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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- MIAMI 17 21 31 27 96 DENVER 23 15 19 28 85 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: MIA - EDDIE JONES 28, ANTHONY MASON 15, TIM HARDAWAY 13 DEN - ANTONIO MCDYESS 22, GEORGE MCCLOUD 18, JAMES POSEY 13

HIGH REBOUND: MIA - BRIAN GRANT 11, ANTHONY MASON 9 DEN - ANTONIO MCDYESS 12, JAMES POSEY 8

HIGH ASSISTS: MIA - TIM HARDAWAY 9, ANTHONY CARTER 7 DEN - NICK VAN EXEL 7, TWO PLAYERS WITH 5

ATT: 12,894


Extended Box

MIAMI (96) AT DENVER (85)

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

BOWEN F 34 4-11 1-2 0 2 2 3 3 1 1 9 MASON F 36 6-10 3-3 0 9 9 5 3 1 1 15 GRANT C 35 5-13 2-2 2 9 11 3 2 0 4 12 HARDAWAY G 31 4-11 1-2 0 3 3 9 1 1 2 13 JONES G 33 10-16 5-6 0 4 4 2 4 1 4 28 GREEN 24 0-2 0-0 1 6 7 0 3 0 1 0 CARTER 32 5-8 2-2 2 4 6 7 3 1 1 12 CEBALLOS 13 1-4 0-0 0 2 2 1 2 1 0 2 HOUSE 2 1-1 2-4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 CAUSWELL DNP - COACH'S DECISION FULLER DNP - COACH'S DECISION MACLEAN DNP - SURGERY RIGHT TOE

TOTALS 240 36-76 16-21 5 39 44 30 21 6 14 96 (.474) (.762) TEAM REBS: 7 TOTAL TO: 14(16 PTS)

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

MCDYESS F 41 9-21 4-5 2 10 12 5 4 0 2 22 POSEY F 34 4-10 4-6 3 5 8 1 4 2 3 13 LAFRENTZ C 24 0-4 0-0 0 5 5 3 6 0 2 0 LENARD G 29 4-10 1-2 0 3 3 3 3 0 2 9 VAN EXEL G 39 4-10 0-0 1 2 3 7 2 2 1 11 CLARK 19 2-3 2-3 1 3 4 1 3 1 1 6 MCCLOUD 25 6-11 3-4 1 1 2 5 2 0 1 18 BOWEN 10 1-2 0-0 0 0 0 0 2 1 0 2 PACK 5 0-2 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 MURRAY 10 1-3 0-0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 2 STRICKLAND 4 1-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 2 ABDUL-WAHAD DNP - FLU

TOTALS 240 32-77 14-20 8 29 37 25 28 6 16 85 (.416) (.700) TEAM REBS: 8 TOTAL TO: 16(25 PTS)

MIAMI 17 21 31 27 - 96 DENVER 23 15 19 28 - 85

BLOCKED SHOTS: MIAMI - GRANT 3, MASON. DENVER - MCDYESS 2, POSEY 2, LAFRENTZ. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: MIAMI 8-19 (.421), BOWEN 0-3, HARDAWAY 4-8, JONES 3-6, CEBALLOS 0-1, HOUSE 1-1. DENVER 7-15 (.467), POSEY 1-3, LENARD 0-2, VAN EXEL 3-4, MCCLOUD 3-5, MURRAY 0-1. TECHNICALS: NONE. OFFICIALS: TOMMY NUNEZ, TED BERNHARDT, BILL KENNEDY. A - 12,894. T - 2:07.


Box Score

MIAMI (96) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Bowen 34 4-11 1-2 0-2 3 3 9 Mason 36 6-10 3-3 0-9 5 3 15 Grant 35 5-13 2-2 2-11 3 2 12 Hardaway 31 4-11 1-2 0-3 9 1 13 Jones 33 10-16 5-6 0-4 2 4 28 Green 24 0-2 0-0 1-7 0 3 0 Carter 32 5-8 2-2 2-6 7 3 12 Ceballos 13 1-4 0-0 0-2 1 2 2 House 2 1-1 2-4 0-0 0 0 5 Causwell DNP - coach's decision Fuller DNP - coach's decision Maclean DNP - surgery right toe _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 36-76 16-21 5-44 30 21 96 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.474, FT-.762. 3-Point Goals: 8-19, .421 (Bowen 0-3, Hardaway 4-8, Jones 3-6, Ceballos 0-1, House 1-1). Team rebounds: 7. Blocked shots: 4 (Grant 3, Mason). Turnovers: 14 (Grant 4, Jones 4, Hardaway 2, Bowen, Carter, Green, Mason). Steals: 6 (Bowen, Carter, Ceballos, Hardaway, Jones, Mason).

DENVER (85) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Mcdyess 41 9-21 4-5 2-12 5 4 22 Posey 34 4-10 4-6 3-8 1 4 13 Lafrentz 24 0-4 0-0 0-5 3 6 0 Lenard 29 4-10 1-2 0-3 3 3 9 Van Exel 39 4-10 0-0 1-3 7 2 11 Clark 19 2-3 2-3 1-4 1 3 6 Mccloud 25 6-11 3-4 1-2 5 2 18 Bowen 10 1-2 0-0 0-0 0 2 2 Pack 5 0-2 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 Murray 10 1-3 0-0 0-0 0 1 2 Strickland 4 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 1 2 Abdul-wahad DNP - flu _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 32-77 14-20 8-37 25 28 85 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.416, FT-.700. 3-Point Goals: 7-15, .467 (Posey 1-3, Lenard 0-2, Van Exel 3-4, Mccloud 3-5, Murray 0-1). Team rebounds: 8. Blocked shots: 5 (Mcdyess 2, Posey 2, Lafrentz). Turnovers: 16 (Posey 3, Lafrentz 2, Lenard 2, Mcdyess 2, Pack 2, Clark, Mccloud, Murray, Strickland, Van Exel). Steals: 6 (Posey 2, Van Exel 2, Bowen, Clark). ____________________________________________ Miami 17 21 31 27 - 96 Denver 23 15 19 28 - 85 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: None. Flagrant fouls: None. A: 12,894. T: 2:07. Officials: Tommy Nunez, Ted Bernhardt, Bill Kennedy.


Game Story

DENVER (Ticker) -- The Denver Nuggets returned home from a winless road trip and still looked like the fatigued team.

Anthony Mason scored 11 of his 15 points and Tim Hardaway added 10 of his 13 in the third quarter, when the Miami Heat pulled away and for a 96-85 victory over the Nuggets, who lost their fifth straight game.

Mason opened the third period with a pair of jumpers around a basket by Denver's Voshon Lenard, the second putting the Heat ahead for good and igniting an 11-1 spurt.

Hardaway, who missed all four of his shots in the first half, capped the burst with a 3-pointer to give Miami a 51-41 bulge with 8:13 to go. Hardaway made 3-of-4 shots in the period, when Miami shot 63 percent (12-of-19) and outscored Denver, 31-19.

"They played well in the first half," Hardaway said. "When we got a lead it looked like they were disinterested. We built a 12- to 15-point lead and won the game. We played hard defensively and made them shoot shots they didn't want to shoot."

Eddie Jones scored 28 points and Brian Grant added 12 and 11 rebounds for Miami (11-11), which improved to 1-1 on a five-game road trip and got to the .500 mark for the seventh time. The Heat have not been more than one game over .500.

"In the first half it was quiet in this building," Miami coach Pat Riley said. "I sensed that the first team to mount a surge would win. In the third quarter, Tim and Eddie hit some shots and Anthony Mason had an impact on every possession -- offensive and defensive."

Hardaway and Jones, Miami's starting backcourt, combined to hit 7-of-14 shots from beind the arc.

Denver was returning home after an 0-4 road trip that concluded with Sunday's 104-102 overtime loss to the Boston Celtics and a near mutiny of the players against coach Dan Issel.

"Yes it does hurt. It seems like we are still on the road," said Denver forward Antonio McDyess. "We played with no energy. We tried to pick up the intensity in the fourth quarter, but it wasn't there."

The Nuggets were scheduled to practice at 11 a.m. Monday after returning from the trip. After arriving at 3:00 a.m., the players decided not attend the practice without notifying Issel. Issel met the players this afternoon and resolved the problem.

"They thought I was punishing them for making them practice Issel said. "It took us a while to get our second wind. We didn't play."

McDyess had 22 points and 12 boards and George McCloud scored 18 points off the bench for Denver, which opened its dismal trip with a 95-78 loss to Miami last Wednesday. The Nuggets have lost the last 11 games with the Heat, including five straight in Denver.

The Nuggets shot 42 percent (32-of-77), which was their highest percentage since shooting 44 percent in a 103-92 win over Seattle on December 2.

"We have to look at each other and do some soul-searching," said McCloud, who is Denver's captain. "It's a hurting feeling. We just need to let Issel coach and do what we need to do. He doesn't ask us to do anything he wouldn't do. We are just physically and mentally tired. We have to rally from this and come together."

Nuggets center Raef LaFrentz had another poor game, missing all four of his shots and grabbing just five rebounds while picking up six fouls in 24 minutes. The 6-11 LaFrentz collected five fouls and shot 0-for-7 in Sunday's loss to Boston.

McDyess scored the final six points of an 8-0 burst that closed the Nuggets within 73-67 when he made a 15-footer with 7:28 left. But Denver got no closer as Jones hit a 3-pointer 17 seconds later.

Each team failed to score on its next possession before Jones converted a turnover by LaFrentz into a dunk, giving Miami a 78-67 advantage with 6:11 remaining.

Nick Van Exel scored six of his 11 points in the first quarter to lead the Nuggets to a 23-17 advantage. Miami scored the first six points in the second quarter to tie the score on a layup by Cedric Ceballos with 8:36 left.

The second quarter featured seven ties with the final time coming on Mason's hook shot at the buzzer to make it 38-38.

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