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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- UTAH 21 23 21 22 87 DALLAS 25 23 22 26 96 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: UTH - KARL MALONE 24, ANDREI KIRILENKO 18, SCOTT PADGETT 15 DAL - MICHAEL FINLEY 35, DIRK NOWITZKI 24, NICK VAN EXEL 11

HIGH REBOUND: UTH - DONYELL MARSHALL 10, KARL MALONE 7, JARRON COLLINS 6 DAL - RAEF LAFRENTZ 10, EDUARDO NAJERA 8, TWO PLAYERS WITH 6

HIGH ASSISTS: UTH - JOHN STOCKTON 9, KARL MALONE 3, TWO PLAYERS WITH 2 DAL - STEVE NASH 7, NICK VAN EXEL 5, TWO PLAYERS WITH 2

ATT: 20,068


Extended Box

UTAH (87) AT DALLAS (96)

UTAH

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

K MALONE F 39 10-19 4-4 2 5 7 3 4 1 7 24 A KIRILENKO F 38 6-11 6-6 2 2 4 2 2 2 3 18 J COLLINS C 18 0-3 1-2 3 3 6 1 2 0 1 1 B RUSSELL G 24 3-11 0-0 0 4 4 2 5 1 1 7 J STOCKTON G 38 3-10 1-1 0 2 2 9 4 3 4 7 D STEVENSON 10 1-6 1-2 1 1 2 0 3 0 2 3 D MARSHALL 23 3-8 0-0 3 7 10 1 3 0 1 6 S PADGETT 24 6-8 2-2 1 4 5 1 4 0 0 15 J STARKS 4 0-2 2-2 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 2 G OSTERTAG 8 0-0 0-0 0 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 Q LEWIS 14 2-2 0-0 0 1 1 0 2 2 2 4 J AMAECHI DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 34-80 17-19 13 31 44 19 29 9 22 87 (.425) (.895) TEAM REBS: 5 TOTAL TO: 22 (17 PTS)

DALLAS

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

E NAJERA F 33 2-7 2-4 5 3 8 1 3 0 0 6 D NOWITZKI F 37 8-17 7-7 0 6 6 2 2 3 3 24 R LAFRENTZ C 28 2-4 4-4 5 5 10 0 5 2 3 8 M FINLEY G 40 13-23 6-7 1 5 6 1 0 1 2 35 S NASH G 25 1-6 0-0 0 2 2 7 3 1 3 2 N VAN EXEL 26 2-11 7-8 0 2 2 5 1 1 2 11 G BUCKNER 15 1-4 0-0 1 1 2 2 2 1 0 2 A GRIFFIN 8 1-1 0-0 0 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 S BRADLEY 20 2-5 2-2 0 3 3 0 2 2 0 6 W ZHI ZHI 7 0-1 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 J NEWMAN 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 E ESCHMEYER DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 32-79 28-32 12 29 41 19 19 13 15 96 (.405) (.875) TEAM REBS: 9 TOTAL TO: 16 (16 PTS)

UTAH 21 23 21 22 - 87 DALLAS 25 23 22 26 - 96

BLOCKED SHOTS: UTAH - A KIRILENKO 6, B RUSSELL, J STOCKTON, D MARSHALL, Q LEWIS, S PADGETT. DALLAS - S BRADLEY 3, M FINLEY 2, R LAFRENTZ 2, D NOWITZKI, G BUCKNER. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: UTAH 2-9 (.222), A KIRILENKO 0-2, B RUSSELL 1-4, S PADGETT 1-2, J STARKS 0-1. DALLAS 4-12 (.333), D NOWITZKI 1-3, R LAFRENTZ 0- 1, M FINLEY 3-4, S NASH 0-1, N VAN EXEL 0-2, W ZHI ZHI 0-1. TECHNICAL FOULS: DALLAS - DEFENSIVE THREE. FLAGRANT FOULS: NONE. OFFICIALS: JAMES CAPERS, JOE FORTE, LEON WOOD. A - 20,068. T - 2:09.


Box Score

UTAH (87)

fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp K Malone 39 10-19 4-4 2-7 3 4 24 A Kirilenko 38 6-11 6-6 2-4 2 2 18 J Collins 18 0-3 1-2 3-6 1 2 1 B Russell 24 3-11 0-0 0-4 2 5 7 J Stockton 38 3-10 1-1 0-2 9 4 7 D Stevenson 10 1-6 1-2 1-2 0 3 3 D Marshall 23 3-8 0-0 3-10 1 3 6 S Padgett 24 6-8 2-2 1-5 1 4 15 J Starks 4 0-2 2-2 1-1 0 0 2 G Ostertag 8 0-0 0-0 0-2 0 0 0 Q Lewis 14 2-2 0-0 0-1 0 2 4 J Amaechi DNP - COACH'S DECISION

_____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 34-80 17-19 13-44 19 29 87 _____________________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.425, FT-.895. 3-Point Goals: 2-9, .222 (A Kirilenko 0-2, B Russell 1-4, S Padgett 1-2, J Starks 0-1). Team Rebounds: 5. Blocked Shots:11 (A Kirilenko 6, B Russell, J Stockton, D Marshall, Q Lewis, S Padgett). Turnovers:22 (K Malone 7, J Stockton 4, A Kirilenko 3, Q Lewis 2, D Stevenson 2, J Starks, D Marshall, J Collins, B Russell). Steals: 9 (J Stockton 3, Q Lewis 2, A Kirilenko 2, K Malone, B Russell).

DALLAS (96)

fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp E Najera 33 2-7 2-4 5-8 1 3 6 D Nowitzki 37 8-17 7-7 0-6 2 2 24 R Lafrentz 28 2-4 4-4 5-10 0 5 8 M Finley 40 13-23 6-7 1-6 1 0 35 S Nash 25 1-6 0-0 0-2 7 3 2 N Van Exel 26 2-11 7-8 0-2 5 1 11 G Buckner 15 1-4 0-0 1-2 2 2 2 A Griffin 8 1-1 0-0 0-1 1 1 2 S Bradley 20 2-5 2-2 0-3 0 2 6 W Zhi Zhi 7 0-1 0-0 0-1 0 0 0 J Newman 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 E Eschmeyer DNP - COACH'S DECISION

_____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 32-79 28-32 12-41 19 19 96 _____________________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.405, FT-.875. 3-Point Goals: 4-12, .333 (D Nowitzki 1-3, R Lafrentz 0-1, M Finley 3-4, S Nash 0-1, N Van Exel 0-2, W Zhi Zhi 0-1). Team Rebounds: 9. Blocked Shots:9 (S Bradley 3, M Finley 2, R Lafrentz 2, D Nowitzki, G Buckner). Turnovers:15 (S Nash 3, D Nowitzki 3, R Lafrentz 3, M Finley 2, A Griffin 2, N Van Exel 2). Steals: 13 (D Nowitzki 3, S Bradley 2, R Lafrentz 2, A Griffin 2, M Finley, N Van Exel, G Buckner, S Nash).

------------------------------------------- UTAH 21 23 21 22 - 87 DALLAS 25 23 22 26 - 96 -------------------------------------------

Technical fouls: Dallas - 1 (Defensive Three, 3:22 4th). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 20,068. T: 2:09. Officials: James Capers, Joe Forte, Leon Wood.


Game Story

DALLAS (Ticker) -- Dirk Nowitzki returned to action but Michael Finley did most of the damage for the Dallas Mavericks.

Finley scored 35 points and Nowitzki added 24 after missing four games with a sprained ankle as the Mavericks posted a 96-87 victory over the Utah Jazz.

Dallas notched its 30th home victory for the first time since the 1989-90 season. The Mavericks remained tied with San Antonio for the lead in the Midwest Division and must win at Phoenix on Wednesday and hope the Spurs lose at Utah to gain the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference.

San Antonio has the tiebreaker edge based on a 3-1 record against the Mavericks.

"We have put ourselves in a position to win our last ballgame and have a chance to win the division," Dallas coach Don Nelson said. "San Antonio has a tough game at Utah. They (Jazz)are tough to beat at home. They are sure playing hard. They played hard against us and it was tough for us to get the win. It is a good position to be in."

There is also a scenario in which Dallas could earn the third seed if it and San Antonio win and the Los Angeles Lakers lose at home to Sacramento on Wednesday. If all three teams win, they finish with records of 58-24 and the Mavericks would be relegated to the fourth seed.

Two free throws by Shawn Bradley in the third quarter triggered eight straight points as Dallas took the lead for good. Two foul shots by Nick Van Exel capped the run for a 69-62 lead with just under two minutes to go.

Utah pulled within 75-72 on John Stockton's jumper with 9:22 left. Finley dunked and Nowitzki made two free throws and the Mavs never were threatened again.

"I'm playing pretty well right now," Finley said. "My teammates encouraged me to be aggressive. They say when I'm aggressive, offensively we are a better team."

The Jazz fell into a tie for seventh place in the Western Conference with Seattle. They are trying to avoid finishing eighth, which would result in a first-round matchup with Sacramento.

Finley, the reigning NBA player of the week, celebrated by scoring 15 points in the first quarter as Dallas took a 25-21 lead. The Mavs led by as many as 10 points in the second quarter before settling for a 48-44 edge.

"He (Finley) had a quiet 35 tonight," Van Exel said. "He's been playing pretty solid. There isn't another guy that you'd rather have as the last person on your food chain, and that's the guy we have to swing the ball to. He's normally the last one hiding in the corner. He's been knocking those shots down all week."\x0D\x0A Finley scored the Mavs' first 11 points of the third quarter but Dallas was ahead by just 59-55. Nick Van Exel's two foul shots provided a 70-65 lead heading into the fourth.

Karl Malone led Utah with 24 points and rookie Andrei Kirilenko added 18 and tied a season high with six blocks. The Jazz's backcourt of John Stockton and Bryon Russell combined to make just 6-of-21 shots for 14 points.

The sloppy effort by the Jazz included 22 turnovers and 29 fouls. The latter led to Dallas converting 28-of-32 foul shots.

"We put them on the free-throw line and we also threw the ball away a lot," Utah coach Jerry Sloan said. "You’re not going to beat a team like this if you have 22 turnovers. We missed a lot of layups."

Finley made 13-of-23 shots, including three 3-pointers. Nowitzki scored 11 points in the fourth quarter and grabbed six rebounds.

"I wanted to make one of the last two games either today or the one tomorrow," Nowitzki said. "We decided to play today. That gives us another day of rest before hopefully, Saturday's game."

Utah has struggled all year against the top teams in the West, compiling a 3-13 record against the top five teams. The Jazz have a chance to up that mark on Wednesday against the Spurs.

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