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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- UTAH 23 17 29 18 87 DENVER 18 22 31 26 97 FINAL


Extended Box

UTAH (87) AT DENVER (97)

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

MALONE F 39 5-13 12-18 3 5 8 6 4 2 3 22 RUSSELL F 38 5-11 2-2 0 3 3 0 2 3 2 13 OSTERTAG C 23 1-2 0-2 1 3 4 0 3 0 1 2 HORNACEK G 27 5-7 3-4 1 1 2 2 2 0 1 13 STOCKTON G 29 3-9 8-9 0 3 3 8 3 2 3 14 ANDERSON 21 6-9 2-3 3 1 4 2 2 0 4 14 EISLEY 19 2-6 0-0 0 2 2 3 3 0 2 4 FOSTER 7 0-2 0-0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 FULLER 11 0-1 0-0 0 1 1 0 2 0 0 0 KEEFE 24 2-3 1-2 3 3 6 0 5 0 1 5 KING 2 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 VAUGHN DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 29-63 28-40 11 22 33 21 28 7 18 87 (.460) (.700) TEAM REBS: 17 TOTAL TO: 18(25 PTS)

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

MCDYESS F 34 10-15 4-6 2 2 4 0 6 4 0 24 WASHINGTON F 22 1-5 0-0 0 0 0 1 4 1 5 2 LAFRENTZ C 44 6-11 3-3 0 6 6 0 3 0 0 16 BILLUPS G 37 2-10 7-7 1 1 2 5 4 0 0 12 VAN EXEL G 32 8-16 4-6 1 4 5 7 1 1 3 23 ALEXANDER 16 1-5 0-0 1 0 1 2 3 2 1 2 CLARK 4 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 FORTSON 9 2-3 3-4 6 1 7 0 6 0 2 7 MEYER 5 0-0 0-0 0 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 STITH 37 4-9 2-2 2 1 3 3 1 1 2 11 E WILLIAMS DNP - STRAINED RIGHT HAMSTRING TAYLOR DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 34-74 23-28 13 17 30 18 29 9 13 97 (.459) (.821) TEAM REBS: 11 TOTAL TO: 13(18 PTS)

UTAH 23 17 29 18 - 87 DENVER 18 22 31 26 - 97

BLOCKED SHOTS: UTAH - OSTERTAG 2, MALONE, KEEFE. DENVER - MCDYESS 4, LAFRENTZ 3, MEYER, BILLUPS, WASHINGTON. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: UTAH 1-7 (.143), RUSSELL 1-2, HORNACEK 0-1, STOCKTON 0-3, ANDERSON 0-1. DENVER 6-18 (.333), WASHINGTON 0-1, LAFRENTZ 1-3, BILLUPS 1-4, VAN EXEL 3-6, STITH 1-4. TECHNICALS: UTAH - OSTERTAG, DENVER - ILLEGAL DEFENSE. OFFICIALS: BENNETT SALVATORE, TOM WASHINGTON, GARY BENSON. A - 10,925. T - 2:14.


Box Score

UTAH (87) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Malone 39 5-13 12-18 3-8 6 4 22 Russell 38 5-11 2-2 0-3 0 2 13 Ostertag 23 1-2 0-2 1-4 0 3 2 Hornacek 27 5-7 3-4 1-2 2 2 13 Stockton 29 3-9 8-9 0-3 8 3 14 Anderson 21 6-9 2-3 3-4 2 2 14 Eisley 19 2-6 0-0 0-2 3 3 4 Foster 7 0-2 0-0 0-0 0 1 0 Fuller 11 0-1 0-0 0-1 0 2 0 Keefe 24 2-3 1-2 3-6 0 5 5 King 2 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 0 Vaughn DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 29-63 28-40 11-33 21 28 87 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.460, FT-.700. 3-Point Goals: 1-7, .143 (Russell 1-2, Hornacek 0-1, Stockton 0-3, Anderson 0-1). Team rebounds: 17. Blocked shots: 4 (Ostertag 2, Malone, Keefe). Turnovers: 18 (Anderson 4, Malone 3, Stockton 3, Eisley 2, Russell 2, Hornacek, Keefe, King, Ostertag). Steals: 7 (Russell 3, Malone 2, Stockton 2).

DENVER (97) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Mcdyess 34 10-15 4-6 2-4 0 6 24 Washington 22 1-5 0-0 0-0 1 4 2 Lafrentz 44 6-11 3-3 0-6 0 3 16 Billups 37 2-10 7-7 1-2 5 4 12 Van Exel 32 8-16 4-6 1-5 7 1 23 Alexander 16 1-5 0-0 1-1 2 3 2 Clark 4 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 0 Fortson 9 2-3 3-4 6-7 0 6 7 Meyer 5 0-0 0-0 0-2 0 0 0 Stith 37 4-9 2-2 2-3 3 1 11 E Williams DNP - strained right hamstring Taylor DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 34-74 23-28 13-30 18 29 97 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.459, FT-.821. 3-Point Goals: 6-18, .333 (Washington 0-1, Lafrentz 1-3, Billups 1-4, Van Exel 3-6, Stith 1-4). Team rebounds: 11. Blocked shots: 10 (Mcdyess 4, Lafrentz 3, Meyer, Billups, Washington). Turnovers: 13 (Washington 5, Van Exel 3, Fortson 2, Stith 2, Alexander). Steals: 9 (Mcdyess 4, Alexander 2, Stith, Van Exel, Washington). ____________________________________________ Utah 23 17 29 18 - 87 Denver 18 22 31 26 - 97 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: Utah 1 (Ostertag, 7:55 3rd). Denver 1 (Illegal Defense, 5:36 4th). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 10,925. T: 2:14. Officials: Bennett Salvatore, Tom Washington, Gary Benson.


Game Story

DENVER (Ticker) -- It took him a few weeks, but Nick Van Exel is establishing himself as the leader of the Denver Nuggets.

Van Exel scored 21 of his 23 points in the second half and fueled a key fourth-quarter run to lift the Nuggets to a stunning 97-87 upset of the Western Conference-leading Utah Jazz.

Denver held an 85-79 lead with 4:35 to play when star forward Antonio McDyess fouled out. Van Exel was quick to take control, however, pouring in six of his team's last 12 points as Denver held on to post its first back-to-back wins of the season.

"I came in at halftime and stared at myself in the mirror for about five minutes and said, `I'm going to keep shooting'," said Van Exel, who was just 1-of-6 for two points in the first 20 minutes.

Van Exel has been the key figure in both victories, scoring eight points in overtime in Monday's 117-113 upset of his former team, the Los Angeles Lakers. He also led the Nuggets with 27 points in their only other win this season, a 100-94 victory over Dallas.

"Nick in the second half was phenomenal," Denver coach Mike D'Antoni said. "We were doing the pick-and-roll well and Nick was responding."

Karl Malone scored 22 points for Utah, which had a three-game winning streak stopped. John Stockton and Shandon Anderson added 14 apiece for the Jazz, whose only previous loss was a 71-56 dismantling at Seattle on February 16.

"They just beat us in every way," Utah coach Jerry Sloan said. "We didn't foul and we just let them take layups. They just outworked us. We just let them shoot the ball and pat them on the butts on the way back."

"It's not strange," he said when asked about losing to the Nuggets. "You've got to respect those guys. They've got a lot of talent and they have nothing to lose. A lot of teams we beat give excuses, but I'm going to give credit to them."

McDyess scored 24 points on 10-of-15 shooting for Denver, which also ended a nine-game losing streak against Utah. Raef LaFrentz continued his sparkling rookie season with 16 points and Chauncey Billups added 11 for the Nuggets, who had not won consecutive games since March 12-14.

Denver, which is winless in five road games, improved to 3-3 at home this season.

Jeff Hornacek and Bryon Russell each had 13 points for the Jazz, who shot a respectable 46 percent (29-of-63) from the field but committed 18 turnovers, which Denver converted into 25 points.

Bryant Stith collected 11 points for Denver, which also shot 46 percent (34-of-74) but lost the battle on the boards, 33-30.

After McDyess fouled out, Stockton drained the ensuing free throws to pull the Jazz within 85-81. But Van Exel made a layup and a pair of free throws and drilled a 21-footer to help the Nuggets to a 91-85 lead with 2:48 left.

Stith, who has the longest active tenure with the team with seven seasons in Denver, named himself, Van Exel and McDyess as team captains prior to the season. But it has been Van Exel's play down the stretch in the last two contests that has established him as Denver's go-to man.

The Nuggets, who will play the second of three games in as many nights at Dallas on Thursday, have not won three in row since December 18-23, 1996.

"It was big for our teams confidence and for the organization," Van Exel said. "We can't celebrate. We have a game tomorrow night. It feels great to have my shots going down and hopefully it will continue."

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