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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- CHARLOTTE 30 18 28 16 92 DENVER 27 21 23 26 97 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: CHA - DERRICK COLEMAN 21, BRAD MILLER 20, DAVID WESLEY 13 DEN - NICK VAN EXEL 32, RON MERCER 24, TWO PLAYERS WITH 13

HIGH REBOUND: CHA - DERRICK COLEMAN 14, BRAD MILLER 9 DEN - RAEF LAFRENTZ 10, NICK VAN EXEL 6

HIGH ASSISTS: CHA - BARON DAVIS 6, ELDEN CAMPBELL 4 DEN - NICK VAN EXEL 8, RON MERCER 6

ATT: 18,408


Extended Box

CHARLOTTE (92) AT DENVER (97)

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

COLEMAN F 37 8-16 3-4 2 12 14 2 1 1 3 21 MASON F 21 1-6 2-4 2 3 5 2 2 0 3 4 CAMPBELL C 27 1-9 5-6 3 3 6 4 4 1 2 7 R DAVIS G 26 5-8 0-0 2 3 5 0 5 1 2 10 WESLEY G 28 5-8 1-2 0 0 0 3 2 1 2 13 MILLER 26 6-11 8-9 4 5 9 2 2 1 2 20 PHILLS 32 2-13 0-0 2 4 6 1 1 0 2 5 B DAVIS 24 4-9 1-2 2 1 3 6 4 0 1 9 ROBINSON 19 1-3 1-2 0 3 3 1 1 0 2 3 FULLER DNP - COACH'S DECISION HAWKINS DNP - COACH'S DECISION JONES DNP - INJURY - LEFT ELBOW

TOTALS 240 33-83 21-29 17 34 51 21 22 5 19 92 (.398) (.724) TEAM REBS: 7 TOTAL TO: 19(21 PTS)

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

CLARK F 16 1-4 1-2 1 4 5 0 5 0 1 3 MCDYESS F 35 5-10 3-4 2 1 3 5 5 1 4 13 LAFRENTZ C 40 5-12 1-2 2 8 10 1 4 1 0 13 MERCER G 40 7-20 10-11 0 1 1 6 4 1 2 24 VAN EXEL G 41 11-20 3-4 2 4 6 8 1 2 2 32 POSEY 19 0-0 1-2 0 5 5 1 2 0 1 1 MCCLOUD 23 3-7 2-3 2 2 4 3 4 0 1 9 STITH 7 1-4 0-0 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 2 BOWEN 11 0-1 0-0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 ROGERS 8 0-5 0-0 1 2 3 0 1 0 0 0 ALEXANDER DNP - COACH'S DECISION C HERREN DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 33-83 21-28 11 27 38 25 28 5 13 97 (.398) (.750) TEAM REBS: 19 TOTAL TO: 14(16 PTS)

CHARLOTTE 30 18 28 16 - 92 DENVER 27 21 23 26 - 97

BLOCKED SHOTS: CHARLOTTE - CAMPBELL 3, MILLER 3, ROBINSON 2, COLEMAN, WESLEY. DENVER - LAFRENTZ 9, CLARK 2, ROGERS 2, MCCLOUD. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: CHARLOTTE 5-12 (.417), COLEMAN 2-4, CAMPBELL 0-1, WESLEY 2-4, PHILLS 1-3. DENVER 10-23 (.435), CLARK 0-1, LAFRENTZ 2-4, VAN EXEL 7-11, MCCLOUD 1-5, STITH 0-1, BOWEN 0-1. TECHNICALS: CHARLOTTE - CAMPBELL, ILLEGAL DEFENSE. OFFICIALS: TOMMY NUNEZ, GARY BENSON, TIM DONAGHY. A - 18,408. T - 2:12.


Box Score

CHARLOTTE (92) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Coleman 37 8-16 3-4 2-14 2 1 21 Mason 21 1-6 2-4 2-5 2 2 4 Campbell 27 1-9 5-6 3-6 4 4 7 R Davis 26 5-8 0-0 2-5 0 5 10 Wesley 28 5-8 1-2 0-0 3 2 13 Miller 26 6-11 8-9 4-9 2 2 20 Phills 32 2-13 0-0 2-6 1 1 5 B Davis 24 4-9 1-2 2-3 6 4 9 Robinson 19 1-3 1-2 0-3 1 1 3 Fuller DNP - coach's decision Hawkins DNP - coach's decision Jones DNP - injury - left elbow _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 33-83 21-29 17-51 21 22 92 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.398, FT-.724. 3-Point Goals: 5-12, .417 (Coleman 2-4, Campbell 0-1, Wesley 2-4, Phills 1-3). Team rebounds: 7. Blocked shots: 10 (Campbell 3, Miller 3, Robinson 2, Coleman, Wesley). Turnovers: 19 (Coleman 3, Mason 3, Campbell 2, Miller 2, Phills 2, R Davis 2, Robinson 2, Wesley 2, B Davis). Steals: 5 (Campbell, Coleman, Miller, R Davis, Wesley).

DENVER (97) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Clark 16 1-4 1-2 1-5 0 5 3 Mcdyess 35 5-10 3-4 2-3 5 5 13 Lafrentz 40 5-12 1-2 2-10 1 4 13 Mercer 40 7-20 10-11 0-1 6 4 24 Van Exel 41 11-20 3-4 2-6 8 1 32 Posey 19 0-0 1-2 0-5 1 2 1 Mccloud 23 3-7 2-3 2-4 3 4 9 Stith 7 1-4 0-0 0-0 1 1 2 Bowen 11 0-1 0-0 1-1 0 1 0 Rogers 8 0-5 0-0 1-3 0 1 0 Alexander DNP - coach's decision C Herren DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 33-83 21-28 11-38 25 28 97 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.398, FT-.750. 3-Point Goals: 10-23, .435 (Clark 0-1, Lafrentz 2-4, Van Exel 7-11, Mccloud 1-5, Stith 0-1, Bowen 0-1). Team rebounds: 19. Blocked shots: 14 (Lafrentz 9, Clark 2, Rogers 2, Mccloud). Turnovers: 14 (Mcdyess 4, Mercer 2, Van Exel 2, Bowen, Clark, Mccloud, Posey, Stith). Steals: 5 (Van Exel 2, Lafrentz, Mcdyess, Mercer). ____________________________________________ Charlotte 30 18 28 16 - 92 Denver 27 21 23 26 - 97 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: Charlotte 2 (Campbell, 1:29 3rd; Illegal Defense, 9:55 4th). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 18,408. T: 2:12. Officials: Tommy Nunez, Gary Benson, Tim Donaghy.


Game Story

DENVER (Ticker) -- After delivering jabs all game, Nick Van Exel connected with the knockout punch.

Van Exel's 17-foot jumper with five seconds left beat the shot clock and gave the Denver Nuggets a 97-92 victory over the Charlotte Hornets, who fell to 0-5 on their road trip.

"I felt good tonight," said Van Exel, a streaky shooter. "I shoot the ball every night but only 39 percent is not gonna score 25-30 points a night. I'll score a lot when my shot is falling and tonight the shot fell for me."

After eight straight games with 10 or more assists, Van Exel scored 32 points, including six in the final six minutes. But the last two were the biggest.

The Hornets trailed 94-88 with less than three minutes to go but cut the deficit to 95-92 on a basket by rookie Baron Davis with 31 seconds left. They knocked the ball out of bounds with nine seconds to play and three on the shot clock.

Van Exel sprung free on the left side, took the inbounds pass from George McCloud and buried the clinching jumper. He ran down the court throwing punches like a boxer before tossing a big overhand left and getting a hug from his teammates.

"I knew what I was gonna do from the get-go," Van Exel said. "I was gonna step back and shoot and fortunately it went in for us."

In 41 minutes, Van Exel made 11-of-20 shots, including 7-of-11 from 3-point range. He also had eight assists and six rebounds and was the best player in a game that featured 10 ties and 25 lead changes.

"I didn't think they would double (Nuggets forward Antonio) McDyess the whole game and leave our shooters open on the perimeter," Van Exel said. "Once they did that, I was dying to get to the weak side to get the 3-pointer there. They did it the whole game and it surprised me."

Van Exel left quite an impression on both coaches.

"Nick Van Exel was on fire and they got the win," Hornets coach Paul Silas said. "We weren't right on Nick Van Exel. We needed to get a hand in his face and we didn't. When Nick is on fire like he was tonight, they can beat anybody."

"We need to get Nick more rest, at least 10 minutes per game," Issel said.

Ron Mercer scored 24 points and Raef LaFrentz added 13, 10 rebounds and nine blocks for the Nuggets, who shot less than 40 percent (33-of-83) and were outrebounded 51-38 but found a way to win, improving to 14-5 at home.

"It did seem like we came out with more intensity and fire that we didn't have as of late," LaFrentz said. "Nick came out great. He's our leader. He seems to step up when we need him."

Derrick Coleman had 21 points and 14 rebounds and Brad Miller added a season-high 20 points for the Hornets, who have lost to Indiana, Phoenix, Utah, the Los Angeles Lakers and Denver on a brutal trip that ends Tuesday in Milwaukee.

"Fatigue was a factor for our team tonight," Silas said. "We had a tough game last night and it just wasn't there. Our young guys are seeing just how tough this league is."

The Nuggets took the lead for good at 84-83 with 7:01 to play on a jumper by McCloud, who scored nine points and spelled Van Exel at point guard. Mercer made two free throws and Van Exel hit a 3-pointer to push the advantage to 89-83 with 5:30 to go.

Miller had a layup and a three-point play before Mercer hit a jumper and Van Exel sank 1-of-2 free throws. McDyess made a 10-footer for a 94-88 lead with 2:48 left, but Coleman and Davis made baskets around a free throw by Denver's Keon Clark to set up the final seconds.

Van Exel scored 21 points in the first half but was not getting much help as the Nuggets battled to a 48-48 tie.

"The basket was like an ocean tonight and it just felt real good from the start," Van Exel said.

He cooled off in the third quarter and the Hornets took a 76-71 lead to the final period. Charlotte fell to 17-4 when leading after three quarters.

McDyess scored 13 points for Denver. David Wesley scored 13 and Ricky Davis 10 for Charlotte, which also shot below 40 percent (33-of-83).

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