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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- DENVER 22 22 26 27 97 UTAH 26 30 22 28 106 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: DEN - NICK VAN EXEL 26, CHRIS ANDERSON 17, JAMES POSEY 16 UTH - KARL MALONE 26, BRYON RUSSELL 17, JOHN STOCKTON 14

HIGH REBOUND: DEN - NICK VAN EXEL 9, CHRIS ANDERSON 9 UTH - JARRON COLLINS 7, THREE PLAYERS WITH 6

HIGH ASSISTS: DEN - NICK VAN EXEL 5, JAMES POSEY 3 UTH - KARL MALONE 8, JOHN STOCKTON 7

ATT: 17,809


Extended Box

DENVER (97) AT UTAH (106)

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

CHEANEY F 22 2-5 0-0 3 0 3 1 3 0 0 4 HAMILTON F 16 2-4 0-0 2 1 3 1 4 0 0 4 LAFRENTZ C 34 4-8 1-2 0 1 1 1 3 0 2 10 POSEY G 40 4-11 8-8 1 4 5 3 1 3 2 16 VAN EXEL G 46 10-23 5-8 1 8 9 5 3 0 2 26 BOWEN 24 1-2 3-3 1 1 2 1 1 0 0 5 LENARD 20 3-9 0-0 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 7 ANDERSON 22 5-9 7-8 4 5 9 0 2 0 1 17 JOHNSON 16 3-8 2-2 0 1 1 2 2 0 0 8 G MCCLOUD DNP - STRAINED RIGHT CALF SATTERFIELD DNP - COACH'S DECISION WILLIAMS DNP - STRAINED BACK

TOTALS 240 34-79 26-31 12 22 34 14 20 3 8 97 (.430) (.839) TEAM REBS: 8 TOTAL TO: 8(13 PTS)

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

KIRILENKO F 18 4-9 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 1 3 8 MALONE F 41 10-18 6-8 2 4 6 8 3 2 1 26 JA COLLINS C 26 4-7 2-2 2 5 7 2 2 0 1 10 STEVENSON G 21 2-8 1-2 1 2 3 2 2 1 0 5 STOCKTON G 28 4-7 5-5 1 5 6 7 4 0 0 14 CROTTY 27 5-6 0-0 0 6 6 5 4 0 3 12 RUSSELL 32 7-12 0-0 2 3 5 2 4 0 1 17 OSTERTAG 13 2-3 0-0 1 2 3 1 3 0 1 4 STARKS 18 2-5 0-0 0 2 2 3 2 0 1 5 PADGETT 16 2-3 0-0 0 2 2 0 3 0 2 5 AMAECHI DNP - COACH'S DECISION MARSHALL DNP - BRUISED RIGHT HIP

TOTALS 240 42-78 14-17 9 32 41 30 27 4 13 106 (.538) (.824) TEAM REBS: 6 TOTAL TO: 13(15 PTS)

DENVER 22 22 26 27 - 97 UTAH 26 30 22 28 - 106

BLOCKED SHOTS: DENVER - LAFRENTZ 2, ANDERSON 2, POSEY, BOWEN, LENARD. UTAH - KIRILENKO 3, JA COLLINS 2, RUSSELL, MALONE, STOCKTON. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: DENVER 3-13 (.231), LAFRENTZ 1-2, POSEY 0-1, VAN EXEL 1-3, LENARD 1-5, ANDERSON 0-2. UTAH 8-15 (.533), KIRILENKO 0-2, STOCKTON 1-1, CROTTY 2-2, RUSSELL 3-8, STARKS 1-1, PADGETT 1-1. TECHNICALS: DENVER - DEFENSIVE THREE. OFFICIALS: DAN CRAWFORD, SCOTT FOSTER, MARC DAVIS. A - 17,809. T - 2:03.


Box Score

DENVER (97) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Cheaney 22 2-5 0-0 3-3 1 3 4 Hamilton 16 2-4 0-0 2-3 1 4 4 Lafrentz 34 4-8 1-2 0-1 1 3 10 Posey 40 4-11 8-8 1-5 3 1 16 Van Exel 46 10-23 5-8 1-9 5 3 26 Bowen 24 1-2 3-3 1-2 1 1 5 Lenard 20 3-9 0-0 0-1 0 1 7 Anderson 22 5-9 7-8 4-9 0 2 17 Johnson 16 3-8 2-2 0-1 2 2 8 G Mccloud DNP - strained right calf Satterfield DNP - coach's decision Williams DNP - strained back _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 34-79 26-31 12-34 14 20 97 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.430, FT-.839. 3-Point Goals: 3-13, .231 (Lafrentz 1-2, Posey 0-1, Van Exel 1-3, Lenard 1-5, Anderson 0-2). Team rebounds: 8. Blocked shots: 7 (Lafrentz 2, Anderson 2, Posey, Bowen, Lenard). Turnovers: 8 (Lafrentz 2, Posey 2, Van Exel 2, Anderson, Lenard). Steals: 3 (Posey 3).

UTAH (106) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Kirilenko 18 4-9 0-0 0-1 0 0 8 Malone 41 10-18 6-8 2-6 8 3 26 Ja Collins 26 4-7 2-2 2-7 2 2 10 Stevenson 21 2-8 1-2 1-3 2 2 5 Stockton 28 4-7 5-5 1-6 7 4 14 Crotty 27 5-6 0-0 0-6 5 4 12 Russell 32 7-12 0-0 2-5 2 4 17 Ostertag 13 2-3 0-0 1-3 1 3 4 Starks 18 2-5 0-0 0-2 3 2 5 Padgett 16 2-3 0-0 0-2 0 3 5 Amaechi DNP - coach's decision Marshall DNP - bruised right hip _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 42-78 14-17 9-41 30 27 106 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.538, FT-.824. 3-Point Goals: 8-15, .533 (Kirilenko 0-2, Stockton 1-1, Crotty 2-2, Russell 3-8, Starks 1-1, Padgett 1-1). Team rebounds: 6. Blocked shots: 8 (Kirilenko 3, Ja Collins 2, Russell, Malone, Stockton). Turnovers: 13 (Crotty 3, Kirilenko 3, Padgett 2, Ja Collins, Malone, Ostertag, Russell, Starks). Steals: 4 (Malone 2, Kirilenko, Stevenson). ____________________________________________ Denver 22 22 26 27 - 97 Utah 26 30 22 28 - 106 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: Denver 1 (Defensive Three, 4:32 2nd). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 17,809. T: 2:03. Officials: Dan Crawford, Scott Foster, Marc Davis.


Game Story

SALT LAKE CITY (Ticker) -- The Utah Jazz are starting to resemble their form of the last 19 seasons.

Bryon Russell scored 14 of his 17 points in the first half as the Jazz continued their home dominance of the Denver Nuggets with a 106-97 victory.

In the playoffs each of the last 19 seasons, the Jazz started slowly this campaign, losing 11 of their first 17 games. But Utah has gone 14-6 since that start, moving a season-high three games over .500.

"There's always room for improvement," Jazz guard John Stockton said. "This team has a lot of potential to get better as time goes on."

Russell was one of the keys in the Jazz' latest victory as his big first half helped Utah open a 56-44 lead. The Jazz led the entire second half.

"I thought we played better Saturday night than we did today," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said. "The outcome of the ballgame wasn't the same, but I thought we played better the other night."

Karl Malone scored 26 points to lead the Jazz, who beat Denver at the Delta Center for the 11th straight time, dating to December 7, 1996.

Nick Van Exel netted 26 points and rookie Chris Anderson, playing in just his third game, added a season-high 17 for the Nuggets.

Denver has lost 11 of its last 13 games overall and at 11-25 has the worst record in the Western Conference.

"It was a tough game," Denver coach Mike Evans said. "I thought we played hard. I thought we did well in a lot of categories tonight but the glaring category was that they shot like 8-for-13, 8-for-15 from the 3-point line, and we were like 3-for-13."

Just past the midway point of the second quarter, the Jazz held a two-point lead before using a 18-8 spurt to close the half to open a double-digit advantage.

Backup point guard John Crotty started the surge with a 3-pointer from the right sideline and Russell, who had five points in the burst, capped it with a shot from beyond the arc with 55 seconds left in the half.

John Stockton and Crotty each had their way with the Denver backcourt, combining for 26 points, 12 assists and 12 rebounds.

Denver swingman James Posey played in the backcourt, but at 6-8, he had his hands full with the quicker Stockton and Crotty. Posey had 16 points, but clearly was a liability on the defensive end.

Anderson, who had scored two points in his previous two games, converted a pair of free throws with 4:40 left in the third quarter, pulling Denver within 64-61. But that was as close as they would get.

Crotty drilled a long 3-pointer and rookie Jarron Collins had conescutive baskets, fueling an 11-2 run that made it 75-63 with 2:29 left in the period. Crotty went 5-of-6 from the field.

Malone netted eight points in the period as the Jazz held a 78-70 advantage heading into the final quarter. Malone finished 10-of-18 from the field with eight assists and six rebounds.

The Nuggets got as close as five points in the fourth quarter, but Utah regained control and took an 88-78 lead with 6:29 left on Malone's 18-footer.

Utah shot 54 percent (42-of-78) while holding the Nuggets to 43 percent (34-of-79).

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