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NBA  FINAL            1ST  2ND  3RD  4TH  TOTAL
                      ---  ---  ---  ---  -----
     DENVER           20   20   19   12    71   
     DALLAS           14   26   24   22    86      FINAL

HIGH SCORERS:   DEN - JUWAN HOWARD 22, VINCENT YARBROUGH 12, 
                      NENE HILARIO 11
                DAL - MICHAEL FINLEY 19, DIRK NOWITZKI 18, 
                      RAEF LAFRENTZ 16

HIGH REBOUND:   DEN - JUWAN HOWARD 14, DONNELL HARVEY 8, 
                      VINCENT YARBROUGH 7
                DAL - RAEF LAFRENTZ 11, DIRK NOWITZKI 7, THREE
                      PLAYERS WITH 4

HIGH ASSISTS:   DEN - LORINZA HARRINGTON 4, VINCENT YARBROUGH 
                      3, THREE PLAYERS WITH 2
                DAL - NICK VAN EXEL 5, MICHAEL FINLEY 5, STEVE
                      NASH 4

         ATT:   19,773

Box Score

DENVER (71) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp D Harvey 38 1-7 4-6 1-8 2 4 6 J Howard 39 8-17 6-7 7-14 1 2 22 N Hilario 30 5-7 1-2 1-3 1 5 11 V Yarbrough 32 5-14 2-2 2-7 3 2 12 L Harrington 45 1-6 0-2 0-6 4 5 2 R White 20 3-5 0-0 0-4 2 2 7 N Tskitishvili 13 2-6 0-0 1-2 2 2 5 M Blount 16 3-6 0-0 1-3 1 3 6 R Bowen 7 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 0 M Bryant DNP - COACH'S DECISION J Crotty DNP - STRAINED ACHILLES P Savovic DNP - COACH'S DECISION _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 28-68 13-19 13-47 16 26 71 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.412, FT-.684. 3-Point Goals: 2-9, .222 (V Yarbrough 0-2, L Harrington 0-1, R White 1-2, N Tskitishvili 1-4). Team Rebounds: 5. Blocked Shots:4 (D Harvey 2, N Hilario, N Tskitishvili). Turnovers:22 (R Bowen 4, V Yarbrough 4, J Howard 3, M Blount 2, N Tskitishvili 2, L Harrington 2, D Harvey 2, R White 2, N Hilario). Steals: 6 (R Bowen 2, J Howard, M Blount, V Yarbrough, N Hilario). DALLAS (86) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp A Griffin 22 1-2 0-0 1-4 3 4 2 D Nowitzki 44 7-17 4-5 1-7 2 1 18 S Bradley 28 3-3 2-4 2-2 0 3 8 M Finley 36 6-13 5-6 2-4 5 1 19 S Nash 26 4-13 4-4 1-2 4 2 12 N Van Exel 32 3-12 0-0 0-4 5 0 7 R Bell 10 0-0 0-0 0-1 0 2 0 R LaFrentz 24 6-10 4-6 4-11 0 5 16 W Williams 16 1-5 2-2 1-3 1 1 4 P Jones 2 0-1 0-0 1-1 0 0 0 A Johnson DNP - COACH'S DECISION A Harrington DNP - COACH'S DECISION _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 31-76 21-27 13-39 20 19 86 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.408, FT-.778. 3-Point Goals: 3-15, .200 (M Finley 2-4, S Nash 0-4, N Van Exel 1-3, R LaFrentz 0-1, W Williams 0-3). Team Rebounds: 6. Blocked Shots:5 (S Bradley 2, R LaFrentz 2, D Nowitzki). Turnovers:10 (M Finley 3, W Williams 2, R Bell 2, N Van Exel, D Nowitzki, S Nash). Steals: 11 (N Van Exel 2, S Nash 2, R Bell 2, W Williams, M Finley, D Nowitzki, A Griffin, R LaFrentz). ------------------------------------------- DENVER 20 20 19 12 - 71 DALLAS 14 26 24 22 - 86 ------------------------------------------- Technical fouls: Dallas - 1 (S Bradley, 2:16 2nd). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 19,773. T: 2:13. Officials: Jason Phillips, Joe Crawford, Luis Grillo.


Extended Box

DENVER (71) AT DALLAS (86) DENVER REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === D HARVEY F 38 1-7 4-6 1 7 8 2 4 0 2 6 J HOWARD F 39 8-17 6-7 7 7 14 1 2 1 3 22 N HILARIO C 30 5-7 1-2 1 2 3 1 5 1 1 11 V YARBROUGH G 32 5-14 2-2 2 5 7 3 2 1 4 12 L HARRINGTON G 45 1-6 0-2 0 6 6 4 5 0 2 2 R WHITE 20 3-5 0-0 0 4 4 2 2 0 2 7 N TSKITISHVILI 13 2-6 0-0 1 1 2 2 2 0 2 5 M BLOUNT 16 3-6 0-0 1 2 3 1 3 1 2 6 R BOWEN 7 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 1 2 4 0 M BRYANT DNP - COACH'S DECISION J CROTTY DNP - STRAINED ACHILLES P SAVOVIC DNP - COACH'S DECISION TOTALS 240 28-68 13-19 13 34 47 16 26 6 22 71 (.412) (.684) TEAM REBS: 5 TOTAL TO: 24 (27 PTS) DALLAS REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === A GRIFFIN F 22 1-2 0-0 1 3 4 3 4 1 0 2 D NOWITZKI F 44 7-17 4-5 1 6 7 2 1 1 1 18 S BRADLEY C 28 3-3 2-4 2 0 2 0 3 0 0 8 M FINLEY G 36 6-13 5-6 2 2 4 5 1 1 3 19 S NASH G 26 4-13 4-4 1 1 2 4 2 2 1 12 N VAN EXEL 32 3-12 0-0 0 4 4 5 0 2 1 7 R BELL 10 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 2 2 2 0 R LAFRENTZ 24 6-10 4-6 4 7 11 0 5 1 0 16 W WILLIAMS 16 1-5 2-2 1 2 3 1 1 1 2 4 P JONES 2 0-1 0-0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 A JOHNSON DNP - COACH'S DECISION A HARRINGTON DNP - COACH'S DECISION TOTALS 240 31-76 21-27 13 26 39 20 19 11 10 86 (.408) (.778) TEAM REBS: 6 TOTAL TO: 11 (4 PTS) DENVER 20 20 19 12 - 71 DALLAS 14 26 24 22 - 86 BLOCKED SHOTS: DENVER - D HARVEY 2, N HILARIO, N TSKITISHVILI. DALLAS - S BRADLEY 2, R LAFRENTZ 2, D NOWITZKI. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: DENVER 2-9 (.222), V YARBROUGH 0-2, L HARRINGTON 0- 1, R WHITE 1-2, N TSKITISHVILI 1-4. DALLAS 3-15 (.200), M FINLEY 2- 4, S NASH 0-4, N VAN EXEL 1-3, R LAFRENTZ 0-1, W WILLIAMS 0-3. TECHNICAL FOULS: DALLAS - S BRADLEY. FLAGRANT FOULS: NONE. OFFICIALS: JASON PHILLIPS, JOE CRAWFORD, LUIS GRILLO. A - 19,773. T - 2:13.


Game Story

DALLAS (Ticker) -- Raef LaFrentz must be happy to make his home in the Lone Star State. LaFrentz had season highs of 16 points and 11 rebounds as the Mavericks overcame a shaky start en route to an 86-71 victory over the Denver Nuggets. Acquired from Denver prior to last season's trading deadline, LaFrentz was re-signed to a seven-year, $60 million contract in the offseason and now is part of the NBA's best team - a club that many players would jump at the chance to be on. "It's just another game. Tonight, I did some positive things," LaFrentz said. "I got some rebounds, which I think has been the most disappointing part up until now when assessing my game. I'm going to keep working, putting up the shots and what happens, happens." Meanwhile, the Nuggets are trying to clear salary cap room in a rebuilding project and are among the NBA's worst teams, destined for the lottery. Denver came in 20 games behind Dallas in the Midwest Division. LaFrentz, who spent time on the injured list earlier this season, had his best game at the expense of his old club, making 6-of-10 shots from the field. LaFrentz drew praise from coach Don Nelson. "I thought Raef LaFrentz took a major step to being the player that we hope he is," Nelson said. "There was no question that we needed something from somebody. It's been pretty void over there when I've made substitutions of late. It was really good to see him come through and make shots and rebounds and be very aggressive." Mavs point guard Steve Nash also applauded LaFrentz's work. "Raef was huge for us tonight," Nash said. "He had really big game when we needed it. It's good to see him get his confidence and make some shots, get a bunch of rebounds and block some shots." Michael Finley scored 19 points and Dirk Nowitzki added 18 for the Mavs, who finally pulled away from the pesky Nuggets with a 16-5 fourth-quarter run. "The end result was probably what most expected but it was a hard-fought game," Nelson said. "I thought Denver played us well for a long time. It was like pulling teeth playing the Denver Nuggets. They control the tempo of the game." Juwan Howard, who was in the deal for LaFrentz, had 22 points and 14 rebounds for Denver, which lost for the 17th time in 19 games. Even though they are among the league's worst teams, the Nuggets have some surprising wins against contenders such as Portland, Indiana and San Antonio. For a half, the overtmatched Nuggets were able to hang with the NBA's highest-scoring team as the contest was tied, 40-40, at intermission. Howard helped keep the Nuggets in it scoring, 13 points. LaFrentz also had 13 points. The Nuggets continued to hang around, taking their last lead at 50-49 with 7:07 left in the third quarter on Vincent Yarbrough's jumper. Yarbrough finished with 12 points and fellow rookie Nene Hilario 11 for the Nuggets, who shot 41 percent (28-of-68) and held a 47-39 rebounding advantage. Denver was done in by 24 turnovers that led to 27 points for Dallas. The Mavs had 11 turnovers that the Nuggets converted into just four points. "When you are playing a good team like the Mavericks, they find a way to score off those turnovers," Howard said. "I think at one point when I looked, they had 24 points off turnovers. That's the difference in the game." It looked like the Mavs were going to take control, using a 10-2 run to open a 59-52 lead on Finley's two foul shots. But the Nuggets scored the next five points and trailed just 64-59 entering the fourth period. However, Finley got hot. He scored five points in a 9-2 surge that LaFrentz capped with a follow shot to give the Mavs a 73-61 advantage with 9:19 remaining. "We came out and initially got lulled into playing the way they wanted to play the game," Finley said. "As a result, we made the game closer than it should have been. We started picking up our intensity on the defensive end. We got the tempo more in our favor. In the second half, we got the game more the way we wanted to play." After that, the Mavs were in control, holding a double-digit advantage the rest of the way and taking their biggest lead at 82-64 with 5:58 to play. Steve Nash added 12 points for the Mavs, who shot 41 percent (31-of-76) and were held 17 points below their average.


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