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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- PORTLAND 22 24 19 23 88 DENVER 21 23 29 24 97 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: POR - DAMON STOUDAMIRE 19, RASHEED WALLACE 14, DETLEF SCHREMPF 11 DEN - RON MERCER 22, ANTONIO MCDYESS 20, RAEF LAFRENTZ 16

HIGH REBOUND: POR - RASHEED WALLACE 10, TWO PLAYERS WITH 7 DEN - RON MERCER 7, NICK VAN EXEL 7

HIGH ASSISTS: POR - DAMON STOUDAMIRE 5, SCOTTIE PIPPEN 4 DEN - NICK VAN EXEL 13, RON MERCER 4

ATT: 15,708


Extended Box

PORTLAND (88) AT DENVER (97)

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

PIPPEN F 33 4-12 1-1 4 3 7 4 4 1 4 10 SCHREMPF F 28 4-8 2-4 1 1 2 3 4 0 3 11 WALLACE C 33 6-12 2-3 3 7 10 1 5 0 1 14 SMITH G 33 4-11 0-0 2 4 6 3 4 1 3 9 STOUDAMIRE G 30 7-15 1-1 2 3 5 5 0 0 3 19 B GRANT 25 4-8 2-2 2 3 5 1 6 1 1 10 AUGMON 20 1-4 4-4 1 1 2 3 2 0 2 6 ONEAL 7 0-1 0-0 0 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 ANTHONY 18 2-7 1-2 0 1 1 2 1 1 0 5 SABONIS 13 2-7 0-0 3 4 7 0 1 0 1 4 WELLS DNP - COACH'S DECISION HARVEY DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 34-85 13-17 18 29 47 22 27 4 18 88 (.400) (.765) TEAM REBS: 9 TOTAL TO: 18(24 PTS)

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

MCDYESS F 36 8-15 4-6 1 3 4 1 4 2 3 20 POSEY F 24 1-6 0-0 3 1 4 1 4 2 0 2 LAFRENTZ C 38 7-18 2-2 1 5 6 1 2 0 1 16 MERCER G 44 11-21 0-1 2 5 7 4 0 2 2 22 VAN EXEL G 43 4-9 3-3 0 7 7 13 2 0 2 12 STITH 19 4-6 3-4 1 2 3 2 1 0 1 12 C HERREN 6 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 CLARK 14 2-4 2-2 2 1 3 1 3 2 2 6 BOWEN 9 1-1 1-2 2 0 2 1 0 0 0 3 ROGERS 7 2-2 0-0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 4 ALEXANDER DNP - COACH'S DECISION MCCLOUD DNP - SPRAINED RIGHT ANKLE

TOTALS 240 40-82 15-20 12 25 37 24 18 8 11 97 (.488) (.750) TEAM REBS: 9 TOTAL TO: 12(15 PTS)

PORTLAND 22 24 19 23 - 88 DENVER 21 23 29 24 - 97

BLOCKED SHOTS: PORTLAND - WALLACE 5, B GRANT 3, SMITH, SCHREMPF, ONEAL, SABONIS. DENVER - MCDYESS 3, LAFRENTZ 2, CLARK, MERCER, BOWEN, ROGERS. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: PORTLAND 7-21 (.333), PIPPEN 1-5, SCHREMPF 1-1, SMITH 1-4, STOUDAMIRE 4-8, ANTHONY 0-3. DENVER 2-10 (.200), POSEY 0-3, LAFRENTZ 0-3, VAN EXEL 1-2, STITH 1-2. TECHNICALS: PORTLAND - WALLACE, B GRANT. OFFICIALS: JESS KERSEY, SCOTT FOSTER, BENNIE ADAMS. A - 15,708. T - 2:08.


Box Score

PORTLAND (88) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Pippen 33 4-12 1-1 4-7 4 4 10 Schrempf 28 4-8 2-4 1-2 3 4 11 Wallace 33 6-12 2-3 3-10 1 5 14 Smith 33 4-11 0-0 2-6 3 4 9 Stoudamire 30 7-15 1-1 2-5 5 0 19 B Grant 25 4-8 2-2 2-5 1 6 10 Augmon 20 1-4 4-4 1-2 3 2 6 Oneal 7 0-1 0-0 0-2 0 0 0 Anthony 18 2-7 1-2 0-1 2 1 5 Sabonis 13 2-7 0-0 3-7 0 1 4 Wells DNP - coach's decision Harvey DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 34-85 13-17 18-47 22 27 88 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.400, FT-.765. 3-Point Goals: 7-21, .333 (Pippen 1-5, Schrempf 1-1, Smith 1-4, Stoudamire 4-8, Anthony 0-3). Team rebounds: 9. Blocked shots: 12 (Wallace 5, B Grant 3, Smith, Schrempf, Oneal, Sabonis). Turnovers: 18 (Pippen 4, Schrempf 3, Smith 3, Stoudamire 3, Augmon 2, B Grant, Sabonis, Wallace). Steals: 4 (Anthony, B Grant, Pippen, Smith).

DENVER (97) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Mcdyess 36 8-15 4-6 1-4 1 4 20 Posey 24 1-6 0-0 3-4 1 4 2 Lafrentz 38 7-18 2-2 1-6 1 2 16 Mercer 44 11-21 0-1 2-7 4 0 22 Van Exel 43 4-9 3-3 0-7 13 2 12 Stith 19 4-6 3-4 1-3 2 1 12 C Herren 6 0-0 0-0 0-1 0 1 0 Clark 14 2-4 2-2 2-3 1 3 6 Bowen 9 1-1 1-2 2-2 1 0 3 Rogers 7 2-2 0-0 0-0 0 1 4 Alexander DNP - coach's decision Mccloud DNP - sprained right ankle _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 40-82 15-20 12-37 24 18 97 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.488, FT-.750. 3-Point Goals: 2-10, .200 (Posey 0-3, Lafrentz 0-3, Van Exel 1-2, Stith 1-2). Team rebounds: 9. Blocked shots: 9 (Mcdyess 3, Lafrentz 2, Clark, Mercer, Bowen, Rogers). Turnovers: 12 (Mcdyess 3, Clark 2, Mercer 2, Van Exel 2, Lafrentz, Stith). Steals: 8 (Clark 2, Mcdyess 2, Mercer 2, Posey 2). ____________________________________________ Portland 22 24 19 23 - 88 Denver 21 23 29 24 - 97 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: Portland 2 (Wallace, 1:23 1st; B Grant, 7:20 4th). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 15,708. T: 2:08. Officials: Jess Kersey, Scott Foster, Bennie Adams.


Game Story

DENVER (Ticker) -- The Portland Trail Blazers shouldn't feel so bad. Every team is losing in Denver these days.

Ron Mercer scored 22 points and Nick Van Exel had a solid all-around effort as the Denver Nuggets completed an impressive homestand with yet another home win against a Western Conference power, 97-88 over the Trail Blazers.

The Nuggets are just 3-8 away from the Pepsi Center but improved to 10-3 at home with their fourth win in five games overall. They overcame a 10-point first-half deficit.

Mercer was 11-of-21 from the floor and capped a decisive 10-3 run with a slam dunk with 31 seconds left in the third period, giving the Nuggets a 73-63 lead.

"We have so much confidence at home and we believe we can pull it out in the fourth quarter if we need to," Mercer said. "Teams tend to wear down in the second half."

Van Exel had 12 points, a season-high 13 assists and seven rebounds for Denver, which avenged a pair of setbacks against Portland this season, including a 93-78 loss here on November 12.

"If (Van Exel) doesn't do it in points, he's spreading it around and getting others involved," Mercer said. "It's a great win tonight, but we can't be satisfied."

Damon Stoudamire scored 19 points and Rasheed Wallace added 14 and 10 rebounds for the Blazers, who joined the league-leading Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings and world champion San Antonio Spurs among the legion of West powers that have fallen short in the Mile High City.

The Nuggets have fared better on the road of late as well, splitting a six-game road trip earlier this month after dropping a whopping 82 of their previous 87 contests away from home.

"I'm not going to qualify it at home," Denver coach Dan Issel said. "This team is starting to have confidence in its talents and abilities every night, not just at home. I told the guys in there just now, we beat three of the four best teams in the Western Conference as far as I'm concerned these last three games and they should get some confidence from that."

Detlef Schrempf scored 11 points and Scottie Pippen and Brian Grant had 10 apiece for the Blazers, who shot 40 percent (34-of-85) and yielded 24 points off 18 turnovers.

"Defensively, we didn't play as well as we needed to," Pippen said. "They started to attack us. Mercer had a big game and so did Van Exel when he needed to."

Portland had won three in a row and five of six on the road but looked unorganized down the stretch against Denver.

"I thought the big difference in the second half was we turned the ball over 13 times and the point differential was a killer," Portland coach Mike Dunleavy said. "We got careless with the ball and they made us pay the price."

Grant made a layup with 9:58 to play that cut the deficit to 75-73 but the Nuggets pulled away for good over the next three minutes. Van Exel hit a running jumper and a free throw and Antonio McDyess drained a 15-footer and made a layup during a 9-0 spurt that gave Denver an 84-73 cushion with 6:41 left.

McDyess scored 20 points and LaFrentz added 16 for the Nuggets, who shot 49 percent (40-of-82) but lost the battle on the boards, 47-37.

"Last year we weren't playing for anything," McDyess said. "Now we are playing like one of the best teams in the NBA. I knew we could make some things happen here, just not this quick. If feels like if we keep things up, we can do just about anything."

Bryant Stith scored nine of his 12 points off the bench in the final period, burying a 3-pointer to give Denver its biggest lead of the night, 91-79, with 3:39 remaining.

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