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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- DENVER 26 18 25 23 92 SEATTLE 24 31 27 23 105 FINAL


Extended Box

DENVER (92) AT SEATTLE (105)

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

MCDYESS F 31 5-10 5-8 1 3 4 6 6 1 3 15 STITH F 24 3-7 3-4 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 9 LAFRENTZ C 40 7-9 0-0 2 2 4 0 3 1 3 17 BILLUPS G 34 5-12 4-4 0 4 4 3 2 2 4 15 VAN EXEL G 34 6-13 2-2 0 5 5 3 4 2 4 16 ALEXANDER 24 1-7 2-3 0 2 2 5 3 1 3 4 E WILLIAMS 22 0-2 0-0 0 2 2 1 0 2 0 0 FORTSON 24 4-5 3-5 3 7 10 0 4 0 0 11 CLARK 2 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 WASHINGTON 5 2-3 0-2 1 1 2 0 2 0 0 5 MEYER DNP - COACH'S DECISION TAYLOR DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 33-68 19-28 7 27 34 19 25 9 17 92 (.485) (.679) TEAM REBS: 9 TOTAL TO: 17(21 PTS)

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

BAKER F 33 7-13 0-0 2 0 2 0 3 1 1 14 SCHREMPF F 37 3-12 2-2 4 3 7 4 2 2 3 8 POLYNICE C 34 4-7 0-2 3 6 9 0 5 0 0 8 LEWIS G 15 4-8 0-0 2 3 5 0 0 0 3 8 PAYTON G 42 7-19 14-20 3 6 9 16 3 4 2 28 HAWKINS 32 7-8 2-2 0 2 2 2 4 5 2 20 ELLIS 25 6-9 0-0 1 3 4 1 4 1 0 17 WILLIAMS 12 0-5 2-2 2 1 3 0 4 0 1 2 NORRIS 7 0-2 0-0 0 2 2 1 2 0 1 0 STEPANIA 1 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 MCCOY 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 COTTON 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 MACLEAN DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 38-84 20-28 17 26 43 24 27 13 13 105 (.452) (.714) TEAM REBS: 12 TOTAL TO: 13(11 PTS)

DENVER 26 18 25 23 - 92 SEATTLE 24 31 27 23 - 105

BLOCKED SHOTS: DENVER - MCDYESS 3, LAFRENTZ 3, E WILLIAMS. SEATTLE - PAYTON. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: DENVER 7-18 (.389), STITH 0-3, LAFRENTZ 3-4, BILLUPS 1-4, VAN EXEL 2-4, ALEXANDER 0-1, WASHINGTON 1-2. SEATTLE 9-16 (.563), SCHREMPF 0-2, PAYTON 0-4, HAWKINS 4-5, ELLIS 5-5. TECHNICALS: DENVER - MCDYESS, ALEXANDER, VAN EXEL, SEATTLE - ILLEGAL DEFENSE 2. OFFICIALS: HUE HOLLINS, GREG WILLARD, GEORGE TOLIVER. A - 17,072. T - 2:14.


Box Score

DENVER (92) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Mcdyess 31 5-10 5-8 1-4 6 6 15 Stith 24 3-7 3-4 0-1 1 1 9 Lafrentz 40 7-9 0-0 2-4 0 3 17 Billups 34 5-12 4-4 0-4 3 2 15 Van Exel 34 6-13 2-2 0-5 3 4 16 Alexander 24 1-7 2-3 0-2 5 3 4 E Williams 22 0-2 0-0 0-2 1 0 0 Fortson 24 4-5 3-5 3-10 0 4 11 Clark 2 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 Washington 5 2-3 0-2 1-2 0 2 5 Meyer DNP - coach's decision Taylor DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 33-68 19-28 7-34 19 25 92 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.485, FT-.679. 3-Point Goals: 7-18, .389 (Stith 0-3, Lafrentz 3-4, Billups 1-4, Van Exel 2-4, Alexander 0-1, Washington 1-2). Team rebounds: 9. Blocked shots: 7 (Mcdyess 3, Lafrentz 3, E Williams). Turnovers: 17 (Billups 4, Van Exel 4, Alexander 3, Lafrentz 3, Mcdyess 3). Steals: 9 (Billups 2, E Williams 2, Van Exel 2, Alexander, Lafrentz, Mcdyess).

SEATTLE (105) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Baker 33 7-13 0-0 2-2 0 3 14 Schrempf 37 3-12 2-2 4-7 4 2 8 Polynice 34 4-7 0-2 3-9 0 5 8 Lewis 15 4-8 0-0 2-5 0 0 8 Payton 42 7-19 14-20 3-9 16 3 28 Hawkins 32 7-8 2-2 0-2 2 4 20 Ellis 25 6-9 0-0 1-4 1 4 17 Williams 12 0-5 2-2 2-3 0 4 2 Norris 7 0-2 0-0 0-2 1 2 0 Stepania 1 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 Mccoy 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 Cotton 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 Maclean DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 38-84 20-28 17-43 24 27 105 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.452, FT-.714. 3-Point Goals: 9-16, .563 (Schrempf 0-2, Payton 0-4, Hawkins 4-5, Ellis 5-5). Team rebounds: 12. Blocked shots: 1 (Payton). Turnovers: 13 (Lewis 3, Schrempf 3, Hawkins 2, Payton 2, Baker, Norris, Williams). Steals: 13 (Hawkins 5, Payton 4, Schrempf 2, Baker, Ellis). ____________________________________________ Denver 26 18 25 23 - 92 Seattle 24 31 27 23 - 105 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: Denver 3 (Mcdyess, 4:20 3rd; Alexander, 0:18 3rd; Van Exel, 0:17 3rd). Seattle 2 (Illegal Defense 2, 9:52 1st, 3:08 3rd). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 17,072. T: 2:14. Officials: Hue Hollins, Greg Willard, George Toliver.


Game Story

SEATTLE (Ticker) -- Gary Payton continued to play like the league's Most Valuable Player and the Seattle SuperSonics continued their dominance of the Denver Nuggets.

Payton had 28 points, 16 assists and nine rebounds and scored nine points during a key run to close the first half. The SuperSonics remained unbeaten and posted their ninth straight victory over the Nuggets, 105-92.

Payton, who has led the Sonics in scoring in all five games, came within one rebound of his first triple-double since December 20, 1997. His 16 assists were one shy of his career high, established on March 27, 1996 against Charlotte.

"He has got the ball 20 out of 24 seconds," said Denver point guard Nick Van Exel. "So he's the one that's going to beat you. He's going to be effective."

Seattle (5-0) is off to its best start since opening the 1993-94 season with 10 straight wins. The Sonics also increased their home winning streak over the Nuggets to 12 games dating to February 9, 1993. Denver did win the decisive Game Five of its 1994 Western Conference first-round series at Seattle.

Rookie center Raef LaFrentz continued his solid campaign with 17 points for the Nuggets. Van Exel collected 16 points and Chauncey Billips added 15 for the Nuggets, who have lost five of their first six.

Denver held a 41-34 lead with 3:16 remaining in the first half before Dale Ellis launched a 3-pointer that sparked a 21-3 run, giving Seattle a 55-44 bulge at the break. Ellis also capped the run, burying a 26-footer from the left sideline as the first-half buzzer sounded.

"We played good defense," said Payton, who also had four steals. "We pressed the court. We got some turnovers and that was good for us. If we can do that and turn the momentum of the game around like we did, I'm happy with it."

Seattle starting guard Billy Owens was placed on the injured list with a broken left pinky. He was replaced in the lineup by rookie Rashard Lewis, who at 19 years, 189 days, became the fourth-youngest player to start a game this decade.

However, it was the player whose consecutive starts streak Owens snapped in the season opener that gave the Sonics a much-needed spark off the bench.

Hersey Hawkins, who started 431 consecutive games prior to this season, scored 20 points, including four 3-pointers. He hit a shot from beyond the arc with 2:42 left in the third quarter that gave the Sonics a commanding 78-63 lead.

"Tonight it felt great," Hawkins said. "It's one of those things where you have to continue it. Hopefully, this is the start of something good."

Ellis was even more effective from long range, connecting on 5-of-5 3-pointers en route to his 17 points. However, he refused to take any of the luster off his veteran teammate's stellar night when asked about his own performance.

"It was Hawk's night," Ellis said.

It was a pair of free throws by Payton with 1:35 left in the first half that knotted the game at 44-44. Olden Polynice, who finished with eight points, made a follow shot with 55 seconds left that put Seattle ahead for good, 46-44.

"The run at the end of the first half (was the difference)," said Denver coach Mike D'Antoni. "We've had this problem. When somebody gets into a run, if the pressure gets turned up a little bit, we try to bust the pressure by individual talent instead of team play. We played the first half well, but instead of being even, we go down 11 and we just couldn't get back in there."

Antonio McDyess, who entered the contest with team-leading averages of 20.8 points and 10.6 rebounds, was limited to 15 points and managed just four boards.

"They broke out in the second quarter and had a great game," said McDyess. "They got ahead in the last three minutes of the first half and that kind of hurt us. We just couldn't get back in it."

Danny Fortson had 11 points and 10 rebounds off the bench for Denver, which shot 48.5 percent (33-of-68) from the field but was outrebounded, 43-34.

Seattle's Vin Baker scored 14 points, but remained 0-for-14 from the free-throw line this season, as he failed to reach the stripe in this contest.

Lewis had a respectable outing, scoring eight points to go with five rebounds. He did appear hesitant at times and committed three turnovers in 15 minutes.

"If I go out there nervous, I won't be able to play the game I want to play," said Lewis. "I tried to stay calm and go out there and play like I regularly would play. I think I played exceptionally well. I was just trying to go out there and rebound and play good defense and help the team."

"He did a good job," added Payton. "He's got to learn to be a little more aggressive with the ball. He turned the ball over a little bit -- a little passive, but I think he's going to be a good ballplayer."

The Sonics used their rebounding advantage to outscore the Nuggets, 50-36, in the paint and also held a 17-3 edge in fast-break points.

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