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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- VANCOUVER 23 25 28 22 98 DENVER 27 23 36 24 110 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: VAN - SHAREEF ABDUR-RAHIM 24, MIKE BIBBY 18, OTHELLA HARRINGTON 15 DEN - RON MERCER 24, NICK VAN EXEL 18, RAEF LAFRENTZ 17

HIGH REBOUND: VAN - SHAREEF ABDUR-RAHIM 13, MIKE BIBBY 6 DEN - RAEF LAFRENTZ 10, KEON CLARK 7

HIGH ASSISTS: VAN - MIKE BIBBY 9, MICHAEL DICKERSON 5 DEN - NICK VAN EXEL 9, RON MERCER 6

ATT: 10,884


Extended Box

VANCOUVER (98) AT DENVER (110)

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

ABDUR-RAHIM F 38 7-17 10-13 2 11 13 4 3 1 1 24 HARRINGTON F 32 6-11 3-5 1 4 5 0 4 1 4 15 REEVES C 17 2-6 1-1 2 2 4 0 6 0 4 5 BIBBY G 39 7-16 4-6 4 2 6 9 1 1 2 18 DICKERSON G 40 6-16 0-0 2 2 4 5 3 0 3 13 SCOTT 26 3-7 2-2 0 1 1 3 2 0 1 8 LONG 18 0-1 0-0 2 2 4 1 2 0 0 0 CARR 3 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 PALACIO 9 1-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 2 LOPEZ 18 5-7 3-4 2 1 3 0 2 0 2 13 PRICE DNP - COACH'S DECISION WEST DNP - SPRAINED RIGHT FOOT

TOTALS 240 37-82 23-31 15 25 40 22 26 3 17 98 (.451) (.742) TEAM REBS: 10 TOTAL TO: 18(14 PTS)

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

CLARK F 13 1-2 2-2 2 5 7 0 5 0 0 4 MCDYESS F 22 7-11 2-4 1 3 4 0 6 1 1 16 LAFRENTZ C 28 6-16 5-8 5 5 10 1 4 0 2 17 MERCER G 35 9-17 5-5 2 2 4 6 1 1 2 24 VAN EXEL G 34 6-14 5-5 1 4 5 9 3 0 4 18 POSEY 26 3-8 4-4 1 3 4 3 0 1 1 11 JONES 32 6-12 0-0 4 2 6 2 2 0 0 12 C HERREN 8 1-2 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 3 STITH 8 0-3 0-0 2 1 3 3 0 0 0 0 MCCLOUD 19 2-4 0-0 0 2 2 3 2 1 1 5 BOWEN 9 0-1 0-0 2 1 3 1 0 1 0 0 ALEXANDER 6 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 4 1 2 0

TOTALS 240 41-90 23-28 20 28 48 29 27 6 14 110 (.456) (.821) TEAM REBS: 9 TOTAL TO: 14(13 PTS)

VANCOUVER 23 25 28 22 - 98 DENVER 27 23 36 24 - 110

BLOCKED SHOTS: VANCOUVER - DICKERSON 2, BIBBY, ABDUR-RAHIM, HARRINGTON, LOPEZ, REEVES. DENVER - MERCER 3, LAFRENTZ 3, MCDYESS 2, JONES, BOWEN. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: VANCOUVER 1-10 (.100), ABDUR-RAHIM 0-2, BIBBY 0-1, DICKERSON 1-4, SCOTT 0-3. DENVER 5-16 (.313), LAFRENTZ 0-3, MERCER 1-2, VAN EXEL 1-3, POSEY 1-4, C HERREN 1-2, STITH 0-1, MCCLOUD 1-1. TECHNICALS: NONE. OFFICIALS: DAN CRAWFORD, RONNIE NUNN, RODNEY MOTT. A - 10,884. T - 2:11.


Box Score

VANCOUVER (98) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Abdur-rahim 38 7-17 10-13 2-13 4 3 24 Harrington 32 6-11 3-5 1-5 0 4 15 Reeves 17 2-6 1-1 2-4 0 6 5 Bibby 39 7-16 4-6 4-6 9 1 18 Dickerson 40 6-16 0-0 2-4 5 3 13 Scott 26 3-7 2-2 0-1 3 2 8 Long 18 0-1 0-0 2-4 1 2 0 Carr 3 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 0 Palacio 9 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 2 2 Lopez 18 5-7 3-4 2-3 0 2 13 Price DNP - coach's decision West DNP - sprained right foot _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 37-82 23-31 15-40 22 26 98 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.451, FT-.742. 3-Point Goals: 1-10, .100 (Abdur-rahim 0-2, Bibby 0-1, Dickerson 1-4, Scott 0-3). Team rebounds: 10. Blocked shots: 7 (Dickerson 2, Bibby, Abdur-rahim, Harrington, Lopez, Reeves). Turnovers: 18 (Harrington 4, Reeves 4, Dickerson 3, Bibby 2, Lopez 2, Abdur-rahim, Scott). Steals: 3 (Abdur-rahim, Bibby, Harrington).

DENVER (110) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Clark 13 1-2 2-2 2-7 0 5 4 Mcdyess 22 7-11 2-4 1-4 0 6 16 Lafrentz 28 6-16 5-8 5-10 1 4 17 Mercer 35 9-17 5-5 2-4 6 1 24 Van Exel 34 6-14 5-5 1-5 9 3 18 Posey 26 3-8 4-4 1-4 3 0 11 Jones 32 6-12 0-0 4-6 2 2 12 C Herren 8 1-2 0-0 0-0 1 0 3 Stith 8 0-3 0-0 2-3 3 0 0 Mccloud 19 2-4 0-0 0-2 3 2 5 Bowen 9 0-1 0-0 2-3 1 0 0 Alexander 6 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 4 0 _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 41-90 23-28 20-48 29 27 110 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.456, FT-.821. 3-Point Goals: 5-16, .313 (Lafrentz 0-3, Mercer 1-2, Van Exel 1-3, Posey 1-4, C Herren 1-2, Stith 0-1, Mccloud 1-1). Team rebounds: 9. Blocked shots: 10 (Mercer 3, Lafrentz 3, Mcdyess 2, Jones, Bowen). Turnovers: 14 (Van Exel 4, Alexander 2, Lafrentz 2, Mercer 2, C Herren, Mccloud, Mcdyess, Posey). Steals: 6 (Alexander, Bowen, Mccloud, Mcdyess, Mercer, Posey). ____________________________________________ Vancouver 23 25 28 22 - 98 Denver 27 23 36 24 - 110 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: None. Flagrant fouls: Denver 1 (Van Exel, 3:32 3rd). A: 10,884. T: 2:11. Officials: Dan Crawford, Ronnie Nunn, Rodney Mott.


Game Story

DENVER (Ticker) -- It took a half, but Ron Mercer warmed up.

After being held scoreless in the first half, Mercer scored 20 points in a huge third quarter as the Denver Nuggets stopped a season-high six-game losing streak with a 110-98 victory over the slumping Vancouver Grizzlies.

Mercer, who entered the contest second on the club in scoring at 18.2 points per game, missed all four shots in the first half. But he was 8-of-11 from the floor in the third quarter as the Nuggets outscored Vancouver, 36-28, to open a double-digit lead.

"I was not in my rhythm and I was out of sync in the first half," Mercer said. "I just had to forget about the first half and play better. Beginning of the second half we were running plays for me and that helped. I knew right then I would get in my groove."

Mercer finished with 24 points and Nick Van Exel added 18 and nine assists for the Nuggets, who also snapped a three-game home losing streak and improved to 15-8 at the Pepsi Center this season.

"I told the guys after the shootaround this morning that this was our first must-win game of the season," Denver coach Dan Issel said. "I wasn't worried about the losing streak because we were just having trouble against good teams, executing down the stretch. But tonight was a game we had to have."

Shareef Abdur-Rahim collected 24 points and 13 rebounds and Mike Bibby had 18 and nine assists for Vancouver, which has lost six straight. The Grizzlies dropped a season-high 11 in a row from November 16-December 6.

Nursing a four-point lead with 9:27 left in the third period, the Nuggets used a 10-4 spurt, capped by a 3-pointer from Mercer, to open a 69-59 advantage. Mercer scored eight of the 10 points in the burst.

Mercer, who connected on 9-of-17 shots from the field, converted a layup with two minutes left in the quarter for an 84-71 cushion. The Nuggets held an 86-76 advantage entering the final period.

The 20 points in the third quarter by Mercer were the most by a Nugget this season. Van Exel had 19 in the fourth quarter of a 94-77 victory at Philadelphia on December 6.

"We didn't do a good job of getting the ball to him in the first half. I think he had only three shots," said Issel. "He's a big part of our offense so we ran the first play for him in the second half and he took it from there."

Raef LaFrentz added 17 points and 10 rebounds and Antonio McDyess had 16 points for the Nuggets, who never trailed and led by at least nine points and by as many as 17 the entire fourth quarter.

"The whole second half we didn't stop them," Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins said. "The third quarter was the key to the game with our inability to stop them. They hit the open man and Mercer had a huge second half. They proved we don't belong on the floor with them ... at least in this building."

The Nuggets shot 46 percent (41-of-90) and held a 48-40 rebounding advantage.

Vancouver shot 45 percent (37-of-82).

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