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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- ATLANTA 33 21 27 19 100 DENVER 32 22 31 30 115 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: ATL - ISAIAH RIDER 28, JIMMY JACKSON 16, TWO PLAYERS WITH 13 DEN - RAEF LAFRENTZ 24, NICK VAN EXEL 23, RON MERCER 19

HIGH REBOUND: ATL - DIKEMBE MUTOMBO 13, ALAN HENDERSON 11 DEN - KEON CLARK 11, RYAN BOWEN 11

HIGH ASSISTS: ATL - BIMBO COLES 8, JIMMY JACKSON 6 DEN - NICK VAN EXEL 20, GEORGE MCCLOUD 3

ATT: 9,108


Extended Box

ATLANTA (100) AT DENVER (115)

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

HENDERSON F 37 4-10 5-8 6 5 11 2 0 0 0 13 RIDER F 42 10-17 8-10 0 1 1 2 3 0 2 28 MUTOMBO C 38 5-9 3-5 5 8 13 1 3 0 4 13 COLES G 25 5-11 1-1 0 0 0 8 3 1 1 11 JACKSON G 40 8-20 0-0 1 5 6 6 2 0 0 16 WRIGHT 9 0-0 1-2 0 4 4 0 6 0 1 1 MCLEOD 13 0-2 2-2 0 3 3 0 2 0 1 2 TERRY 23 6-10 0-0 1 0 1 2 1 1 2 12 CRAWFORD 13 1-3 2-2 0 0 0 0 2 0 1 4 BOWDLER DNP - COACH'S DECISION GLOVER DNP - COACH'S DECISION JOHNSON DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 39-82 22-30 13 26 39 21 22 2 12 100 (.476) (.733) TEAM REBS: 10 TOTAL TO: 12(19 PTS)

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

MCCLOUD F 24 3-9 0-0 2 4 6 3 1 0 0 7 MCDYESS F 24 6-12 4-6 1 3 4 1 5 0 1 16 LAFRENTZ C 38 10-18 2-2 3 3 6 2 2 0 0 24 MERCER G 36 8-19 2-2 1 0 1 0 5 1 2 19 VAN EXEL G 43 8-18 5-6 0 4 4 20 1 2 3 23 BOWEN 25 2-5 3-3 8 3 11 1 3 1 1 7 POSEY 14 4-5 3-5 1 2 3 0 2 0 0 11 CLARK 24 4-7 0-0 4 7 11 0 3 0 0 8 ROGERS 7 0-2 0-0 1 1 2 0 0 1 0 0 ALEXANDER 5 0-1 0-0 1 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 STITH DNP - COACH'S DECISION TAYLOR DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 45-96 19-24 22 27 49 28 23 6 7 115 (.469) (.792) TEAM REBS: 9 TOTAL TO: 7(8 PTS)

ATLANTA 33 21 27 19 - 100 DENVER 32 22 31 30 - 115

BLOCKED SHOTS: ATLANTA - MUTOMBO 5, WRIGHT. DENVER - LAFRENTZ 5, MCDYESS 4, CLARK 2, POSEY, ROGERS, MERCER, BOWEN. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: ATLANTA 0-7 (.000), RIDER 0-4, JACKSON 0-2, TERRY 0-1. DENVER 6-19 (.316), MCCLOUD 1-5, LAFRENTZ 2-2, MERCER 1-3, VAN EXEL 2-8, POSEY 0-1. TECHNICALS: ATLANTA - JACKSON, DENVER - ILLEGAL DEFENSE, MERCER. OFFICIALS: LUIS GRILLO, LEON WOOD, RASHAN MICHEL. A - 9,108. T - 2:09.


Box Score

ATLANTA (100) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Henderson 37 4-10 5-8 6-11 2 0 13 Rider 42 10-17 8-10 0-1 2 3 28 Mutombo 38 5-9 3-5 5-13 1 3 13 Coles 25 5-11 1-1 0-0 8 3 11 Jackson 40 8-20 0-0 1-6 6 2 16 Wright 9 0-0 1-2 0-4 0 6 1 Mcleod 13 0-2 2-2 0-3 0 2 2 Terry 23 6-10 0-0 1-1 2 1 12 Crawford 13 1-3 2-2 0-0 0 2 4 Bowdler DNP - coach's decision Glover DNP - coach's decision Johnson DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 39-82 22-30 13-39 21 22 100 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.476, FT-.733. 3-Point Goals: 0-7, .000 (Rider 0-4, Jackson 0-2, Terry 0-1). Team rebounds: 10. Blocked shots: 6 (Mutombo 5, Wright). Turnovers: 12 (Mutombo 4, Rider 2, Terry 2, Coles, Crawford, Mcleod, Wright). Steals: 2 (Coles, Terry).

DENVER (115) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Mccloud 24 3-9 0-0 2-6 3 1 7 Mcdyess 24 6-12 4-6 1-4 1 5 16 Lafrentz 38 10-18 2-2 3-6 2 2 24 Mercer 36 8-19 2-2 1-1 0 5 19 Van Exel 43 8-18 5-6 0-4 20 1 23 Bowen 25 2-5 3-3 8-11 1 3 7 Posey 14 4-5 3-5 1-3 0 2 11 Clark 24 4-7 0-0 4-11 0 3 8 Rogers 7 0-2 0-0 1-2 0 0 0 Alexander 5 0-1 0-0 1-1 1 1 0 Stith DNP - coach's decision Taylor DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 45-96 19-24 22-49 28 23 115 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.469, FT-.792. 3-Point Goals: 6-19, .316 (Mccloud 1-5, Lafrentz 2-2, Mercer 1-3, Van Exel 2-8, Posey 0-1). Team rebounds: 9. Blocked shots: 15 (Lafrentz 5, Mcdyess 4, Clark 2, Posey, Rogers, Mercer, Bowen). Turnovers: 7 (Van Exel 3, Mercer 2, Bowen, Mcdyess). Steals: 6 (Van Exel 2, Alexander, Bowen, Mercer, Rogers). ____________________________________________ Atlanta 33 21 27 19 - 100 Denver 32 22 31 30 - 115 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: Atlanta 1 (Jackson, 0:44 3rd). Denver 2 (Illegal Defense, 10:31 3rd; Mercer, 0:44 3rd). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 9,108. T: 2:09. Officials: Luis Grillo, Leon Wood, Rashan Michel.


Game Story

DENVER (Ticker) -- Raef LaFrentz scored a career-high 24 points and Nick Van Exel added 23 and a league season-high 20 assists to lead the Denver Nuggets to a 115-100 victory over the Atlanta Hawks.

LaFrentz made 10-of-18 shots from the floor and also grabbed six rebounds as the Nuggets defeated the Hawks for the first time since February 2, 1997. The 6-11 LaFrentz, who was limited by an injury to 12 games in his rookie season, also scored 24 points in a loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on February 10.

"Tonight was just the night where I was aggressive," LaFrentz said. "Teams know I can shoot so they rotate it over to me. I had to pump-fake and go to the hoop."

Van Exel fell three assists short of his personal best, which occurred when he was with the Lakers in a victory over Vancouver on January 7, 1997.

"I thought Nick played great," Denver coach Dan Issel said. "It's been a long time since someone had 20 assists in a Nuggets uniform."

The Nuggets are 2-0 at home for the first time since winning their first nine in Denver in 1989.

Rookie Ryan Bowen and Keon Clark each came off the bench to grab a career-high 11 rebounds for Denver, which held a 49-39 advantage on the boards.

Isaiah Rider scored a season-high 28 points and Jimmy Jackson added 16 for Atlanta, which fell to 7-19 all-time in Denver. Dikembe Mutombo, who played five seasons for Denver before signing as a free agent with Atlanta in 1996, had 13 points and 13 rebounds.

"We were one step behind defensively," Mutombo said. "We allowed Van Exel to penetrate and dish to guys. Our rotation was very poor. Hopefully we learned something from this game. We have a chance to be a decent team but we have to prove it. I don't want to wait for chemistry, I just want to win."

Rider made 10-of-17 shots but was 0-for-4 from 3-point range. Atlanta missed all seven of its shots from behind the arc while Denver shot 6-of-19.

"I was 6-for-6 in the first period and didn't see the ball in the second period. I'm not negative, I'm upbeat but we have to define who our scorers are," Rider said. "Maybe it's just early in the season."

Ron Mercer scored 19 points, including a 3-pointer 19 seconds into the third quarter to give the Nuggets the lead for good, 57-54. After Rider made a basket, George McCloud -- the only player on Denver's roster who was active in 1989 -- hit a 3-pointer to give the Nuggets a 60-56 lead.

Atlanta closed within 60-59 when Mutombo made a layup with 9:57 left. But the Nuggets responded with a 9-2 spurt, capped by Mercer's 19-footer from the left sideline with 7:47 remaining.

Alan Henderson, who had 13 points and 11 rebounds, had a dunk that cut Denver's lead to 80-77 with 2:02 to go in the period. The Nuggets were ahead, 85-81, after rookie James Posey made two free throws with seven seconds to go.

The lead did not fall below four points in the fourth quarter and grew as big as 115-98 when Bowen dunked with 18 seconds to play.

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