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NBA  FINAL            1ST  2ND  3RD  4TH  TOTAL
                      ---  ---  ---  ---  -----
     INDIANA          17   20   27   17    81   
     DENVER           23   26   18   25    92      FINAL

HIGH SCORERS:   IND - JERMAINE O'NEAL 26, RON ARTEST 19, BRAD 
                      MILLER 15
                DEN - CHRIS WHITNEY 23, JAMES POSEY 18, JUWAN 
                      HOWARD 17

HIGH REBOUND:   IND - BRAD MILLER 9, AL HARRINGTON 7, TWO 
                      PLAYERS WITH 6
                DEN - JUWAN HOWARD 10, DONNELL HARVEY 10, 
                      JAMES POSEY 6

HIGH ASSISTS:   IND - JAMAAL TINSLEY 7, REGGIE MILLER 3, TWO 
                      PLAYERS WITH 2
                DEN - DONNELL HARVEY 5, LORINZA HARRINGTON 5, 
                      JAMES POSEY 4

Box Score

INDIANA (81) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp J O'Neal 33 8-13 10-13 0-6 2 4 26 R Artest 34 6-18 6-7 4-6 1 6 19 B Miller 35 4-10 7-8 5-9 2 5 15 J Tinsley 34 1-4 4-6 1-4 7 6 7 R Miller 34 0-4 2-2 0-2 3 5 2 E Strickland 8 0-4 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 J Bender 15 2-4 1-2 1-2 0 1 6 A Harrington 28 3-6 0-2 1-7 0 2 6 J Foster 4 0-0 0-2 0-0 0 2 0 R Mercer 9 0-2 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 A Croshere 6 0-3 0-0 2-3 0 0 0 _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 24-68 30-42 14-39 15 31 81 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.353, FT-.714. 3-Point Goals: 3-14, .214 (R Artest 1-4, J Tinsley 1-4, R Miller 0-2, E Strickland 0-2, J Bender 1-2). Team Rebounds: 15. Blocked Shots:6 (A Harrington 2, J O'Neal, J Bender, R Artest, J Foster). Turnovers:18 (J Tinsley 7, R Miller 4, J O'Neal 4, R Mercer, B Miller, A Harrington). Steals: 6 (R Artest 4, J Tinsley 2). DENVER (92) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp J Howard 37 7-17 3-4 2-10 3 3 17 R Bowen 20 1-3 0-0 0-2 0 3 2 M Blount 35 4-8 5-8 2-3 3 6 13 C Whitney 30 6-17 8-9 0-3 2 4 23 J Posey 48 5-13 6-8 2-6 4 4 18 D Harvey 32 4-10 1-2 1-10 5 1 9 N Hilario 12 1-3 1-2 0-1 1 4 3 L Harrington 19 3-5 0-0 0-1 5 3 7 V Yarbrough 7 0-0 0-0 1-2 1 2 0 K Satterfield DNP - COACH'S DECISION R White DNP - COACH'S DECISION N Tskitishvili DNP - COACH'S DECISION _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 31-76 24-33 8-38 24 30 92 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.408, FT-.727. 3-Point Goals: 6-15, .400 (C Whitney 3-8, J Posey 2-5, D Harvey 0-1, L Harrington 1-1). Team Rebounds: 18. Blocked Shots:8 (M Blount 5, R Bowen 2, D Harvey). Turnovers:14 (J Posey 4, C Whitney 3, M Blount 3, L Harrington 2, R Bowen, N Hilario). Steals: 11 (J Posey 3, M Blount 3, C Whitney, N Hilario, L Harrington, D Harvey, R Bowen). ------------------------------------------- INDIANA 17 20 27 17 - 81 DENVER 23 26 18 25 - 92 ------------------------------------------- Technical fouls: Indiana - 2 (R Artest, 11:43 1st; B Miller, 6:07 2nd). Flagrant fouls: Denver 1 (J Posey, 6:13 3rd). Indiana 1 (B Miller, 8:59 2n). A: N/A. T: N/A. Officials: Michael Smith, Ron Garretson, Scott Foster.


Extended Box

INDIANA (81) AT DENVER (92) INDIANA REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === J O'NEAL F 33 8-13 10-13 0 6 6 2 4 0 4 26 R ARTEST F 34 6-18 6-7 4 2 6 1 6 4 0 19 B MILLER C 35 4-10 7-8 5 4 9 2 5 0 1 15 J TINSLEY G 34 1-4 4-6 1 3 4 7 6 2 7 7 R MILLER G 34 0-4 2-2 0 2 2 3 5 0 4 2 E STRICKLAND 8 0-4 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 J BENDER 15 2-4 1-2 1 1 2 0 1 0 0 6 A HARRINGTON 28 3-6 0-2 1 6 7 0 2 0 1 6 J FOSTER 4 0-0 0-2 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 R MERCER 9 0-2 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 A CROSHERE 6 0-3 0-0 2 1 3 0 0 0 0 0 TOTALS 240 24-68 30-42 14 25 39 15 31 6 18 81 (.353) (.714) TEAM REBS: 15 TOTAL TO: 19 (23 PTS) DENVER REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === J HOWARD F 37 7-17 3-4 2 8 10 3 3 0 0 17 R BOWEN F 20 1-3 0-0 0 2 2 0 3 1 1 2 M BLOUNT C 35 4-8 5-8 2 1 3 3 6 3 3 13 C WHITNEY G 30 6-17 8-9 0 3 3 2 4 1 3 23 J POSEY G 48 5-13 6-8 2 4 6 4 4 3 4 18 D HARVEY 32 4-10 1-2 1 9 10 5 1 1 0 9 N HILARIO 12 1-3 1-2 0 1 1 1 4 1 1 3 L HARRINGTON 19 3-5 0-0 0 1 1 5 3 1 2 7 V YARBROUGH 7 0-0 0-0 1 1 2 1 2 0 0 0 K SATTERFIELD DNP - COACH'S DECISION R WHITE DNP - COACH'S DECISION N TSKITISHVILI DNP - COACH'S DECISION TOTALS 240 31-76 24-33 8 30 38 24 30 11 14 92 (.408) (.727) TEAM REBS: 18 TOTAL TO: 16 (21 PTS) INDIANA 17 20 27 17 - 81 DENVER 23 26 18 25 - 92 BLOCKED SHOTS: INDIANA - A HARRINGTON 2, J O'NEAL, J BENDER, R ARTEST, J FOSTER. DENVER - M BLOUNT 5, R BOWEN 2, D HARVEY. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: INDIANA 3-14 (.214), R ARTEST 1-4, J TINSLEY 1- 4, R MILLER 0-2, E STRICKLAND 0-2, J BENDER 1-2. DENVER 6-15 (.400), C WHITNEY 3-8, J POSEY 2-5, D HARVEY 0-1, L HARRINGTON 1-1. TECHNICAL FOULS: INDIANA - R ARTEST, B MILLER. FLAGRANT FOULS: DENVER 1 (J POSEY, 6:13 3RD,). INDIANA 1 (B MILLER, 8:59 2N). OFFICIALS: MICHAEL SMITH, RON GARRETSON, SCOTT FOSTER. A - N/A. T - N/A.


Game Story

DENVER (Ticker) -- The standings may show the Indiana Pacers lead the Eastern Conference, but the Denver Nuggets reminded them they still have a long way to go. Chris Whitney scored a season-high 23 points as the Nuggets snapped a five-game losing streak with a 92-81 victory over the Pacers, who have dropped consecutive games for the first time this season. One of the youngest teams in the NBA, the Pacers jumped to a 14-2 start, but they have dropped three of their last four games and were outplayed by Denver in this one. "I thought we didn't have any rhythm or any energy," Pacers coach Isiah Thomas said. "Physically, we didn't have anything. We tried to pick it up in the second half, and had a little more energy. "One thing that hurt us, was our inability to make free throws. If you do a good job at the free-throw line, you can keep it close and manage a game. We have to learn that we have got to accept the responsibility of being a good team and how to handle it" While Thomas was angered with his team, first-year Nuggets coach Jeff Bzdelik was encouraged with the way his squad recovered from Friday's blowout loss in Sacramento. "We had 24 assists, so we played unselfishly," Bzdelik said. "We had four players in double digits, and we combined that with playing good defense. We held them to 35 percent shooting. We did a nice job of playing good position defense and making it difficult for them to get open looks. So it was a good gut-check win for us. "After a tough week the guys kept working, and we stayed the course with what we are trying to do and showed a lot of improvement but need to continue to get better." The Pacers came in one of only three NBA teams ranked in the top 10 in all three shooting categories. They also came in with five players shooting above 46 percent and four among the top-30 shooters in the league. But none of that was on display as the Pacers shot 35 percent (24-of-68) from the field and 21 percent (3-of-14) from beyond the arc. "Everybody's coming at us," said Pacers forward Al Harrington, a 45 percent shooter. "Before we could sneak in and get a win, but now with our record, everybody know's what's coming, and they step up and play us hard. "We have the best record in the East, and that feels pretty good. We got to keep at it. We came up a little short tonight, and the legs weren't there. We got to come out on Wednesday night and get it done." Jermaine O'Neal, who scored 23 of his 26 points in the second half, shot 8-of-13 from the field. But Ron Artest, a 42 percent shooter, was just 6-of-18, while Brad Miller, a 49 percent shooter, shot just 4-of-10. Indiana fell behind early, as it did not hit a basket in the first 3:21, but rallied to take a 60-57 lead with 4:19 left in the third quarter. But Denver closed out the period on a 10-4 run and held a 67-64 advantage entering the fourth. Artest's finger roll gave Indiana its first lead since the second quarter at 56-55 with 5:58 remaining. After Artest made a pair of free throws, O'Neal scored the Pacers' next 15 points, getting them within 81-73 at the 3:55 mark. The Pacers had an opportunity to get even closer before Ron Artest's layup at 3:02 got them within 83-75. But they missed four consecutive shots. After Artest's layup, Whitney used a screen set by Juwan Howard and drilled a 3-pointer from the right side that put the game out of reach. Whitney, whose previous season high was 22 points in Wednesday's home loss to Sacramento, shot 6-of-17 from the floor, including 3-of-8 from beyond the arc. "We got into a rhythm tonight on offense and my shots were falling," Whitney said. "If the opportunity is there, I'm going to take the open shot. "We (Howard and Whitney) tell them that teams are going to make runs and that we have to stay strong and tonight we did that. It just shows that the team is growing up. We are playing hard and getting up and down on the floor, trying to take advantage of the altitude."


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