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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- HOUSTON 22 24 16 19 81 DENVER 25 25 37 21 108 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: HOU - KENNY THOMAS 24, WALT WILLIAMS 14, THREE PLAYERS WITH 7 DEN - ISAIAH RIDER 28, NICK VAN EXEL 28, AVERY JOHNSON 14

HIGH REBOUND: HOU - KENNY THOMAS 5, TWO PLAYERS WITH 4 DEN - ISAIAH RIDER 10, TWO PLAYERS WITH 6

HIGH ASSISTS: HOU - MOOCHIE NORRIS 5, THREE PLAYERS WITH 3 DEN - AVERY JOHNSON 11, NICK VAN EXEL 9

ATT: 11,451


Extended Box

HOUSTON (81) AT DENVER (108)

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

RICE F 21 1-5 0-0 0 1 1 3 0 0 0 3 THOMAS F 28 7-11 10-13 1 4 5 1 0 0 2 24 CATO C 16 3-3 1-4 1 1 2 0 2 1 1 7 FRANCIS G 23 1-5 5-5 0 1 1 2 3 0 3 7 MOBLEY G 29 1-10 0-1 1 3 4 3 2 2 0 3 K WILLIS 10 2-3 2-4 3 0 3 0 2 0 0 6 W WILLIAMS 27 4-8 3-4 1 2 3 0 1 0 1 14 NORRIS 19 2-4 1-2 0 2 2 5 1 0 3 5 GRIFFIN 19 1-5 1-2 1 3 4 0 0 0 0 3 TORRES 20 3-6 1-1 0 2 2 1 2 0 0 7 MORRIS 16 0-3 0-2 1 2 3 2 3 1 2 0 BROWN 12 1-6 0-0 1 0 1 3 1 1 1 2

TOTALS 240 26-69 24-38 10 21 31 20 17 5 13 81 (.377) (.632) TEAM REBS: 13 TOTAL TO: 14(22 PTS)

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

ABDUL-WAHAD F 27 2-6 0-1 2 1 3 3 3 0 2 4 G MCCLOUD F 21 1-2 2-2 0 6 6 0 4 0 2 4 LAFRENTZ C 23 5-8 0-2 2 3 5 2 3 0 1 11 RIDER G 31 12-19 4-7 3 7 10 1 1 0 0 28 VAN EXEL G 40 12-21 2-3 0 3 3 9 3 0 3 28 WILLIAMS 13 1-1 0-0 0 4 4 0 1 1 1 2 JOHNSON 32 6-12 2-3 1 1 2 11 1 4 0 14 POSEY 18 3-5 0-0 2 4 6 4 4 1 1 6 BOWEN 19 1-1 0-0 3 2 5 1 5 1 0 2 HAMILTON 6 1-4 1-2 3 1 4 0 0 0 0 3 LENARD 5 3-5 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 6 SCOTT 5 0-2 0-0 1 2 3 1 1 0 1 0

TOTALS 240 47-86 11-20 17 34 51 32 26 7 12 108 (.547) (.550) TEAM REBS: 10 TOTAL TO: 12(16 PTS)

HOUSTON 22 24 16 19 - 81 DENVER 25 25 37 21 - 108

BLOCKED SHOTS: HOUSTON - W WILLIAMS 2, RICE, MORRIS, GRIFFIN, MOBLEY. DENVER - ABDUL-WAHAD 2, LAFRENTZ 2, JOHNSON, POSEY, RIDER. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: HOUSTON 5-18 (.278), RICE 1-2, FRANCIS 0-2, MOBLEY 1-4, W WILLIAMS 3-4, GRIFFIN 0-2, TORRES 0-2, MORRIS 0-1, BROWN 0-1. DENVER 3-10 (.300), LAFRENTZ 1-2, RIDER 0-1, VAN EXEL 2-6, POSEY 0-1. TECHNICALS: HOUSTON - RICE, DENVER - , RIDER. OFFICIALS: BOB DELANEY, LUIS GRILLO, KEVIN FEHR. A - 11,451. T - 2:10.


Box Score

HOUSTON (81) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Rice 21 1-5 0-0 0-1 3 0 3 Thomas 28 7-11 10-13 1-5 1 0 24 Cato 16 3-3 1-4 1-2 0 2 7 Francis 23 1-5 5-5 0-1 2 3 7 Mobley 29 1-10 0-1 1-4 3 2 3 K Willis 10 2-3 2-4 3-3 0 2 6 W Williams 27 4-8 3-4 1-3 0 1 14 Norris 19 2-4 1-2 0-2 5 1 5 Griffin 19 1-5 1-2 1-4 0 0 3 Torres 20 3-6 1-1 0-2 1 2 7 Morris 16 0-3 0-2 1-3 2 3 0 Brown 12 1-6 0-0 1-1 3 1 2 _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 26-69 24-38 10-31 20 17 81 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.377, FT-.632. 3-Point Goals: 5-18, .278 (Rice 1-2, Francis 0-2, Mobley 1-4, W Williams 3-4, Griffin 0-2, Torres 0-2, Morris 0-1, Brown 0-1). Team rebounds: 13. Blocked shots: 6 (W Williams 2, Rice, Morris, Griffin, Mobley). Turnovers: 14 (Francis 3, Norris 3, Morris 2, Thomas 2, Brown, Cato, W Williams). Steals: 5 (Mobley 2, Brown, Cato, Morris).

DENVER (108) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Abdul-wahad 27 2-6 0-1 2-3 3 3 4 G Mccloud 21 1-2 2-2 0-6 0 4 4 Lafrentz 23 5-8 0-2 2-5 2 3 11 Rider 31 12-19 4-7 3-10 1 1 28 Van Exel 40 12-21 2-3 0-3 9 3 28 Williams 13 1-1 0-0 0-4 0 1 2 Johnson 32 6-12 2-3 1-2 11 1 14 Posey 18 3-5 0-0 2-6 4 4 6 Bowen 19 1-1 0-0 3-5 1 5 2 Hamilton 6 1-4 1-2 3-4 0 0 3 Lenard 5 3-5 0-0 0-0 0 0 6 Scott 5 0-2 0-0 1-3 1 1 0 _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 47-86 11-20 17-51 32 26 108 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.547, FT-.550. 3-Point Goals: 3-10, .300 (Lafrentz 1-2, Rider 0-1, Van Exel 2-6, Posey 0-1). Team rebounds: 10. Blocked shots: 7 (Abdul-wahad 2, Lafrentz 2, Johnson, Posey, Rider). Turnovers: 12 (Van Exel 3, Abdul-wahad 2, G Mccloud 2, Lafrentz, Lenard, Posey, Scott, Williams). Steals: 7 (Johnson 4, Bowen, Posey, Williams). ____________________________________________ Houston 22 24 16 19 - 81 Denver 25 25 37 21 - 108 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: Houston 1 (Rice, 6:38 1st). Denver 2 (, 10:15 1st; Rider, 5:36 2nd). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 11,451. T: 2:10. Officials: Bob Delaney, Luis Grillo, Kevin Fehr.


Game Story

DENVER (Ticker) -- Nick Van Exel and Isaiah Rider scored 28 points apiece to lead the Denver Nuggets to a 108-81 victory over the Houston Rockets.

The win snapped the Nuggets' four-game skid -- since a victory over Phoenix on opening night -- and extended their winning streak over the Rockets to four games.

Van Exel scored 13 points in the first quarter and added 10 in the third, when Denver outscored Houston, 37-16. The veteran guard shot 12-of-21 from the field and 2-of-3 from the free-throw line in 40 minutes.

"Nick got really hot and we couldn't stop him," Houston forward Kenny Thomas said. "And Isaiah got his points, too."

"Van Exel and Rider were in the zone," Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich added.

Rider, who had 18 points in the first half, shot 12-of-19 from the floor and 4-of-7 from the line while pulling down 10 rebounds. Normally a distraction, he has provided a nice scoring punch for the Nuggets.

"It feels good to get an opportunity to play," Rider said. "For me, that's what it's all about. My plea is to just get more minutes. I don't have to start, I just want to get as many minutes as I can."

Thomas led Houston with 24 points, shooting 7-of-11 from the field and 10-of-13 from the line.

"I got out there early and it felt really good," Thomas said. "It didn't feel different from any other game, but I took my shots and they went in."

The Rockets were seeking their first five-game winning streak since April 5-13, 2000.

The Nuggets trailed 44-43 with 2:48 left in the second when Steve Francis hit a pair of free throws. Francis scored just seven points on 1-of-5 shooting from the floor but was perfect on all five shots from the line.

James Posey gave Denver the lead for good 18 seconds later when he hit a 19-foot jumper from the right sideline.

Rider followed with a layup and a free throw before Posey, who finished with six points, hit a jumper from the left sideline. Francis added a field goal to bring Houston within 50-46 at the half.

It was the closet Houston got as Denver opened the third quarter with a 13-4 run. Rider closed the spurt with two free throws, making it 63-50, and gave the Nuggets their biggest lead of the quarter, 87-62, with 17 seconds remaining.

"It all came together tonight, especially in the third quarter," Denver coach Dan Issel said. "We shot well, we limited them to one shot on defense and took them out of their offense."

Van Exel gave the Nuggets their biggest lead of the game, 95-68, with 7:10 left as he hit one of his two 3-pointers from the right side.

It was the largest margin of victory for Denver since a 122-88 win over the Golden State Warriors on March 3, 2000.

"We didn't stand around and watch," Nuggets guard Avery Johnson said. "Everyone got involved and took advantage of mismatches."

Johnson scored 14 points on 6-of-12 shooting.

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