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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- DENVER 25 37 17 19 98 LA LAKERS 27 23 21 35 106 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: DEN - ANTONIO MCDYESS 24, NICK VAN EXEL 18, BRYANT STITH 10 LAL - SHAQUILLE ONEAL 35, KOBE BRYANT 29, GLEN RICE 11

HIGH REBOUND: DEN - ANTONIO MCDYESS 12, TWO PLAYERS WITH 7 LAL - SHAQUILLE ONEAL 13, TWO PLAYERS WITH 9

HIGH ASSISTS: DEN - NICK VAN EXEL 6, TWO PLAYERS WITH 4 LAL - KOBE BRYANT 11, SHAQUILLE ONEAL 8

ATT: 18,997


Extended Box

DENVER (98) AT LA LAKERS (106)

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

MCDYESS F 38 10-22 4-4 6 6 12 1 3 1 2 24 POSEY F 24 2-4 0-0 1 6 7 3 2 1 0 5 LAFRENTZ C 29 3-10 2-4 2 2 4 2 2 0 1 9 STITH G 19 3-6 2-2 0 1 1 1 1 1 0 10 VAN EXEL G 40 7-24 0-0 1 2 3 6 1 0 2 18 ABDUL-WAHAD 29 3-6 2-2 0 0 0 4 3 0 2 8 CLARK 17 4-4 0-0 1 6 7 1 3 0 0 8 MCCLOUD 24 3-9 1-1 3 3 6 4 2 1 1 7 GATLING 10 3-6 0-1 1 4 5 0 5 0 1 6 ALEXANDER 8 1-2 0-0 0 3 3 2 1 0 1 3 JONES 2 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 ROGERS DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 39-93 11-14 15 33 48 24 23 4 10 98 (.419) (.786) TEAM REBS: 7 TOTAL TO: 11(8 PTS)

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

GREEN F 25 3-3 1-2 2 7 9 1 1 1 1 7 RICE F 25 5-12 0-0 0 5 5 0 1 0 0 11 ONEAL C 44 14-23 7-15 4 9 13 8 4 1 4 35 BRYANT G 42 10-21 6-7 1 8 9 11 2 1 4 29 HARPER G 22 1-2 0-2 0 0 0 3 2 0 1 2 FISHER 23 3-9 0-0 0 2 2 3 1 1 0 6 FOX 23 3-5 2-2 1 3 4 1 1 0 0 10 HORRY 20 2-2 0-0 3 1 4 0 3 0 0 4 SHAW 9 1-4 0-0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 2 KNIGHT 7 0-2 0-0 0 1 1 0 2 0 0 0 GEORGE DNP - COACH'S DECISION SALLEY DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 42-83 16-28 11 36 47 27 18 5 10 106 (.506) (.571) TEAM REBS: 8 TOTAL TO: 10(7 PTS)

DENVER 25 37 17 19 - 98 LA LAKERS 27 23 21 35 - 106

BLOCKED SHOTS: DENVER - ABDUL-WAHAD 2, MCDYESS 2, MCCLOUD, CLARK, GATLING. LA LAKERS - BRYANT 3, FOX 2, HORRY 2, ONEAL, HARPER. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: DENVER 9-21 (.429), POSEY 1-2, LAFRENTZ 1-3, STITH 2-3, VAN EXEL 4-9, MCCLOUD 0-3, ALEXANDER 1-1. LA LAKERS 6-11 (.545), RICE 1-2, BRYANT 3-5, FISHER 0-1, FOX 2-3. TECHNICALS: NONE. OFFICIALS: DON VADEN, MARK WUNDERLICH, DEREK RICHARDSON. A - 18,997. T - 2:10.


Box Score

DENVER (98) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Mcdyess 38 10-22 4-4 6-12 1 3 24 Posey 24 2-4 0-0 1-7 3 2 5 Lafrentz 29 3-10 2-4 2-4 2 2 9 Stith 19 3-6 2-2 0-1 1 1 10 Van Exel 40 7-24 0-0 1-3 6 1 18 Abdul-wahad 29 3-6 2-2 0-0 4 3 8 Clark 17 4-4 0-0 1-7 1 3 8 Mccloud 24 3-9 1-1 3-6 4 2 7 Gatling 10 3-6 0-1 1-5 0 5 6 Alexander 8 1-2 0-0 0-3 2 1 3 Jones 2 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 Rogers DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 39-93 11-14 15-48 24 23 98 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.419, FT-.786. 3-Point Goals: 9-21, .429 (Posey 1-2, Lafrentz 1-3, Stith 2-3, Van Exel 4-9, Mccloud 0-3, Alexander 1-1). Team rebounds: 7. Blocked shots: 7 (Abdul-wahad 2, Mcdyess 2, Mccloud, Clark, Gatling). Turnovers: 11 (Abdul-wahad 2, Mcdyess 2, Van Exel 2, Alexander, Gatling, Lafrentz, Mccloud). Steals: 4 (Mccloud, Mcdyess, Posey, Stith).

LA LAKERS (106) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Green 25 3-3 1-2 2-9 1 1 7 Rice 25 5-12 0-0 0-5 0 1 11 Oneal 44 14-23 7-15 4-13 8 4 35 Bryant 42 10-21 6-7 1-9 11 2 29 Harper 22 1-2 0-2 0-0 3 2 2 Fisher 23 3-9 0-0 0-2 3 1 6 Fox 23 3-5 2-2 1-4 1 1 10 Horry 20 2-2 0-0 3-4 0 3 4 Shaw 9 1-4 0-0 0-0 0 1 2 Knight 7 0-2 0-0 0-1 0 2 0 George DNP - coach's decision Salley DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 42-83 16-28 11-47 27 18 106 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.506, FT-.571. 3-Point Goals: 6-11, .545 (Rice 1-2, Bryant 3-5, Fisher 0-1, Fox 2-3). Team rebounds: 8. Blocked shots: 9 (Bryant 3, Fox 2, Horry 2, Oneal, Harper). Turnovers: 10 (Bryant 4, Oneal 4, Green, Harper). Steals: 5 (Bryant, Fisher, Green, Oneal, Shaw). ____________________________________________ Denver 25 37 17 19 - 98 La Lakers 27 23 21 35 - 106 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: None. Flagrant fouls: None. A: 18,997. T: 2:10. Officials: Don Vaden, Mark Wunderlich, Derek Richardson.


Game Story

LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant combined for 21 points in the fourth quarter as the Los Angeles Lakers overcame a 17-point deficit to post a 106-98 triumph over the Denver Nuggets.

O'Neal had 35 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists and Bryant contributed 29 points, nine rebounds, and 11 assists for the Lakers, who have not lost a home game to Denver since January 7, 1996 -- a span of seven games.

"At the beginning of the game they came out with a lot of energy," Bryant said. "They made a nice run and were up 17 points but we were able to buckle down and pull out a nice little win."

Antonio McDyess had 24 points and 12 rebounds and former Laker Nick Van Exel chipped in with 18 points and six assists for the Nuggets, who dropped their ninth straight road game and fell to 3-16 away from home this season. They have not won a road game since December 11 against Milwaukee and are 9-92 in their last 101 road games.

"First of all, we played a pretty darn good basketball team who was half asleep in the first and kind of woke up in the second half," said Denver coach Dan Issel, whose team has dropped three in a row overall. "Down the stretch the Lakers did a good job of executing and making shots and we didn't. I was happy with the effort for the entire game. I thought we played hard and it was just a shame that we didn't execute down the stretch. We wasted the effort that we had."

This was the third straight game that the Nuggets have blown leads late in the game.

"Call us the three-quarter Nuggets because in the fourth quarter we let the games go every time," McDyess said. "Mentally we're down and frustrated. We just need to get a win to boost our confidence back up."

Van Exel's 3-pointer gave Denver a 77-61 lead with 4:12 left in the third quarter. But Los Angeles outscored the Nuggets, 20-10, to forge an 87-87 tie on a 3-pointer by Rick Fox with 6:51 remaining in the fourth.

After Derek Fisher's runner tied the game at 93-93 with 4:49 left, Raef LaFrentz nailed a 3-pointer as the Nuggets went ahead for the last time. O'Neal made a hook shot to draw Los Angeles within a point and McDyess missed a jump shot. O'Neal then hit a layup to give the Lakers their first lead since early in the second quarter and Van Exel missed a 3-pointer. O'Neal grabbed the rebound and Shaw drove for a layup with 2:45 remaining.

"We weren't playing with intensity from the beginning," Fisher said. "We got off to a decent start and our intensity seemed to drain. That was a concern for us but we don't expect to win the way that we did Friday night (by 46 points over Utah) against anybody in this league."

Bryant shot 10-for-21 from the field, including three 3-pointers, but was still benched for a short period of time in the fourth quarter after taking an ill-advised long-range shot."

"Kobe got hot, and tried to think he was going to stay hot," Los Angeles coach Phil Jackson said. "He had his moments there where he really helped us get back in the ballgame. I think he understood the reason I did that (in benching him). I vacillate between wanting to spank him and wanting to pat him on the back."

"He's right," agreed Bryant. "I'm fine with that ... I know it was a bad shot."

The Nuggets snapped a 31-31 tie in the second with a 14-4 run. They held a 17-point advantage with 11:11 left in the third following a 3-pointer by Van Exel.

"We had a pretty good game plan," Van Exel said. "We executed, but we didn't pull it out down the stretch when we needed to. We're still pretty young, but we're getting better -- we just have to figure out how to win in the fourth quarter."

Glen Rice scored 11 points and Rick Fox finished with 10 for Los Angeles, which shot 51 percent 42-for-83) from the field, including making 6-of-11 shots from 3-point range. The Lakers, dominated in the paint, outscoring Denver, 50-36.

"It was amazing how they started to shoot the ball in the fourth quarter," McDyess said. "Kobe and Shaq, those All-Stars stepped up tonight and played excellent ball in the fourth quarter. They got the momentum going and it looked like they couldn't miss a shot."

Bryant Stith had 10 points, LaFrentz contributed nine, and Keon Clark had eight and seven rebounds for the Nuggets, who shot 42 percent (39-for-93) and held a slim 48-47 edge on the boards.

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