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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- PHOENIX 26 19 26 27 98 DENVER 32 21 21 13 87 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: PHO - CLIFF ROBINSON 25, TOM GUGLIOTTA 22, TWO PLAYERS WITH 11 DEN - BRYANT STITH 20, ANTONIO MCDYESS 14, DANNY FORTSON 14

HIGH REBOUND: PHO - JASON KIDD 13, TOM GUGLIOTTA 10 DEN - ANTONIO MCDYESS 11, DANNY FORTSON 9

HIGH ASSISTS: PHO - JASON KIDD 11, TWO PLAYERS WITH 5 DEN - NICK VAN EXEL 11, BRYANT STITH 5

ATT: 13,129


Extended Box

PHOENIX (98) AT DENVER (87)

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

GUGLIOTTA F 36 9-15 4-5 6 4 10 5 2 2 1 22 ROBINSON F 42 7-18 5-6 4 2 6 5 4 1 2 25 LONGLEY C 13 2-3 2-2 1 2 3 0 2 0 1 6 BAILEY G 10 3-8 0-0 1 2 3 0 0 0 0 6 KIDD G 45 5-16 0-0 6 7 13 11 4 1 3 11 GARRITY 12 0-4 1-2 1 0 1 0 2 1 0 1 MANNING 27 0-7 3-4 2 4 6 0 1 1 1 3 MCCLOUD 32 5-11 0-0 0 3 3 1 0 0 0 11 MORRIS 18 3-7 4-4 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 10 SIMS 5 1-3 0-0 1 1 2 1 1 2 1 3 CHAPMAN DNP - EYE INJURY KLEINE DNP - LACERATED LIP

TOTALS 240 35-92 19-23 22 25 47 23 17 8 9 98 (.380) (.826) TEAM REBS: 16 TOTAL TO: 12(9 PTS)

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

MCDYESS F 34 6-15 2-2 7 4 11 2 5 2 2 14 STITH F 41 7-11 2-2 1 2 3 5 1 2 1 20 FORTSON C 25 5-6 4-7 1 8 9 0 6 0 3 14 BILLUPS G 34 5-13 0-0 0 0 0 4 5 1 3 13 VAN EXEL G 41 4-14 1-2 0 2 2 11 1 0 5 11 HERRERA 10 2-5 0-1 3 1 4 0 3 1 1 4 TAYLOR 28 0-4 0-0 0 4 4 3 2 0 4 0 WASHINGTON 27 5-5 0-0 0 5 5 0 2 0 0 11 ALEXANDER DNP - COACH'S DECISION K MCCARTY DNP - COACH'S DECISION MEYER DNP - COACH'S DECISION E WILLIAMS DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 34-73 9-14 12 26 38 25 25 6 19 87 (.466) (.643) TEAM REBS: 4 TOTAL TO: 19(23 PTS)

PHOENIX 26 19 26 27 - 98 DENVER 32 21 21 13 - 87

BLOCKED SHOTS: PHOENIX - MCCLOUD, BAILEY, MORRIS. DENVER - STITH, TAYLOR, MCDYESS, WASHINGTON. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: PHOENIX 9-25 (.360), ROBINSON 6-10, KIDD 1-6, MCCLOUD 1-6, MORRIS 0-2, SIMS 1-1. DENVER 10-21 (.476), STITH 4-6, BILLUPS 3-8, VAN EXEL 2-5, TAYLOR 0-1, WASHINGTON 1-1. TECHNICALS: DENVER - ILLEGAL DEFENSE. OFFICIALS: BOB DELANEY, GREG WILLARD, TONY BROTHERS. A - 13,129. T - 2:06.


Box Score

PHOENIX (98) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Gugliotta 36 9-15 4-5 6-10 5 2 22 Robinson 42 7-18 5-6 4-6 5 4 25 Longley 13 2-3 2-2 1-3 0 2 6 Bailey 10 3-8 0-0 1-3 0 0 6 Kidd 45 5-16 0-0 6-13 11 4 11 Garrity 12 0-4 1-2 1-1 0 2 1 Manning 27 0-7 3-4 2-6 0 1 3 Mccloud 32 5-11 0-0 0-3 1 0 11 Morris 18 3-7 4-4 0-0 0 1 10 Sims 5 1-3 0-0 1-2 1 1 3 Chapman DNP - eye injury Kleine DNP - lacerated lip _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 35-92 19-23 22-47 23 17 98 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.380, FT-.826. 3-Point Goals: 9-25, .360 (Robinson 6-10, Kidd 1-6, Mccloud 1-6, Morris 0-2, Sims 1-1). Team rebounds: 16. Blocked shots: 3 (Mccloud, Bailey, Morris). Turnovers: 12 (Kidd 3, Robinson 2, Gugliotta, Longley, Manning, Sims). Steals: 8 (Gugliotta 2, Sims 2, Garrity, Kidd, Manning, Robinson).

DENVER (87) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Mcdyess 34 6-15 2-2 7-11 2 5 14 Stith 41 7-11 2-2 1-3 5 1 20 Fortson 25 5-6 4-7 1-9 0 6 14 Billups 34 5-13 0-0 0-0 4 5 13 Van Exel 41 4-14 1-2 0-2 11 1 11 Herrera 10 2-5 0-1 3-4 0 3 4 Taylor 28 0-4 0-0 0-4 3 2 0 Washington 27 5-5 0-0 0-5 0 2 11 Alexander DNP - coach's decision K Mccarty DNP - coach's decision Meyer DNP - coach's decision E Williams DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 34-73 9-14 12-38 25 25 87 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.466, FT-.643. 3-Point Goals: 10-21, .476 (Stith 4-6, Billups 3-8, Van Exel 2-5, Taylor 0-1, Washington 1-1). Team rebounds: 4. Blocked shots: 4 (Stith, Taylor, Mcdyess, Washington). Turnovers: 19 (Van Exel 5, Taylor 4, Billups 3, Fortson 3, Mcdyess 2, Herrera, Stith). Steals: 6 (Mcdyess 2, Stith 2, Billups, Herrera). ____________________________________________ Phoenix 26 19 26 27 - 98 Denver 32 21 21 13 - 87 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: Denver 1 (Illegal Defense, 9:18 4th). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 13,129. T: 2:06. Officials: Bob Delaney, Greg Willard, Tony Brothers.


Game Story

DENVER (Ticker) -- Cliff Robinson scored 25 points, Tom Gugliotta added 22 and both keyed a big effort on the offensive glass, helping the Phoenix Suns rally from a 16-point deficit to notch a 98-87 victory over the Denver Nuggets.

Jason Kidd recorded his league-leading seventh triple-double and second of the season against Denver with 11 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists. He had six offensive rebounds as the Suns tied a season high with 22.

"As a team, we played with more energy in the fourth period. We tried to push it out as hard as we could," Gugliotta said. "Offensive rebounds kept us in the game. We got second and third opportunities and that helps win a lot of games."

Robinson made six of the Suns' nine 3-pointers and grabbed four offensive boards. Gugliotta had 10 rebounds, including six on the offensive end, as the Suns remained one game in front of Sacramento for sixth place in the Western Conference.

Gugliotta had an 18-footer and fed Robinson for a 3-pointer before Kidd hit from beyond the arc to cap a 19-4 burst that gave Phoenix a 92-82 cushion with 1:51 to play.

Kidd made just 5-of-16 from the field after collecting 29 points in Wednesday's loss at Minnesota, which ended the Suns' three-game winning streak.

"This will go down as the ugliest," Kidd said of his 26th career triple-double. "Yesterday, I shot the ball well, but that's how this game is. You have to stay with it and pick up other parts of your game."

Phoenix defeated Denver for the ninth straight time and can clinch a playoff berth with a win Saturday against Vancouver.

Former Sun Antonio McDyess battled foul trouble throughout and finished with just 14 points and 14 rebounds.

Bryant Stith scored 20 points to pace the Nuggets, whose 19 turnovers led to 21 points for the Suns. Denver scored just nine points off 12 Phoenix turnovers.

"We were undersized on the court, but we did the best job we could," Stith said. "We were giving up five to six inches at every position and we were trying to box out, but their reach was too much for us to overcome."

Stith had 10 points in the opening period as the Nuggets grabbed a 32-26 lead. An 18-5 tear in the second quarter, capped by Nick Van Exel's 3-pointer, gave Denver a 53-37 cushion with 2:32 left.

Robinson answered with a 3-pointer and jumper before George McCloud hit from beyond the arc as Phoenix trimmed the deficit to 53-45 at the half.

Van Exel, Chauncey Billups and Stith buried consecutive 3-pointers for a 64-50 lead with 9:05 left in the third period. That came just over a minute after both McDyess and fellow front-line starter Danny Fortson picked up their fourth fouls -- losses that proved costly for the Nuggets.

"Those guys (Fortson and McDyess) are good players and that's what we wanted to do, was to be aggressive and get to the foul line," said Suns coach Danny Ainge. "They just don't have any depth on the front line."

The margin was 72-62 when the Suns started a quarter-closing 9-2 spurt that began to turn the game in their favor. Gugliotta had four points in the run and Kidd fed McCloud for a jumper on the break that made it 74-71 by the end of the period.

A jumper by McDyess gave Denver a 78-73 lead. Gugliotta sank a free throw to begin the pivotal 19-4 burst, Robinson added a pair from the line and Kidd hit a fast-break layup to forge a 78-78 tie.

Chris Morris gave Phoenix its first lead with a lay-in, but Billups answered with a 3-pointer. It was Denver's only points in a span of over eight minutes during the final period.

"It was a tale of two halves," Stith added. "In the first half, everything went our way. In the second half, they created their own opportunities through offensive rebounding and tracking down loose balls."

Gugliotta put the Suns ahead for good with a jumper off a feed from Kidd and Morris added a hook shot for an 84-81 advantage. Gugliotta scored seven points in the fourth and Robinson added six as Phoenix won in Denver for the fifth straight time.

McCloud contributed 11 points and Morris added 10 for the Suns, who shot just 38 percent (36-of-92) from the field but made 19-of-23 free throws. The Suns owned a 47-38 advantage on the boards and outscored the Nuggets in the paint, 34-18.

"I don't know if we were afraid to win or if we're playing not to lose," said Nuggets coach Mike D'Antoni.

Fortson fouled out with 14 points and nine rebounds, Billups scored 13 points and Van Exel added 11 and 11 assists for Denver, which made just two of its final 10 attempts from beyond the arc after hitting 8-of-11.

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