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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- CHARLOTTE 26 26 32 31 115 NEW JERSEY 36 31 26 32 125 FINAL


Box Score

CHARLOTTE (115) AT NEW JERSEY (125)

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

RICE F 41 9-17 8-8 4 6 10 3 2 0 3 29 MASON F 33 4-5 4-5 1 8 9 5 6 0 2 12 GEIGER C 29 6-13 2-4 2 6 8 1 3 0 3 14 PHILLS G 25 3-8 2-3 0 2 2 1 1 0 2 8 WESLEY G 34 6-12 6-8 1 2 3 5 5 1 3 21 DIVAC 21 2-4 1-2 2 1 3 1 4 0 4 5 CURRY 20 5-9 0-0 1 3 4 0 5 0 0 13 ARMSTRONG 9 1-2 0-0 0 2 2 3 2 0 1 2 ROYAL 7 0-1 2-2 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 REID 10 0-0 1-2 0 0 0 1 3 0 0 1 MAXWELL 11 3-9 1-2 0 1 1 2 0 0 0 8 BECK DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 39-80 27-36 12 31 43 22 31 1 18 115 (.488) (.750) TEAM REBS: 12 TOTAL TO: 19(24 PTS)

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

GILL F 29 3-8 1-4 0 1 1 0 3 2 0 7 VAN HORN F 34 8-15 5-5 0 4 4 1 5 1 2 21 CAGE C 25 1-1 0-0 0 2 2 0 3 1 0 2 KITTLES G 35 8-14 6-7 0 5 5 1 0 1 2 23 CASSELL G 36 11-20 13-14 0 3 3 11 5 1 0 35 EVANS 19 6-7 0-0 0 1 1 0 3 0 0 15 HARRIS 14 1-3 0-0 0 0 0 3 0 1 0 2 GATLING 29 5-11 8-12 3 8 11 1 3 0 2 18 VAUGHN 5 0-0 0-0 1 1 2 1 3 0 0 0 DOUGLAS 14 0-2 2-2 0 2 2 6 1 0 0 2 SEIKALY DNP - SORE RIGHT FOOT J WILLIAMS DNP - BROKEN RIGHT THUMB

TOTALS 240 43-81 35-44 4 27 31 24 26 7 6 125 (.531) (.795) TEAM REBS: 11 TOTAL TO: 7(11 PTS)

CHARLOTTE 26 26 32 31 - 115 NEW JERSEY 36 31 26 32 - 125

BLOCKED SHOTS: CHARLOTTE - GEIGER 3, MASON, WESLEY, DIVAC. NEW JERSEY - GILL 2, CAGE, KITTLES. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: CHARLOTTE 10-23 (.435), RICE 3-6, PHILLS 0-2, WESLEY 3-5, CURRY 3-4, MAXWELL 1-6. NEW JERSEY 4-9 (.444), VAN HORN 0-2, KITTLES 1-2, CASSELL 0-2, EVANS 3-3. TECHNICALS: CHARLOTTE - GEIGER, MASON, NEW JERSEY - GATLING. OFFICIALS: DICK BAVETTA, GARY BENSON, SEAN CORBIN. A - 17,362. T - 2:20.


Agate Box Score

CHARLOTTE (115) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Rice 41 9-17 8-8 4-10 3 2 29 Mason 33 4-5 4-5 1-9 5 6 12 Geiger 29 6-13 2-4 2-8 1 3 14 Phills 25 3-8 2-3 0-2 1 1 8 Wesley 34 6-12 6-8 1-3 5 5 21 Divac 21 2-4 1-2 2-3 1 4 5 Curry 20 5-9 0-0 1-4 0 5 13 Armstrong 9 1-2 0-0 0-2 3 2 2 Royal 7 0-1 2-2 1-1 0 0 2 Reid 10 0-0 1-2 0-0 1 3 1 Maxwell 11 3-9 1-2 0-1 2 0 8 Beck DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 39-80 27-36 12-43 22 31 115 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.488, FT-.750. 3-Point Goals: 10-23, .435 (Rice 3-6, Phills 0-2, Wesley 3-5, Curry 3-4, Maxwell 1-6). Team rebounds: 12. Blocked shots: 6 (Geiger 3, Mason, Wesley, Divac). Turnovers: 19 (Divac 4, Geiger 3, Rice 3, Wesley 3, Mason 2, Phills 2, Armstrong). Steals: 1 (Wesley).

NEW JERSEY (125) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Gill 29 3-8 1-4 0-1 0 3 7 Van Horn 34 8-15 5-5 0-4 1 5 21 Cage 25 1-1 0-0 0-2 0 3 2 Kittles 35 8-14 6-7 0-5 1 0 23 Cassell 36 11-20 13-14 0-3 11 5 35 Evans 19 6-7 0-0 0-1 0 3 15 Harris 14 1-3 0-0 0-0 3 0 2 Gatling 29 5-11 8-12 3-11 1 3 18 Vaughn 5 0-0 0-0 1-2 1 3 0 Douglas 14 0-2 2-2 0-2 6 1 2 Seikaly DNP - sore right foot J Williams DNP - broken right thumb _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 43-81 35-44 4-31 24 26 125 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.531, FT-.795. 3-Point Goals: 4-9, .444 (Van Horn 0-2, Kittles 1-2, Cassell 0-2, Evans 3-3). Team rebounds: 11. Blocked shots: 4 (Gill 2, Cage, Kittles). Turnovers: 7 (Gatling 2, Kittles 2, Van Horn 2). Steals: 7 (Gill 2, Cage, Cassell, Harris, Kittles, Van Horn). ____________________________________________ Charlotte 26 26 32 31 - 115 New Jersey 36 31 26 32 - 125 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: Charlotte 2 (Geiger, 1:42 2nd; Mason, 5:05 4th). New Jersey 1 (Gatling, 1:42 2nd). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 17,362. T: 2:20. Officials: Dick Bavetta, Gary Benson, Sean Corbin.


Game Recap

Sam Cassell recorded a double-double in a huge first half and finished with a career-high 35 points as the New Jersey Nets tightened their tenuous grasp on the Eastern Conference's final playoff spot with a 125-115 victory over the Charlotte Hornets.

New Jersey (39-36) extended its lead to a full game over ninth-place Washington and pulled within 1 1/2 games of the seventh-place Knicks. Only one of the Nets' seven remaining opponents are over the .500 mark.

"We know we need these wins to get in and give ourselves a cushion," said New Jersey's Kendall Gill. "Hopefully we can gain some ground on New York and pull away from Washington."

Cassell, who netted 30 points in an important 97-94 win over New York on Saturday, collected 20 points and 10 assists to pace the Nets to a 67-52 advantage at the break.

"Right now Sam's leading the way for us," said Nets reserve Brian Evans. "He's been to the playoffs and won a couple of rings. Everybody's riding his coattails at this point. He knows how to make that extra push."

Keith Van Horn added 16 of his 21 points in the first half and Evans totaled 12 in the first 24 minutes, including a three-pointer as New Jersey began the second quarter with a 9-2 burst, opening a 45-28 lead.

Kerry Kittles contributed 23 points and five rebounds as the Nets shot 53 percent (43-of-81) from the field in improving to 3-1 since All-Star center Jayson Williams went down for the season with a broken right thumb.

Glen Rice scored 29 points and David Wesley added 21 for the Hornets, who have dropped four straight road games and lost when scoring 100 points for just the second time in 26 contests.

New Jersey, which averages 15.8 turnovers per game, committed only seven while turning 19 Charlotte miscues into 24 points. The Hornets scored just 11 points off Nets giveaways and tied an NBA season low with only one steal.

Cassell set the tone for his club, playing 36 minutes and dishing out 11 assists without a turnover. He shot 11-of-20 from the field and 13-of-14 from the line.

"No turnovers, 35 points, it's just something," said Van Horn. "Our bench played well. We can always get some good production there, it gives us a big lift. It helped carry our lead into halftime."

The Nets shot 70 percent while opening a 36-26 lead after one quarter as Cassell had 10 points and seven assists.

Cassell traded baskets with Wesley to start the second quarter before Evans knocked down his three-pointer. Cassell followed with a 17-footer and Chris Gatling buried a 15-footer as New Jersey built a 17-point cushion.

Two free throws by Charlotte's Anthony Mason and consecutive lay-ins by teammate Matt Geiger cut the deficit to nine points before Gill stroked a jumper to give the Nets a 69-58 edge with 10:21 left in the third quarter.

The Hornets chipped away and cut the deficit to 84-80 on a free throw by Mason, but Cassell sank another jumper and Gatling, who totaled 18 points and 11 boards off the bench, scored his team's next eight points to give the Nets a 93-83 advantage with 30 seconds remaining.

Charlotte's J.R. Reid made a free throw before the third-quarter buzzer, but the Nets scored the first eight points of the final session to pull away. Evans, who fell one shy of his season high with 15 points, nailed his third and final three-pointer to ignite the burst, which was capped by Gatling's free throw with 9:33 to play.

Geiger added 14 points, Dell Curry had 13 and Mason chipped in with 12 for Charlotte, which shot 49 percent and held a 43-31 rebounding advantage.

The Hornets, who have a 2 1/2-game lead on Atlanta in the East, narrowed the gap to 120-113 on Rice's three-pointer with 47 seconds to go, but Cassell hit four free throws in the next 13 seconds to secure the win.

"I have got to look to myself to be more aggressive, and it has to start on the defensive end of the ball," said Rice, who pulled down 10 rebounds. "I guess you have to say it was a lack of concentration and there was definitely a lack of effort."

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