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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- DENVER 19 12 25 24 80 HOUSTON 28 25 17 29 99 FINAL


Extended Box

DENVER (80) AT HOUSTON (99)

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

MCDYESS F 38 6-17 2-4 5 9 14 0 4 3 3 14 E WILLIAMS F 16 1-6 3-3 1 0 1 0 3 3 0 5 LAFRENTZ C 31 5-13 0-0 4 5 9 2 3 0 0 10 STITH G 19 2-7 0-0 2 1 3 0 1 0 0 5 VAN EXEL G 30 2-13 3-5 0 1 1 3 0 1 2 7 ALEXANDER 26 6-13 1-1 0 1 1 5 2 0 0 14 WASHINGTON 15 2-4 0-0 3 0 3 0 3 1 2 5 BILLUPS 28 5-9 0-0 0 1 1 2 1 4 1 12 FORTSON 16 0-0 0-0 0 6 6 0 4 0 1 0 CLARK 8 1-3 0-0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 2 TAYLOR 7 1-2 0-0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 2 WHEELER 3 1-1 1-2 0 0 0 2 1 0 0 4 MEYER 3 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 M WILLIAMS DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 32-89 10-15 15 24 39 15 25 12 9 80 (.360) (.667) TEAM REBS: 9 TOTAL TO: 10(13 PTS)

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

PIPPEN F 39 10-17 2-2 6 7 13 5 3 1 2 24 BARKLEY F 36 7-9 1-3 8 11 19 4 2 0 2 15 OLAJUWON C 28 6-10 2-2 2 11 13 2 1 0 4 14 DICKERSON G 27 1-9 0-0 1 2 3 5 1 0 2 2 MALONEY G 17 0-4 0-0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 HARRINGTON 22 5-10 3-4 2 2 4 0 2 0 2 13 DREW 30 3-9 2-2 0 3 3 8 3 0 2 8 MILLER 10 1-1 1-1 0 2 2 0 1 1 0 3 MOBLEY 21 2-8 7-8 0 0 0 0 2 1 1 12 PRICE 10 1-2 5-6 0 1 1 0 3 0 1 8 BULLARD DNP - COACH'S DECISION COKER DNP - COACH'S DECISION JOHNSON DNP - COACH'S DECISION ROBERTS DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 36-79 23-28 19 39 58 25 19 3 16 99 (.456) (.821) TEAM REBS: 4 TOTAL TO: 16(23 PTS)

DENVER 19 12 25 24 - 80 HOUSTON 28 25 17 29 - 99

BLOCKED SHOTS: DENVER - MCDYESS 3, LAFRENTZ, CLARK. HOUSTON - OLAJUWON 3, PIPPEN. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: DENVER 6-22 (.273), LAFRENTZ 0-1, STITH 1-3, VAN EXEL 0-3, ALEXANDER 1-5, WASHINGTON 1-3, BILLUPS 2-5, WHEELER 1-1, MEYER 0-1. HOUSTON 4-17 (.235), PIPPEN 2-3, DICKERSON 0-2, MALONEY 0-3, DREW 0-3, MOBLEY 1-4, PRICE 1-2. TECHNICALS: NONE. OFFICIALS: JOE FORTE, DON VADEN, DEE KANTNER. A - 16,285. T - 2:00.


Box Score

DENVER (80) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Mcdyess 38 6-17 2-4 5-14 0 4 14 E Williams 16 1-6 3-3 1-1 0 3 5 Lafrentz 31 5-13 0-0 4-9 2 3 10 Stith 19 2-7 0-0 2-3 0 1 5 Van Exel 30 2-13 3-5 0-1 3 0 7 Alexander 26 6-13 1-1 0-1 5 2 14 Washington 15 2-4 0-0 3-3 0 3 5 Billups 28 5-9 0-0 0-1 2 1 12 Fortson 16 0-0 0-0 0-6 0 4 0 Clark 8 1-3 0-0 0-0 1 1 2 Taylor 7 1-2 0-0 0-0 0 2 2 Wheeler 3 1-1 1-2 0-0 2 1 4 Meyer 3 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 M Williams DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 32-89 10-15 15-39 15 25 80 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.360, FT-.667. 3-Point Goals: 6-22, .273 (Lafrentz 0-1, Stith 1-3, Van Exel 0-3, Alexander 1-5, Washington 1-3, Billups 2-5, Wheeler 1-1, Meyer 0-1). Team rebounds: 9. Blocked shots: 5 (Mcdyess 3, Lafrentz, Clark). Turnovers: 10 (Mcdyess 3, Van Exel 2, Washington 2, Billups, Fortson). Steals: 12 (Billups 4, E Williams 3, Mcdyess 3, Van Exel, Washington).

HOUSTON (99) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Pippen 39 10-17 2-2 6-13 5 3 24 Barkley 36 7-9 1-3 8-19 4 2 15 Olajuwon 28 6-10 2-2 2-13 2 1 14 Dickerson 27 1-9 0-0 1-3 5 1 2 Maloney 17 0-4 0-0 0-0 1 1 0 Harrington 22 5-10 3-4 2-4 0 2 13 Drew 30 3-9 2-2 0-3 8 3 8 Miller 10 1-1 1-1 0-2 0 1 3 Mobley 21 2-8 7-8 0-0 0 2 12 Price 10 1-2 5-6 0-1 0 3 8 Bullard DNP - coach's decision Coker DNP - coach's decision Johnson DNP - coach's decision Roberts DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 36-79 23-28 19-58 25 19 99 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.456, FT-.821. 3-Point Goals: 4-17, .235 (Pippen 2-3, Dickerson 0-2, Maloney 0-3, Drew 0-3, Mobley 1-4, Price 1-2). Team rebounds: 4. Blocked shots: 4 (Olajuwon 3, Pippen). Turnovers: 16 (Olajuwon 4, Barkley 2, Dickerson 2, Drew 2, Harrington 2, Pippen 2, Mobley, Price). Steals: 3 (Miller, Mobley, Pippen). ____________________________________________ Denver 19 12 25 24 - 80 Houston 28 25 17 29 - 99 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: None. Flagrant fouls: None. A: 16,285. T: 2:00. Officials: Joe Forte, Don Vaden, Dee Kantner.


Game Story

HOUSTON (Ticker) -- Charles Barkley scored 12 of his 15 points during a 23-4 run in the final 10 minutes of the second quarter as the Houston Rockets cruised to a 99-80 victory over the Denver Nuggets.

Houston held a 30-27 lead with 10:10 left in the second quarter after Denver's Nick Van Exel hit two free throws. Barkley and Hakeem Olajuwon combined for 18 points during the remainder of the half as Houston took a 53-31 lead into intermission.

Barkley, Olajuwon and Scottie Pippen all had double-doubles for the Rockets, who were playing their home opener after splitting two road contests. They opened the season with a loss to the Los Angeles Lakers but rebounded for an 86-84 victory at Golden State on Saturday.

"That is the way you are supposed to play basketball," Barkley said. "It was great. All the other guys who haven't played much got to play. It was a fun game for both the players and the fans. Things are going well for us right now."

"We did a good job defensively and on the boards," Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich said. "Charles had a big games rebounding. I think he is just playing fantastic. Not only with his play, but with his leadership with the younger players."

Antonio McDyess and Cory Alexander scored 14 points apiece and first-round pick Raef LaFrentz added 10 for Denver, which is off to an 0-3 start for the third time in four seasons.

The Nuggets began last season with 12 straight losses en route to an 11-71 mark, matching the second-worst record in NBA history. They totally revamped their roster during the offseason.

"The Rockets are a good team, but I prefer to look at what we didn't do," said Nuggets coach Mike D'Antoni. "We've got to find ways to compete. I didn't think we competed tonight."

Houston starting point guard Matt Maloney left the game in the second quarter with a slight separation of his right shoulder. He will be re-evaluated Tuesday. Maloney had one assist in 17 minutes.

Barkely, who grabbed a game-high 19 rebounds, started the second quarter spurt with a dunk, and after Brent Price hit 1-of-2 from the foul line, drove for a layup to give the Rockets a 35-27 lead. LaFrentz briefly stemmed the tide with a tip-in, but Barkley answered with another dunk.

Despite his performance -- he shot 7-of-9 from the field and pulled down eight offensive rebounds -- Barkley will undergo an MRI on Tuesday on his left knee.

"Hopefully it's not bad," he said. "I don't think its serious. It's been building up for the last week. It gets puffy during the games. It's frustrating because I had a realistic goal to play in every game this year. But the fluid is building up in it and I might struggle in back-to-back games."

McDyess hit a free throw with 7:49 left in the quarter, before Barkely sandwiched Pippen's bank shot with two jumpers, the second giving the Rockets a 43-30 lead with six minutes to play before halftime. Olajuwon followed with two baskets to push the lead to 17 points, Barkley converted a layup and Pippen's short jumper made it 51-30 with 1:45 remaining in the period.

"I know he (Barkley) can play," McDyess said. "I think he turns it on when he wants to. People talk about his age and him being out of shape, but I don't think so."

Van Exel again hit 1-of-2 free throws, but Olajuwon capped the outburst with a hook shot that gave Houston the 22-point halftime advantage.

"We were able to make some stops defensively and convert them on the offensive end and that got us going," Pippen said. "I was shooting the ball from the outside and that opens up a lot of things for us."

Denver, which had just three field goals in the second quarter, finished at 36 percent (32-of-89) from the field and 6-of-22 from three-point range. The Nuggets committed just nine turnovers, but were outrebounded, 58-39, and outscored by 13 points from the foul line.

Pippen led the Rockets with 24 points while grabbing 13 rebounds and Olajuwon added 14 points and 13 boards. Michael Dickerson, the team's first-round draft selection, dished out five assists for Houston, which shot 45.6 percent (36-of-79) and converted 23-of-28 from the foul line.

"They are a lot better defensively," McDyess said. "Pippen talked to them on the court and really got them going. It seems like he is the leader out there."

Denver climbed back within 12 points in the fourth quarter on a layup by Chauncey Billups with 8:30 remaining that made it 76-64. But Houston scored the next eight points to seal the outcome.

Rookie Cuttino Mobely drilled a 3-pointer to start the spurt, Othella Harrington followed with a layup and Pippen nailed a 3-pointer to give the Rockets an 84-64 advantage with six minutes to play.

Olajuwon commited four of Houston's 16 turnovers, which Denver turned into 23 points. But the Nuggets were unable to get to the foul line, hitting just 10-of-15 foul shots.

"The guys better get used to the back-to-backs," said D'Antoni, whos team was beaten in Phoenix on Sunday night. "It's a learning process but that's the way things will be this year."

McDyess had 14 rebounds and LaFrentz nine for Denver.

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