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NBA  FINAL            1ST  2ND  3RD  4TH  TOTAL
                      ---  ---  ---  ---  -----
     LA LAKERS        25   25   27   35    112  
     DENVER           28   34   26   23    111     FINAL

HIGH SCORERS:   LAL - KOBE BRYANT 35, SHAQUILLE O'NEAL 16, 
                      GARY PAYTON 14
                DEN - CARMELO ANTHONY 35, ANDRE MILLER 21, TWO
                      PLAYERS WITH 10

HIGH REBOUND:   LAL - SHAQUILLE O'NEAL 8, KOBE BRYANT 7, TWO 
                      PLAYERS WITH 5
                DEN - CHRIS ANDERSEN 7, MICHAEL DOLEAC 6, NENE
                      HILARIO 6

HIGH ASSISTS:   LAL - KOBE BRYANT 10, GARY PAYTON 8, LUKE 
                      WALTON 5
                DEN - NENE HILARIO 8, MARCUS CAMBY 4, EARL 
                      BOYKINS 4

         ATT:   19,812

Box Score

LA LAKERS (112) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp S Medvedenko 14 5-8 0-0 1-3 2 4 10 R Fox 22 3-7 0-0 1-2 2 4 6 S O'Neal 37 5-10 6-9 3-8 4 4 16 K Bryant 41 14-26 5-5 2-7 10 2 35 G Payton 33 7-11 0-0 1-2 8 4 14 D Fisher 15 2-6 0-0 0-0 1 0 4 H Grant 14 1-2 1-1 0-2 1 0 3 B Cook 14 2-5 0-0 1-5 0 4 4 D George 4 0-2 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 B Russell 15 4-8 0-0 0-0 1 2 10 K Rush 15 3-5 0-0 0-1 1 2 8 L Walton 16 1-1 0-0 1-5 5 1 2 _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 47-91 12-15 10-35 35 27 112 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.516, FT-.800. 3-Point Goals: 6-16, .375 (K Bryant 2-4, G Payton 0-3, D Fisher 0-3, B Russell 2-4, K Rush 2-2). Team Rebounds: 9. Blocked Shots:6 (S O'Neal 4, K Rush, B Cook). Turnovers:15 (S O'Neal 4, K Bryant 3, R Fox 2, D Fisher 2, S Medvedenko 2, K Rush, L Walton). Steals: 14 (L Walton 4, K Bryant 3, H Grant 2, S O'Neal 2, B Russell 2, S Medvedenko). DENVER (111) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp C Anthony 39 14-25 5-5 3-4 1 5 35 Nene 37 4-5 2-6 1-6 8 2 10 M Camby 27 4-6 2-3 0-4 4 4 10 V Lenard 29 3-8 2-2 0-2 2 1 8 A Miller 33 8-14 5-9 1-5 3 2 21 E Boykins 18 4-7 0-0 1-1 4 0 8 C Andersen 13 1-2 4-4 0-7 0 0 6 J Barry 16 2-4 1-2 0-2 3 1 7 R White 9 1-2 0-0 0-1 0 0 2 M Doleac 19 2-4 0-0 2-6 1 3 4 R Bowen DNP - COACH'S DECISION N Tskitishvili DNP - COACH'S DECISION _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 43-77 21-31 8-38 26 18 111 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.558, FT-.677. 3-Point Goals: 4-8, .500 (C Anthony 2-3, V Lenard 0-2, A Miller 0-1, J Barry 2-2). Team Rebounds: 9. Blocked Shots:5 (M Camby 4, C Anthony). Turnovers:20 (C Anthony 7, A Miller 4, E Boykins 3, M Doleac 2, Nene 2, M Camby, C Andersen). Steals: 8 (A Miller 4, Nene 3, J Barry). -------------------------------------------- LA LAKERS 25 25 27 35 - 112 DENVER 28 34 26 23 - 111 -------------------------------------------- Technical fouls: Denver - 1 (Defensive Three, 3:19 1st). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 19,812. T: 2:15. Officials: Jack Nies, Jess Kersey, Mike Henderson.


Extended Box

LA LAKERS (112) AT DENVER (111) LA LAKERS REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === S MEDVEDENKO F 14 5-8 0-0 1 2 3 2 4 1 2 10 R FOX F 22 3-7 0-0 1 1 2 2 4 0 2 6 S O'NEAL C 37 5-10 6-9 3 5 8 4 4 2 4 16 K BRYANT G 41 14-26 5-5 2 5 7 10 2 3 3 35 G PAYTON G 33 7-11 0-0 1 1 2 8 4 0 0 14 D FISHER 15 2-6 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 4 H GRANT 14 1-2 1-1 0 2 2 1 0 2 0 3 B COOK 14 2-5 0-0 1 4 5 0 4 0 0 4 D GEORGE 4 0-2 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 B RUSSELL 15 4-8 0-0 0 0 0 1 2 2 0 10 K RUSH 15 3-5 0-0 0 1 1 1 2 0 1 8 L WALTON 16 1-1 0-0 1 4 5 5 1 4 1 2 TOTALS 240 47-91 12-15 10 25 35 35 27 14 15 112 (.516) (.800) TEAM REBS: 9 TOTAL TO: 15 (20 PTS) DENVER REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === C ANTHONY F 39 14-25 5-5 3 1 4 1 5 0 7 35 NENE F 37 4-5 2-6 1 5 6 8 2 3 2 10 M CAMBY C 27 4-6 2-3 0 4 4 4 4 0 1 10 V LENARD G 29 3-8 2-2 0 2 2 2 1 0 0 8 A MILLER G 33 8-14 5-9 1 4 5 3 2 4 4 21 E BOYKINS 18 4-7 0-0 1 0 1 4 0 0 3 8 C ANDERSEN 13 1-2 4-4 0 7 7 0 0 0 1 6 J BARRY 16 2-4 1-2 0 2 2 3 1 1 0 7 R WHITE 9 1-2 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 2 M DOLEAC 19 2-4 0-0 2 4 6 1 3 0 2 4 R BOWEN DNP - COACH'S DECISION N TSKITISHVILI DNP - COACH'S DECISION TOTALS 240 43-77 21-31 8 30 38 26 18 8 20 111 (.558) (.677) TEAM REBS: 9 TOTAL TO: 20 (18 PTS) LA LAKERS 25 25 27 35 - 112 DENVER 28 34 26 23 - 111 BLOCKED SHOTS: LA LAKERS - S O'NEAL 4, K RUSH, B COOK. DENVER - M CAMBY 4, C ANTHONY. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: LA LAKERS 6-16 (.375), K BRYANT 2-4, G PAYTON 0- 3, D FISHER 0-3, B RUSSELL 2-4, K RUSH 2-2. DENVER 4-8 (.500), C ANTHONY 2- 3, V LENARD 0-2, A MILLER 0-1, J BARRY 2-2. TECHNICAL FOULS: DENVER - DEFENSIVE THREE. FLAGRANT FOULS: NONE. OFFICIALS: JACK NIES, JESS KERSEY, MIKE HENDERSON. A - 19,812. T - 2:15.


Game Story

DENVER (Ticker) -- The Los Angeles Lakers once again broke the hearts of the Denver Nuggets. This time, they may have had some help from the referees. Kareem Rush sank a wide-open 3-pointer with three seconds remaining to lift the Lakers to their fifth straight victory, 112-111 over the Nuggets. "I haven't been in that position since college," Rush said. "The shot was there and I took it with confidence. I was getting my mind-set that the opportunity might come because these guys might be doubled." The Nuggets blew a 13-point fourth-quarter lead and have lost four straight for the first time this season. But it took a controversial call. With two seconds on the shot clock, Denver's Andre Miller put up a shot that clearly hit the underside of the rim. Rookie Carmelo Anthony appeared to grab the rebound, but a whistle blew indicating a shot-clock violation. The referees ruled it an inadvertent whistle, and Lakers center Shaquille O'Neal won the ensuing jump ball with with 27 seconds left. Luke Walton penetrated and passed to Rush, who gave the Lakers their first lead since late in the first quarter. "That was an interesting finish," Los Angeles coach Phil Jackson said. "Even I was confused on that last whistle. We thought it was a 24-second violation. We still haven't gotten a definition of it, the shot missed the basket." "Call the ATF because they robbed us tonight," Anthony said. "We played so hard. I had it in my hand before they blew the whistle. There really isn't anything we can do about it now." Miller's half-court shot as time expired caromed off the rim, and Denver coach Jeff Bzdelik was beside himself as the players left the court, looking for anyone to complain to. Denver led, 100-87, with seven minutes to play, but Gary Payton's four points keyed an 11-0 run over the next two minutes to pull the Lakers within two points. "The most important thing we do now is what we do next," Bzdelik said. "Successful people only dwell on the negative for a short time." The finish overshadowed a great duel between Anthony and Kobe Bryant, who led their teams with 35 points apiece. Bryant's game winner on December 19 sank the Nuggets, 101-99. "I finally put Kobe on Carmelo because he was trashing everyone tonight," Jackson said. "We did steal one, but we deserved the win," Bryant said. O'Neal added 16 points for the Lakers, who have won seven of eight games heading into Thursday's showdown with Sacramento.


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