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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- DENVER 22 26 23 32 103 CHARLOTTE 27 38 15 16 96 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: DEN - NICK VAN EXEL 41, RAEF LAFRENTZ 17, JAMES POSEY 14 CHA - DAVID WESLEY 24, JAMAL MASHBURN 18, ELDEN CAMPBELL 15

HIGH REBOUND: DEN - RAEF LAFRENTZ 12, JAMES POSEY 8 CHA - ELDEN CAMPBELL 9, JAMAL MASHBURN 8

HIGH ASSISTS: DEN - ROBERT PACK 10, NICK VAN EXEL 10 CHA - BARON DAVIS 10, DAVID WESLEY 7

ATT: 15,983


Extended Box

DENVER (103) AT CHARLOTTE (96)

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

CHEANEY F 27 2-5 0-0 1 4 5 0 2 2 0 4 MCDYESS F 12 0-3 2-2 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 LAFRENTZ C 36 4-15 9-9 1 11 12 2 1 1 3 17 POSEY G 37 6-12 0-0 4 4 8 1 4 1 1 14 VAN EXEL G 41 16-27 2-3 0 3 3 10 0 2 1 41 PACK 28 3-6 2-5 1 3 4 10 3 0 5 9 WILLIS 25 3-7 1-2 2 5 7 0 4 0 3 7 LENARD 7 0-5 0-0 2 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 BOWEN 27 3-4 2-2 1 2 3 0 1 1 1 9 DAVIS DNP - COACH'S DECISION GOLDWIRE DNP - COACH'S DECISION MCCLOUD DNP - BACK INJURY

TOTALS 240 37-84 18-23 12 32 44 24 16 7 14 103 (.440) (.783) TEAM REBS: 8 TOTAL TO: 16(23 PTS)

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

BROWN F 30 2-4 0-0 1 5 6 2 5 1 2 4 MASHBURN F 41 6-16 5-6 1 7 8 6 1 1 2 18 CAMPBELL C 32 5-11 5-5 0 9 9 1 2 1 1 15 DAVIS G 39 3-9 3-4 0 2 2 10 3 2 2 9 WESLEY G 39 10-21 1-1 1 2 3 7 2 3 3 24 ROBINSON 25 6-9 2-2 1 3 4 1 0 0 1 14 MAGLOIRE 16 4-7 1-2 1 2 3 0 1 1 1 9 THORPE 18 1-3 1-2 2 2 4 1 3 0 1 3 HAWKINS DNP - COACH'S DECISION JAMES DNP - COACH'S DECISION NAILON DNP - COACH'S DECISION RECASNER DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 37-80 18-22 7 32 39 28 17 9 13 96 (.463) (.818) TEAM REBS: 8 TOTAL TO: 13(16 PTS)

DENVER 22 26 23 32 - 103 CHARLOTTE 27 38 15 16 - 96

BLOCKED SHOTS: DENVER - LAFRENTZ, POSEY. CHARLOTTE - DAVIS, BROWN, CAMPBELL, MAGLOIRE. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: DENVER 11-23 (.478), LAFRENTZ 0-2, POSEY 2-4, VAN EXEL 7-11, PACK 1-3, LENARD 0-1, BOWEN 1-2. CHARLOTTE 4-15 (.267), MASHBURN 1-3, DAVIS 0-3, WESLEY 3-9. TECHNICALS: DENVER - POSEY, CHARLOTTE - DAVIS. OFFICIALS: BENNETT SALVATORE, DAVID JONES, RASHAN MICHEL. A - 15,983. T - 2:00.


Box Score

DENVER (103) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Cheaney 27 2-5 0-0 1-5 0 2 4 Mcdyess 12 0-3 2-2 0-0 0 1 2 Lafrentz 36 4-15 9-9 1-12 2 1 17 Posey 37 6-12 0-0 4-8 1 4 14 Van Exel 41 16-27 2-3 0-3 10 0 41 Pack 28 3-6 2-5 1-4 10 3 9 Willis 25 3-7 1-2 2-7 0 4 7 Lenard 7 0-5 0-0 2-2 1 0 0 Bowen 27 3-4 2-2 1-3 0 1 9 Davis DNP - coach's decision Goldwire DNP - coach's decision Mccloud DNP - back injury _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 37-84 18-23 12-44 24 16 103 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.440, FT-.783. 3-Point Goals: 11-23, .478 (Lafrentz 0-2, Posey 2-4, Van Exel 7-11, Pack 1-3, Lenard 0-1, Bowen 1-2). Team rebounds: 8. Blocked shots: 2 (Lafrentz, Posey). Turnovers: 16 (Pack 5, Lafrentz 3, Willis 3, Bowen, Posey, Van Exel). Steals: 7 (Cheaney 2, Van Exel 2, Bowen, Lafrentz, Posey).

CHARLOTTE (96) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Brown 30 2-4 0-0 1-6 2 5 4 Mashburn 41 6-16 5-6 1-8 6 1 18 Campbell 32 5-11 5-5 0-9 1 2 15 Davis 39 3-9 3-4 0-2 10 3 9 Wesley 39 10-21 1-1 1-3 7 2 24 Robinson 25 6-9 2-2 1-4 1 0 14 Magloire 16 4-7 1-2 1-3 0 1 9 Thorpe 18 1-3 1-2 2-4 1 3 3 Hawkins DNP - coach's decision James DNP - coach's decision Nailon DNP - coach's decision Recasner DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 37-80 18-22 7-39 28 17 96 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.463, FT-.818. 3-Point Goals: 4-15, .267 (Mashburn 1-3, Davis 0-3, Wesley 3-9). Team rebounds: 8. Blocked shots: 4 (Davis, Brown, Campbell, Magloire). Turnovers: 13 (Wesley 3, Brown 2, Davis 2, Mashburn 2, Campbell, Magloire, Robinson, Thorpe). Steals: 9 (Wesley 3, Davis 2, Brown, Campbell, Magloire, Mashburn). ____________________________________________ Denver 22 26 23 32 - 103 Charlotte 27 38 15 16 - 96 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: Denver 1 (Posey, 3:15 2nd). Charlotte 1 (Davis, 4:45 2nd). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 15,983. T: 2:00. Officials: Bennett Salvatore, David Jones, Rashan Michel.


Game Story

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Nick Van Exel simply took over.

Van Exel scored 13 of his season-high 41 points in the fourth quarter as the Denver Nuggets rallied from a 21-point deficit for a 103-96 victory over the Charlotte Hornets.

Visibly hobbled from various injuries, Van Exel made 16-of-27 shots from the floor, including 7-of-11 3-pointers, and handed out 10 assists as the Nuggets captured an unlikely comeback win on the road.

"You can't expect a guy to carry you the whole game, but in the last five minutes we normally try to get it to Nick," Denver coach Dan Issel said. "Tonight he made some huge clutch shots."

Denver had not won here since February 8, 1990 and early in the game it did not look like they would break that streak. Van Exel left midway through the first quarter due to back and knee problems and All-Star forward Antonio McDyess departed in the second period after aggrivating a knee injury.

McDyess did not return. Van Exel returned with a vengeance.

"Basically, when I get the ball I want to beat the double-teams," Van Exel said. "I want to look for my shot really quick and tonight my shots were falling. I felt pretty good. I had energy although really my body didn't feel well."

Trailing 65-48 at halftime, the Nuggets made just one of their first eight shots in the second half. But Denver followed by making nine of its next 12 to close within 74-69 with three minutes to go in period.

The Hornets did not make a shot in the final 4:35 of the game and Van Exel eventually tied the game, 94-94, by nailing a 3-pointer with 3:09 left.

On the next possession, Ryan Bowen gave Denver the lead for good by making a lyup off a pass from Robert Pack, who had nine points and 10 assists off the bench. Bowen was fouled and sank the foul shot to open a 97-94 lead with 2:38 remaining.

Elden Campbell drew Charlotte within one with a pair of free throws, its only points in the final four minutes.

David Wesley missed two wide open 3-pointers in the final 1:30 for the Hornets and Van Exel nailed a fadeaway, game-clinching 3-pointer that made it 101-96 with 20 seconds left.

Raef LaFrentz finished the scoring with a pair of free throws and had 17 points and 12 rebounds. James Posey added 14 points and eight assists for the Nuggets, who improved to 2-3 on their six-game road trip and 10-27 on the road.

McDyess tweaked his knee while going for a rebound and called himself day-to-day, but he will be re-evaluated by the team.

Charlotte fell into a tie for second place in the Central Division with Toronto, which beat New Jersey on Friday. More importantly, the Hornets fell two games behind New York in the race for home-court advantage in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.

"There are no explanations," said forward P.J. Brown, who battled foul trouble and had four points six rebounds. "You have to respect your opponent no matter what. We got exposed tonight by not being professionals. It's a terrible loss with what we're trying to obtain. We've got to focus on getting our team back to where it was a week or two ago."

Wesley had 24 points and seven assists and Campbell collected 15 points and nine rebounds. Eddie Robinson chipped in 14 off the bench for the Hornets, who have lost four straight games.

Jamal Mashburn scored 11 of his 18 points in the first quarter, when Charlotte went on a 16-2 run to open up a 27-22 lead.

The Hornets seemed to bury Denver in the second period, using a 23-8 spurt to open a 56-35 advantage on a layup by Baron Davis with 3:03 to go.

Davis scored seven of his nine points during that stretch and Wesley also added seven, highlighted by a pair of 3-pointers. Van Exel displayed shades of things to come by nailing two 3-pointers in the final 2:30 of the first half and the Nuggets closed to 55-48 by halftime.

"(In the second half) we did not keep doing things that got us the lead," Charlotte coach Paul Silas said. "We had horrible execution and that was a horrible exhibition of basketball."

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