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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- DALLAS 24 26 25 29 104 DENVER 32 18 18 29 97 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: DAL - DIRK NOWITZKI 26, JUWAN HOWARD 19, STEVE NASH 17 DEN - RAEF LAFRENTZ 24, RYAN BOWEN 18, JAMES POSEY 17

HIGH REBOUND: DAL - JUWAN HOWARD 13, DIRK NOWITZKI 10 DEN - CALBERT CHEANEY 7, VOSHON LENARD 7

HIGH ASSISTS: DAL - STEVE NASH 8, TIM HARDAWAY 6 DEN - NICK VAN EXEL 15, VOSHON LENARD 4

ATT: 16,045


Extended Box

DALLAS (104) AT DENVER (97)

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

HOWARD F 36 7-15 5-6 5 8 13 4 2 0 2 19 NEWMAN F 15 2-5 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 2 0 5 NOWITZKI C 41 11-20 1-3 1 9 10 3 6 0 4 26 GRIFFIN G 40 5-9 1-1 2 2 4 4 2 1 0 12 NASH G 35 8-15 0-0 0 2 2 8 0 0 4 17 NAJERA 26 1-4 1-2 0 7 7 1 2 0 0 3 T HARDAWAY 24 3-6 7-8 0 4 4 6 0 0 3 16 WANG 10 0-2 0-0 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 MANNING 13 3-5 0-0 0 1 1 0 2 1 1 6 BELL DNP - COACH'S DECISION BRADLEY DNP - COACH'S DECISION D HARVEY DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 40-81 15-20 8 34 42 28 15 4 14 104 (.494) (.750) TEAM REBS: 10 TOTAL TO: 15(12 PTS)

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

BOWEN F 30 6-10 6-7 1 1 2 2 3 1 1 18 CHEANEY F 41 6-8 0-0 1 6 7 2 2 1 0 12 LAFRENTZ C 33 11-19 0-1 2 2 4 2 2 0 1 24 POSEY G 32 6-13 3-3 0 5 5 3 4 1 2 17 VAN EXEL G 43 4-10 0-0 0 6 6 15 3 3 0 9 LENARD 25 2-13 0-0 1 6 7 4 2 1 2 4 G MCCLOUD 17 2-7 0-0 1 3 4 3 2 0 2 4 HAMILTON 7 1-1 0-0 0 2 2 0 2 0 0 2 JOHNSON 12 2-5 3-4 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 7 ANDERSEN DNP - COACH'S DECISION SATTERFIELD DNP - COACH'S DECISION WILLIAMS DNP - SORE LOWER BACK

TOTALS 240 40-86 12-15 6 31 37 32 21 7 8 97 (.465) (.800) TEAM REBS: 6 TOTAL TO: 8(12 PTS)

DALLAS 24 26 25 29 - 104 DENVER 32 18 18 29 - 97

BLOCKED SHOTS: DALLAS - HOWARD 2, NAJERA 2, NOWITZKI, MANNING. DENVER - CHEANEY 2, LAFRENTZ 2, VAN EXEL. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: DALLAS 9-14 (.643), NEWMAN 1-2, NOWITZKI 3-3, GRIFFIN 1-3, NASH 1-2, T HARDAWAY 3-4. DENVER 5-19 (.263), LAFRENTZ 2-3, POSEY 2-7, VAN EXEL 1-2, LENARD 0-3, G MCCLOUD 0-4. TECHNICALS: NONE. OFFICIALS: GARY BENSON, KEN MAUER, BERNIE FRYER. A - 16,045. T - 2:05.


Box Score

DALLAS (104) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Howard 36 7-15 5-6 5-13 4 2 19 Newman 15 2-5 0-0 0-0 1 0 5 Nowitzki 41 11-20 1-3 1-10 3 6 26 Griffin 40 5-9 1-1 2-4 4 2 12 Nash 35 8-15 0-0 0-2 8 0 17 Najera 26 1-4 1-2 0-7 1 2 3 T Hardaway 24 3-6 7-8 0-4 6 0 16 Wang 10 0-2 0-0 0-1 1 1 0 Manning 13 3-5 0-0 0-1 0 2 6 Bell DNP - coach's decision Bradley DNP - coach's decision D Harvey DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 40-81 15-20 8-42 28 15 104 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.494, FT-.750. 3-Point Goals: 9-14, .643 (Newman 1-2, Nowitzki 3-3, Griffin 1-3, Nash 1-2, T Hardaway 3-4). Team rebounds: 10. Blocked shots: 6 (Howard 2, Najera 2, Nowitzki, Manning). Turnovers: 15 (Nash 4, Nowitzki 4, T Hardaway 3, Howard 2, Manning). Steals: 4 (Newman 2, Griffin, Manning).

DENVER (97) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Bowen 30 6-10 6-7 1-2 2 3 18 Cheaney 41 6-8 0-0 1-7 2 2 12 Lafrentz 33 11-19 0-1 2-4 2 2 24 Posey 32 6-13 3-3 0-5 3 4 17 Van Exel 43 4-10 0-0 0-6 15 3 9 Lenard 25 2-13 0-0 1-7 4 2 4 G Mccloud 17 2-7 0-0 1-4 3 2 4 Hamilton 7 1-1 0-0 0-2 0 2 2 Johnson 12 2-5 3-4 0-0 1 1 7 Andersen DNP - coach's decision Satterfield DNP - coach's decision Williams DNP - sore lower back _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 40-86 12-15 6-37 32 21 97 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.465, FT-.800. 3-Point Goals: 5-19, .263 (Lafrentz 2-3, Posey 2-7, Van Exel 1-2, Lenard 0-3, G Mccloud 0-4). Team rebounds: 6. Blocked shots: 5 (Cheaney 2, Lafrentz 2, Van Exel). Turnovers: 8 (G Mccloud 2, Lenard 2, Posey 2, Bowen, Lafrentz). Steals: 7 (Van Exel 3, Bowen, Cheaney, Lenard, Posey). ____________________________________________ Dallas 24 26 25 29 - 104 Denver 32 18 18 29 - 97 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: None. Flagrant fouls: Denver 1 (Cheaney, 7:52 4th). A: 16,045. T: 2:05. Officials: Gary Benson, Ken Mauer, Bernie Fryer.


Game Story

DENVER (Ticker) -- Coming off their biggest win of the season, the Denver Nuggets were handed a dose of reality by Dirk Nowitzki and the red-hot Dallas Mavericks.

Nowitzki had 26 points and 10 rebounds and Juwan Howard added 19 and 13 as the Mavericks extended their winning streak to six games with a 104-97 victory over the Nuggets.

The German 7-footer continued his All-Star caliber play. He has averaged 32.7 points and 9.5 rebounds during the winning streak and entered Thursday eighth in the NBA with 24.4 points per game and 11th with 9.5 rebounds per contest.

Nowitzki has averaged 28.7 points in the Mavericks' three wins over the Nuggets this season. Dallas has won 19 of the last 24 meetings with its Midwest Division foe.

Howard scored 10 points in the third quarter, including a seven-foot hook with 7:11 remaining that put the Mavericks ahead for good, 60-59.

Raef LaFrentz tallied 18 points in the opening quarter to give the Nuggets an early 32-24 advantage. But Denver failed to build upon its biggest victory of the campaign, closing a three-game road trip with a stunning 16-point win over the defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday.

"We played better defensively in the second half. We finally started guarding Raef a little more and not giving him the open looks," Nowitzki said. "I think we did a great job on (Nick) Van Exel the whole game. We guarded them well, especially in the second half, and that was the key to win."

Van Exel matched his season high with 15 assists but scored just nine points as the Nuggets lost for the 11th time in their last 14 games.

"We had a good rhythm in the first quarter, but then we stopped pushing the ball," Van Exel said. "They shoot the ball so well over there. Once we lost the momentum it was tough to get it back."

Mavericks coach Don Nelson returned to the sidelines after a two-game absence. His wife of 10-plus years, Joy, underwent successful breast cancer surgery Monday and Nelson, who had prostate cancer surgery just over a year ago, miss the team's contests to be at her side.

"It's great to be back. It's easier to coach than to watch the games on TV. That's more nerve-racking," Nelson said. "In the second half we came out with a lot of energy. Juwan Howard was big for us and Tim Hardaway gave us veteran leadership down the stretch."

Hardaway held off Denver's late charge after Nowitzki fouled out with 3:44 left.

Playing in his 13th NBA season, the five-time All-Star converted 7-of-8 from the foul line during the final 2 1/2 minutes. He finished with 16 points, including three 3-pointers, as well as six assists in 24 minutes off the bench.

The Mavericks overcame a 10-point second-quarter deficit to knot the contest at halftime, 50-50.

Howard's hook shot in the third sparked a 13-4 burst. Nowitzki nailed a 3-pointer from the left corner to cap the run and give the Mavericks a 71-63 lead with 3:25 left.

"Ever since Michael (Finley) went down, everyone has to step up. This is big for us that we're finding ways to win," Howard said. "I think around this league people say that's what good teams do. Hopefully we are working hard and learning to become a good team."

Finley was placed on the injured list before the Mavericks' previous game against the Nuggets on January 8. The All-Star swingman, who was averaging 20.1 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game this season, is hobbled by a strained left hamstring.

The Nuggets grabbed the first-quarter lead by continuing their great shooting from Tuesday. Denver shot 70 percent (14-of-20) from the floor during the opening 12 minutes after hitting 56.5 percent from the field at Los Angeles.

"Guys we count on to score just didn't come through for us tonight," Nuggets coach Mike Evans said. "Veshon Lenard was only 2-of-13. His shot just wouldn't fall tonight. We executed well in the first half but it just wasn't there in the second. We just can't seem to play well in consecutive games."

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