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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- DENVER 36 24 19 25 104 LA LAKERS 29 33 23 32 117 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: DEN - NICK VAN EXEL 41, DANNY FORTSON 21, CHAUNCEY BILLUPS 15 LAL - GLEN RICE 26, KOBE BRYANT 26, SHAQUILLE ONEAL 20

HIGH REBOUND: DEN - DANNY FORTSON 12, ANTONIO MCDYESS 9 LAL - DENNIS RODMAN 17, SHAQUILLE ONEAL 9

HIGH ASSISTS: DEN - NICK VAN EXEL 9, ANTONIO MCDYESS 4 LAL - DEREK HARPER 9, DEREK FISHER 7

ATT: 17,505


Extended Box

DENVER (104) AT LA LAKERS (117)

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

MCDYESS F 39 4-14 3-4 1 8 9 4 4 1 4 11 STITH F 23 1-4 0-0 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 2 FORTSON C 34 8-11 5-5 6 6 12 0 5 0 1 21 BILLUPS G 36 4-12 4-4 1 1 2 1 4 0 1 15 VAN EXEL G 45 14-26 11-13 0 8 8 9 3 0 2 41 TAYLOR 26 3-4 0-0 0 4 4 0 3 1 1 7 WASHINGTON 14 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 2 1 1 0 E WILLIAMS 23 3-5 1-2 0 1 1 2 2 0 5 7 ALEXANDER DNP - COACH'S DECISION HERRERA DNP - COACH'S DECISION MEYER DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 37-76 24-28 8 28 36 17 25 3 15 104 (.487) (.857) TEAM REBS: 8 TOTAL TO: 15(17 PTS)

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

RICE F 37 9-19 6-8 0 2 2 3 2 0 0 26 RODMAN F 34 1-1 1-2 6 11 17 3 3 0 2 3 ONEAL C 21 10-15 0-1 1 8 9 3 5 0 0 20 BRYANT G 37 8-12 6-7 1 1 2 3 1 0 0 26 HARPER G 29 3-7 0-0 0 2 2 9 3 2 0 6 FISHER 19 4-10 2-2 1 1 2 7 2 2 1 11 FOX 23 5-10 4-4 1 1 2 4 1 2 2 14 HORRY 22 3-5 1-2 1 1 2 1 2 3 2 7 REID 18 2-10 0-0 3 2 5 0 5 1 1 4 LUE DNP - COACH'S DECISION PATTERSON DNP - COACH'S DECISION ROOKS DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 45-89 20-26 14 29 43 33 24 10 8 117 (.506) (.769) TEAM REBS: 6 TOTAL TO: 8(2 PTS)

DENVER 36 24 19 25 - 104 LA LAKERS 29 33 23 32 - 117

BLOCKED SHOTS: DENVER - MCDYESS. LA LAKERS - NONE. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: DENVER 6-21 (.286), STITH 0-3, BILLUPS 3-7, VAN EXEL 2-9, TAYLOR 1-1, E WILLIAMS 0-1. LA LAKERS 7-13 (.538), RICE 2-4, BRYANT 4-4, HARPER 0-2, FISHER 1-3. TECHNICALS: DENVER - FORTSON, LA LAKERS - HEAD COACH RAMBIS. OFFICIALS: RONNIE NUNN, JOE DEROSA, MARC DAVIS. A - 17,505. T - 2:14.


Box Score

DENVER (104) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Mcdyess 39 4-14 3-4 1-9 4 4 11 Stith 23 1-4 0-0 0-0 1 2 2 Fortson 34 8-11 5-5 6-12 0 5 21 Billups 36 4-12 4-4 1-2 1 4 15 Van Exel 45 14-26 11-13 0-8 9 3 41 Taylor 26 3-4 0-0 0-4 0 3 7 Washington 14 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 2 0 E Williams 23 3-5 1-2 0-1 2 2 7 Alexander DNP - coach's decision Herrera DNP - coach's decision Meyer DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 37-76 24-28 8-36 17 25 104 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.487, FT-.857. 3-Point Goals: 6-21, .286 (Stith 0-3, Billups 3-7, Van Exel 2-9, Taylor 1-1, E Williams 0-1). Team rebounds: 8. Blocked shots: 1 (Mcdyess). Turnovers: 15 (E Williams 5, Mcdyess 4, Van Exel 2, Billups, Fortson, Taylor, Washington). Steals: 3 (Mcdyess, Taylor, Washington).

LA LAKERS (117) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Rice 37 9-19 6-8 0-2 3 2 26 Rodman 34 1-1 1-2 6-17 3 3 3 Oneal 21 10-15 0-1 1-9 3 5 20 Bryant 37 8-12 6-7 1-2 3 1 26 Harper 29 3-7 0-0 0-2 9 3 6 Fisher 19 4-10 2-2 1-2 7 2 11 Fox 23 5-10 4-4 1-2 4 1 14 Horry 22 3-5 1-2 1-2 1 2 7 Reid 18 2-10 0-0 3-5 0 5 4 Lue DNP - coach's decision Patterson DNP - coach's decision Rooks DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 45-89 20-26 14-43 33 24 117 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.506, FT-.769. 3-Point Goals: 7-13, .538 (Rice 2-4, Bryant 4-4, Harper 0-2, Fisher 1-3). Team rebounds: 6. Blocked shots: None. Turnovers: 8 (Fox 2, Horry 2, Rodman 2, Fisher, Reid). Steals: 10 (Horry 3, Fisher 2, Fox 2, Harper 2, Reid). ____________________________________________ Denver 36 24 19 25 - 104 La Lakers 29 33 23 32 - 117 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: Denver 1 (Fortson, 6:13 4th). La Lakers 1 (Head Coach Rambis, 5:44 4th). Flagrant fouls: Denver 1 (Fortson, 0:31 4th). A: 17,505. T: 2:14. Officials: Ronnie Nunn, Joe Derosa, Marc Davis.


Game Story

INGLEWOOD, California (Ticker) -- Despite the best efforts of Nick Van Exel to haunt his ex-teammates, the Denver Nuggets remained the NBA's lone winless team on the road this season.

Van Exel, who spent his first five seasons with the Lakers, scored a career-high 41 points but Kobe Bryant had 17 of his 26 in the fourth quarter as Los Angeles pulled away for a 117-104 victory over the Nuggets.

"Ever since being traded from L.A., I just wanted to feel what it was like to come in this place and play," Van Exel said. "I would've really loved to have gotten the win. I was determined to try to win. If I had to score, I was going to score."

"He was looking to score tonight," added Bryant. "I could tell from the first couple of stretches of the game. He had some guys open on the wing and he would normally pass, but he pulled up."

Glen Rice scored a season-high 26 points and Shaquille O'Neal, playing in foul trouble for most of the night, added 20 in 21 minutes for Los Angeles, which rebounded from Saturday's embarrassing 81-76 home loss to Golden State.

"We've had a lot of changes on this team," Rice said. "We have a lot of new players, a new coach. We can only improve. Down the stretch and into the playoffs we have to be running on all cyclinders. We can do that."

Van Exel, who had 16 points and 13 assists in a 117-113 win over the Lakers on February 22, was 14-of-26 from the field, 11-of-13 from the line and grabbed eight rebounds to go with nine assists.

"I think Nick probably took it personal," said Denver coach Mike D'Antoni. "He seemed like he had a little bit of personal grudge going, but he looked pretty good."

Danny Fortson had 21 points and 12 rebounds and Chauncey Billups scored 15 points for the Nuggets, who are 0-17 away from McNichols Arena this season. Denver has lost 24 straight road games since a 90-89 win at Washington on March 17, 1989.

"We got 15 games left and we just want to build for next year in the sense that we haven't won any road games," added D'Antoni. "I really feel like in the next 15 games, we can do some damage."

Fortson's three-point play capped a 7-0 run and pulled the Nuggets within 100-96 with 4:50 to play. But Bryant and J.R. Reid answered with layups to spark an 11-2 run that sealed the victory.

Dennis Rodman collected 17 rebounds for Los Angeles, which has won four of its last five games.

"We can't pat ourselves on the back because it is a bad team we played tonight," Rodman said. "When you play bad teams you seem to play to the level of your competition."

Antonio McDyess, the Nuggets' leading scorer and rebounder, was held to 11 points and nine boards in 39 minutes.

Rick Fox scored 14 points off the bench and backup point guard Derek Fisher added 11 for the Lakers, who shot 51 percent (45-of-89) and held a 43-36 rebounding advantage.

"The two things that jump out at me right away is that we only had eight turnovers for four points," said Lakers coach Kurt Rambis. "We got a lot of points coming off our bench. Your main guy goes down with foul trouble, you end up with everybody stepping up and having good basketball games for us off the bench. I'm happy with that."

Bryant was 4-of-4 from 3-point range in the fourth quarter, helping Los Angeles to a 7-of-12 effort from long range.

"I think Kobe played one of his smartest basketball games," added Rambis. "Zero turnovers, you gotta love that. I absolutely loved that."

Bryant drained a 30-footer to give Los Angeles a 99-89 lead with 6:13 to play. After he made a free throw, Van Exel sank one from the line before hitting a 3-pointer to pull Denver within seven.

Van Exel knocked down a pair from the line with 40 seconds left in the first half to give Denver a 60-58 lead. But Rice had a driving layup and Derek Harper beat the buzzer with a layup of his own to give Los Angeles a two-point lead at halftime.

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