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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- DENVER 29 28 18 28 103 LA LAKERS 32 28 31 28 119 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: DEN - ANTONIO MCDYESS 28, NICK VAN EXEL 17, TARIQ ABDUL-WAHAD 11 LAL - SHAQUILLE ONEAL 34, KOBE BRYANT 31, TWO PLAYERS WITH 11

HIGH REBOUND: DEN - ANTONIO MCDYESS 8, TWO PLAYERS WITH 5 LAL - SHAQUILLE ONEAL 19, ISAIAH RIDER 6

HIGH ASSISTS: DEN - NICK VAN EXEL 11, ANTONIO MCDYESS 3 LAL - KOBE BRYANT 9, MIKE PENBERTHY 5

ATT: 18,997


Extended Box

DENVER (103) AT LA LAKERS (119)

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

MCDYESS F 37 12-18 4-5 3 5 8 3 4 0 1 28 POSEY F 24 3-8 0-0 1 1 2 0 1 0 0 7 LAFRENTZ C 15 2-6 1-1 3 2 5 2 0 1 0 5 ABDUL-WAHAD G 20 3-6 3-4 1 3 4 2 1 1 0 11 VAN EXEL G 38 7-22 1-2 0 4 4 11 2 0 4 17 LENARD 18 2-8 3-4 0 0 0 1 1 2 2 9 MCCLOUD 27 3-9 2-2 1 3 4 2 0 2 1 9 DAVIS 21 3-3 0-2 3 1 4 0 4 1 0 6 PACK 10 2-6 1-2 0 1 1 2 2 1 2 5 CLARK 23 2-3 2-4 3 2 5 1 1 0 0 6 MURRAY 7 0-2 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 STRICKLAND DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 39-91 17-26 15 23 38 24 16 8 10 103 (.429) (.654) TEAM REBS: 9 TOTAL TO: 10(16 PTS)

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

BRYANT F 39 12-23 6-6 3 1 4 9 4 2 4 31 GRANT F 28 3-6 5-5 2 3 5 2 3 0 1 11 ONEAL C 38 16-21 2-4 8 11 19 2 2 1 3 34 HARPER G 19 4-7 0-0 0 2 2 3 3 0 3 10 SHAW G 21 0-2 0-0 0 4 4 3 3 0 1 0 RIDER 27 4-6 3-4 1 5 6 3 3 0 3 11 FOX 18 2-5 0-0 0 1 1 0 2 0 1 5 HORRY 17 3-6 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 8 PENBERTHY 17 3-8 0-0 1 3 4 5 1 0 0 7 FOSTER 10 1-2 0-0 0 2 2 0 2 0 0 2 GEORGE 3 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 MADSEN 3 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0

TOTALS 240 48-86 16-19 15 32 47 28 25 3 17 119 (.558) (.842) TEAM REBS: 8 TOTAL TO: 17(14 PTS)

DENVER 29 28 18 28 - 103 LA LAKERS 32 28 31 28 - 119

BLOCKED SHOTS: DENVER - VAN EXEL, MCDYESS, MCCLOUD, LAFRENTZ, ABDUL-WAHAD, CLARK. LA LAKERS - ONEAL 2, SHAW, BRYANT, GRANT. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: DENVER 8-23 (.348), POSEY 1-4, ABDUL-WAHAD 2-3, VAN EXEL 2-8, LENARD 2-5, MCCLOUD 1-2, MURRAY 0-1. LA LAKERS 7-15 (.467), BRYANT 1-3, HARPER 2-2, RIDER 0-1, FOX 1-2, HORRY 2-4, PENBERTHY 1-3. TECHNICALS: NONE. OFFICIALS: JOE DEROSA, DAVID JONES, MIKE SMITH. A - 18,997. T - 2:03.


Box Score

DENVER (103) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Mcdyess 37 12-18 4-5 3-8 3 4 28 Posey 24 3-8 0-0 1-2 0 1 7 Lafrentz 15 2-6 1-1 3-5 2 0 5 Abdul-wahad 20 3-6 3-4 1-4 2 1 11 Van Exel 38 7-22 1-2 0-4 11 2 17 Lenard 18 2-8 3-4 0-0 1 1 9 Mccloud 27 3-9 2-2 1-4 2 0 9 Davis 21 3-3 0-2 3-4 0 4 6 Pack 10 2-6 1-2 0-1 2 2 5 Clark 23 2-3 2-4 3-5 1 1 6 Murray 7 0-2 0-0 0-1 0 0 0 Strickland DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 39-91 17-26 15-38 24 16 103 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.429, FT-.654. 3-Point Goals: 8-23, .348 (Posey 1-4, Abdul-wahad 2-3, Van Exel 2-8, Lenard 2-5, Mccloud 1-2, Murray 0-1). Team rebounds: 9. Blocked shots: 6 (Van Exel, Mcdyess, Mccloud, Lafrentz, Abdul-wahad, Clark). Turnovers: 10 (Van Exel 4, Lenard 2, Pack 2, Mccloud, Mcdyess). Steals: 8 (Lenard 2, Mccloud 2, Abdul-wahad, Davis, Lafrentz, Pack).

LA LAKERS (119) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Bryant 39 12-23 6-6 3-4 9 4 31 Grant 28 3-6 5-5 2-5 2 3 11 Oneal 38 16-21 2-4 8-19 2 2 34 Harper 19 4-7 0-0 0-2 3 3 10 Shaw 21 0-2 0-0 0-4 3 3 0 Rider 27 4-6 3-4 1-6 3 3 11 Fox 18 2-5 0-0 0-1 0 2 5 Horry 17 3-6 0-0 0-0 1 0 8 Penberthy 17 3-8 0-0 1-4 5 1 7 Foster 10 1-2 0-0 0-2 0 2 2 George 3 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 Madsen 3 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 2 0 _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 48-86 16-19 15-47 28 25 119 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.558, FT-.842. 3-Point Goals: 7-15, .467 (Bryant 1-3, Harper 2-2, Rider 0-1, Fox 1-2, Horry 2-4, Penberthy 1-3). Team rebounds: 8. Blocked shots: 5 (Oneal 2, Shaw, Bryant, Grant). Turnovers: 17 (Bryant 4, Harper 3, Oneal 3, Rider 3, Fox, Grant, Horry, Shaw). Steals: 3 (Bryant 2, Oneal). ____________________________________________ Denver 29 28 18 28 - 103 La Lakers 32 28 31 28 - 119 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: None. Flagrant fouls: None. A: 18,997. T: 2:03. Officials: Joe Derosa, David Jones, Mike Smith.


Game Story

LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- The "one" returned to the Los Angeles Lakers' lethal 1-2 scoring punch as Shaquille O'Neal gave Kobe Bryant more than enough help in dismantling the Denver Nuggets.

O'Neal bounced back from an uncharacteristically poor effort with 34 points and 19 rebounds and fellow superstar Bryant added 31 and nine assists as the Lakers used their best offensive performance of the young season to blow by the Nuggets, 119-103.

There had been some rumblings that O'Neal and Bryant were not on the same page offensively but that was put to rest tonight.

Limited to just 14 points and five rebounds before fouling out of Sunday's 105-99 triumph over Houston, O'Neal appeared anxious to make amends to Bryant, who carried the Lakers past the Rockets with a season-high 37 points and 10 rebounds.

"People have been used to me leading the league in scoring or being up there," O'Neal said. "If I want to I can. All I've got to do is hit the switch. The last couple of games, I've missed a couple of chippies and you all know I don't miss chippies like that forever."

The 7-1 center and reigning NBA Most Valuable Player got off early, showing unusual agility when he caught a lead pass from guard Ron Harper and coasted to the basket for a fancy finger roll that opened the scoring.

O'Neal buried 15-of-20 shots thereafter, including his last seven in a row, combining with Bryant for a pair of late runs that took the life out of the resilient Nuggets.

"He had a terrific game," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said of O'Neal. "The kind of game we have grown to expect to see. He has been getting bodied the last couple of games against some pretty good centers. It's a lot different when he can move people around with his body like he did tonight."

Bryant was 12-of-23 from the floor, 6-of-6 at the line and put on a show of his own late in the third quarter. The 6-7 guard stole a pass in the lane and fed rookie Mike Penberthy for an easy layup before finding Isaiah Rider for an 18-footer that opened an 87-75 lead with under a minute to play in the third quarter.

"I think tonight we had our rhythm back," Bryant said. "It takes a while. We played against a team that we have had success against in the past and as a result, we knew how to get the ball into Shaq and it worked out well for us."

The dynamic duo took over from there. O'Neal's outlet pass to Bryant resulted in a highlight-reel slam dunk and Bryant returned the favor on the ensuing trip, lofting an alley-oop pass that O'Neal stuffed home to make it 91-75 entering the fourth quarter.

Los Angeles established season highs in scoring, baskets (48) and rebounds (47) while handing Denver its eighth straight road loss against the Lakers since 1996.

Antonio McDyess scored 28 points and former Laker Nick Van Exel had 17 points and 11 assists for the Nuggets, who fell to 0-3 on the road.

Horace Grant and Rider had 11 points apiece and Harper added 10 for Los Angeles, which shot 56 percent (48-of-86), including 7-of-15 3-pointers. The Lakers scored 16 points off turnovers.

"We passed the ball and got Shaq more involved," Grant said. "With Shaq taking over the game, Kobe doing his thing and guys coming off the bench making shots, you have to have two or three guys in the post to stop him."

O'Neal and Bryant took a seat together on the bench early in the fourth period Bryant's emphatic slam gave Los Angeles a healthy 98-78 lead.

But McDyess answered with a dunk and a 16-footer around Van Exel's 3-pointer to spark a 12-2 run that got Denver back within 100-90 with 7:23 left and forced O'Neal and Bryant to abandon their comfortable seats.

O'Neal converted a three-point play, Bryant dunked, Grant connected from 18 feet and Rider hit a short jumper before O'Neal's follow shot re-opened a 111-96 cushion with 3:28 to go.

O'Neal added a slam and a baseline jumper for good measure, making it 117-99 with 1:52 remaining before sitting down for good.

"They've got two great players," Denver coach Dan Issel said. "There's no question about that."

Tariq Abdul-Wahad scored 11 points for Denver, which shot 43 percent (39-of-91) and was outrebounded, 47-38.

The Nuggets hung tough in the first half, pulling within 60-57 just before intermission on Abdul-Wahad's 24-footer with 17 seconds left.

Abdul-Wahad's driving layup just over two minutes into the third quarter shaved the deficit to 65-63 before Los Angeles pulled away for good. Bryant and Grant combined to make four free throws and O'Neal knocked down a seven-footer to make it 78-67 midway through the period.

"Injured?," McDyess wondered aloud when told that O'Neal was playing with a sore thumb. "I wish he would have showed it tonight. I saw no signs of Shaq being injured. I'd hate to have seen if he was healthy tonight."

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