdue finished with 12 points and 17 rebounds for San Antonio, which shot 50 percent from the floor and held a 45-39 rebounding advantage. Rose came off the bench to add 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting. Robinson, playing just his second game after missing three due to a concussion, played only 12 minutes and had nine points and four rebounds.

"Obviously, we looked like we were on another planet during the first half, but they knew they had a job to do and we didn't want to lose momentum," said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. "In the second half, we played great. We don't need to improve, we just need to get healthy and get them playing together."

Goldwire had 14 points and Newman 13 for Denver, which shot 42 percent (31-of-74) from the field. The Nuggets were held to 90 points or less for the 52nd time this season and were 1-51 in such games, including an 0-31 mark when held under 85.

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