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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- MINNESOTA 22 28 17 33 100 DALLAS 39 24 33 24 120 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: MIN - CHAUNCEY BILLUPS 21, FELIPE LOPEZ 18, RADOSLAV NESTEROVIC 12 DAL - MICHAEL FINLEY 24, DIRK NOWITZKI 15, THREE PLAYERS WITH 13

HIGH REBOUND: MIN - FELIPE LOPEZ 10, RADOSLAV NESTEROVIC 8 DAL - DIRK NOWITZKI 8, TWO PLAYERS WITH 7

HIGH ASSISTS: MIN - WILLIAM AVERY 8, LAPHONSO ELLIS 3 DAL - MICHAEL FINLEY 7, STEVE NASH 7

ATT: 18,187


Extended Box

MINNESOTA (100) AT DALLAS (120)

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

MITCHELL F 20 2-6 0-2 1 2 3 1 0 0 1 4 SZCZERBIAK F 23 4-10 3-3 0 4 4 2 1 1 1 11 D GARRETT C 15 3-7 2-3 2 1 3 0 0 1 0 8 BRANDON G 10 1-6 2-2 0 2 2 2 0 1 1 4 PEELER G 21 2-6 0-0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 4 ELLIS 28 2-7 4-6 3 4 7 3 3 0 0 8 AVERY 23 1-11 0-0 0 2 2 8 0 0 0 2 LOPEZ 27 7-11 2-4 3 7 10 2 0 2 2 18 NESTEROVIC 24 5-11 2-4 3 5 8 2 3 0 0 12 SLATER 14 2-2 0-0 0 6 6 0 2 0 3 4 HAMMONDS 16 2-5 0-0 2 0 2 0 6 0 3 4 BILLUPS 19 8-13 2-2 0 1 1 2 1 1 0 21

TOTALS 240 39-95 17-26 14 34 48 23 17 7 12 100 (.411) (.654) TEAM REBS: 9 TOTAL TO: 14(22 PTS)

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

HOWARD F 25 6-9 1-1 0 4 4 6 3 0 2 13 NOWITZKI F 29 5-10 4-4 1 7 8 3 1 2 1 15 BOOTH C 17 6-11 0-0 1 6 7 1 1 0 0 12 FINLEY G 28 10-14 1-2 1 5 6 7 2 3 1 24 NASH G 23 6-9 0-0 0 2 2 7 2 0 2 13 EISLEY 25 3-4 0-0 0 2 2 4 2 1 0 6 BRADLEY 10 1-2 2-2 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 4 NAJERA 22 4-9 0-0 3 4 7 3 2 1 1 8 MAXWELL 20 0-6 1-1 0 3 3 2 1 0 3 1 WANG 17 5-10 3-4 0 3 3 0 2 0 0 13 HARVEY 7 2-2 1-2 0 1 1 0 3 0 3 5 BRYANT 17 2-5 2-4 0 1 1 0 3 1 0 6

TOTALS 240 50-91 15-20 6 39 45 33 23 8 14 120 (.549) (.750) TEAM REBS: 9 TOTAL TO: 14(12 PTS)

MINNESOTA 22 28 17 33 - 100 DALLAS 39 24 33 24 - 120

BLOCKED SHOTS: MINNESOTA - SZCZERBIAK, D GARRETT. DALLAS - NOWITZKI 4, BOOTH 3, NAJERA, FINLEY. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: MINNESOTA 5-11 (.455), AVERY 0-5, LOPEZ 2-2, BILLUPS 3-4. DALLAS 5-17 (.294), HOWARD 0-1, NOWITZKI 1-3, FINLEY 3-4, NASH 1-3, EISLEY 0-1, NAJERA 0-1, MAXWELL 0-3, WANG 0-1. TECHNICALS: MINNESOTA - HAMMONDS. OFFICIALS: BENNETT SALVATORE, DERRICK STAFFORD, MONTY MCCUTCHEN. A - 18,187. T - 2:09.


Box Score

MINNESOTA (100) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Mitchell 20 2-6 0-2 1-3 1 0 4 Szczerbiak 23 4-10 3-3 0-4 2 1 11 D Garrett 15 3-7 2-3 2-3 0 0 8 Brandon 10 1-6 2-2 0-2 2 0 4 Peeler 21 2-6 0-0 0-0 1 1 4 Ellis 28 2-7 4-6 3-7 3 3 8 Avery 23 1-11 0-0 0-2 8 0 2 Lopez 27 7-11 2-4 3-10 2 0 18 Nesterovic 24 5-11 2-4 3-8 2 3 12 Slater 14 2-2 0-0 0-6 0 2 4 Hammonds 16 2-5 0-0 2-2 0 6 4 Billups 19 8-13 2-2 0-1 2 1 21 _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 39-95 17-26 14-48 23 17 100 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.411, FT-.654. 3-Point Goals: 5-11, .455 (Avery 0-5, Lopez 2-2, Billups 3-4). Team rebounds: 9. Blocked shots: 2 (Szczerbiak, D Garrett). Turnovers: 14 (Hammonds 3, Slater 3, Lopez 2, Brandon, Mitchell, Peeler, Szczerbiak). Steals: 7 (Lopez 2, Billups, Brandon, D Garrett, Peeler, Szczerbiak).

DALLAS (120) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Howard 25 6-9 1-1 0-4 6 3 13 Nowitzki 29 5-10 4-4 1-8 3 1 15 Booth 17 6-11 0-0 1-7 1 1 12 Finley 28 10-14 1-2 1-6 7 2 24 Nash 23 6-9 0-0 0-2 7 2 13 Eisley 25 3-4 0-0 0-2 4 2 6 Bradley 10 1-2 2-2 0-1 0 1 4 Najera 22 4-9 0-0 3-7 3 2 8 Maxwell 20 0-6 1-1 0-3 2 1 1 Wang 17 5-10 3-4 0-3 0 2 13 Harvey 7 2-2 1-2 0-1 0 3 5 Bryant 17 2-5 2-4 0-1 0 3 6 _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 50-91 15-20 6-45 33 23 120 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.549, FT-.750. 3-Point Goals: 5-17, .294 (Howard 0-1, Nowitzki 1-3, Finley 3-4, Nash 1-3, Eisley 0-1, Najera 0-1, Maxwell 0-3, Wang 0-1). Team rebounds: 9. Blocked shots: 9 (Nowitzki 4, Booth 3, Najera, Finley). Turnovers: 14 (Harvey 3, Maxwell 3, Howard 2, Nash 2, Bradley, Finley, Najera, Nowitzki). Steals: 8 (Finley 3, Nowitzki 2, Bryant, Eisley, Najera). ____________________________________________ Minnesota 22 28 17 33 - 100 Dallas 39 24 33 24 - 120 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: Minnesota 1 (Hammonds, 2:28 4th). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 18,187. T: 2:09. Officials: Bennett Salvatore, Derrick Stafford, Monty Mccutchen.


Game Story

DALLAS (Ticker) -- The Dallas Mavericks look ready for the playoffs. The Minnesota Timberwolves do not.

Michael Finley scored 24 points to lead six players in double figures as the Mavericks tuned up for their first playoff berth in 11 years with a 120-100 victory over the Timberwolves.

Dallas completed a 53-29 campaign -- a 13-game improvement over last season -- and is in the playoffs for the first time since 1990. The Mavericks are seeded fifth in the Western Conference and open Saturday at Utah, where they have won twice this season.

"There are a lot of lessons to start to learn now," Dallas coach Don Nelson said. "It couldn't happen with a better team because they are teachers. You have to beat Utah. You have to play well. You have to find ways to maneuver around all of their idiosyncrasies. It's going to be veterans playing against rookies -- very talented rookies, really. It is our first smell of the playoffs and they have been there so many times. They are going to have an advantage over us. We are really going to have to play well."

"I think we match up well with Utah," Finley said. "We've had some good games against them. More importantly, we've beaten them. More importantly than that, we've beaten them on their home court. That's some positives going in for us. We just have to remember that and go in with that mentality."

Although Nelson played his starters limited minutes, Dallas still cruised to its fourth straight win. The Mavs shot a blistering 55 percent (50-of-91) from the field, including 10-of-14 by Finley.

Chinese 7-foot rookie Wang Zhi Zhi scored 13 points in 17 minutes of garbage time. For the second time this season, the likable giant endeared himself to the Reunion Arena faithful by making the shot that gave the Mavs 100 points and the fans free chalupas.

The Timberwolves aren't exactly clicking as they enter the playoffs for the fifth straight year. On Tuesday, they suffered their worst loss of the season, a 114-87 setback at Houston.

In this one, they were without superstar forward Kevin Garnett, who was rested by coach Flip Saunders. But they fell behind, 39-22, after one quarter and never really recovered.

Minnesota (47-35) never has won a playoff series. As the No. 8 seed in the West, it will face top-seeded San Antonio, which dispatched the Timberwolves in the first round in 1999.

"We had them beat the first time we played down there and the last time, we missed a free throw with seven seconds to go," Saunders said. "We are looking forward to going down there and playing against them. We're very familiar with them. It's a great rivalry, it's one of our biggest rivalries."

"Someone asked me the other day how we felt being the eighth seed. The eighth seed is just a number," Garnett said. "You have to show and prove yourself every night no matter what seed you are. Our confidence is very high because we know we are capable of doing. We can knock up points with the best of them. When we execute, we are one of the best teams in the league by far."

Dirk Nowitzki scored 15 points and Juwan Howard and Steve Nash added 13 apiece for the Mavs, who led 96-67 after three quarters.

Chauncey Billups scored 21 points and Felipe Lopez added 18 and 10 rebounds for Minnesota, which shot 41 percent (39-of-95).

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