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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- DENVER 27 36 16 13 92 MINNESOTA 28 26 33 22 109 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: DEN - ANTONIO MCDYESS 16, RON MERCER 16, NICK VAN EXEL 14 MIN - JOE SMITH 26, TERRELL BRANDON 18, MALIK SEALY 18

HIGH REBOUND: DEN - RAEF LAFRENTZ 9, KEON CLARK 9 MIN - JOE SMITH 9, KEVIN GARNETT 6

HIGH ASSISTS: DEN - NICK VAN EXEL 7, CHAUNCEY BILLUPS 4 MIN - WALLY SZCZERBIAK 6, TERRELL BRANDON 6

ATT: 13,117


Extended Box

DENVER (92) AT MINNESOTA (109)

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

MCDYESS F 32 5-15 6-10 4 4 8 1 5 0 3 16 POSEY F 32 1-4 3-4 1 7 8 0 3 0 1 5 LAFRENTZ C 27 4-7 2-2 4 5 9 1 2 0 2 11 MERCER G 35 6-15 4-6 0 3 3 1 1 0 4 16 VAN EXEL G 33 6-15 0-0 1 2 3 7 3 1 5 14 MCCLOUD 23 2-7 0-2 1 2 3 0 3 1 2 5 CLARK 22 3-5 4-6 2 7 9 1 3 0 1 10 ROGERS 14 2-3 1-1 1 1 2 1 3 0 0 5 BILLUPS 18 2-8 6-7 0 1 1 4 2 1 0 10 BOWEN 4 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 ALEXANDER DNP - COACH'S DECISION STITH DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 31-80 26-38 14 32 46 16 26 4 18 92 (.388) (.684) TEAM REBS: 15 TOTAL TO: 18(21 PTS)

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

K GARNETT F 36 7-16 2-2 1 5 6 5 4 0 1 16 SZCZERBIAK F 34 3-10 6-6 3 2 5 6 4 2 1 12 SMITH C 35 12-16 2-7 1 8 9 1 5 1 0 26 BRANDON G 31 8-15 1-1 0 4 4 6 2 3 1 18 PEELER G 18 2-4 2-2 0 2 2 2 1 0 1 7 NESTEROVIC 18 3-6 0-1 1 2 3 0 3 0 0 6 HAMMONDS 11 0-2 0-0 0 2 2 0 1 1 0 0 SEALY 31 7-11 4-6 2 2 4 4 1 0 1 18 MITCHELL 8 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 0 JACKSON 17 2-4 2-2 0 2 2 3 4 0 1 6 AVERY 1 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 D GARRETT DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 44-85 19-27 8 29 37 27 26 7 10 109 (.518) (.704) TEAM REBS: 12 TOTAL TO: 10(13 PTS)

DENVER 27 36 16 13 - 92 MINNESOTA 28 26 33 22 - 109

BLOCKED SHOTS: DENVER - MCDYESS, ROGERS. MINNESOTA - K GARNETT 3, SMITH 3, NESTEROVIC 2, JACKSON. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: DENVER 4-13 (.308), POSEY 0-1, LAFRENTZ 1-2, VAN EXEL 2-6, MCCLOUD 1-2, BILLUPS 0-2. MINNESOTA 2-7 (.286), SZCZERBIAK 0-1, BRANDON 1-1, PEELER 1-3, NESTEROVIC 0-1, AVERY 0-1. TECHNICALS: NONE. OFFICIALS: STEVE JAVIE, MARK WUNDERLICH, SCOTT WALL. A - 13,117. T - 2:12.


Box Score

DENVER (92) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Mcdyess 32 5-15 6-10 4-8 1 5 16 Posey 32 1-4 3-4 1-8 0 3 5 Lafrentz 27 4-7 2-2 4-9 1 2 11 Mercer 35 6-15 4-6 0-3 1 1 16 Van Exel 33 6-15 0-0 1-3 7 3 14 Mccloud 23 2-7 0-2 1-3 0 3 5 Clark 22 3-5 4-6 2-9 1 3 10 Rogers 14 2-3 1-1 1-2 1 3 5 Billups 18 2-8 6-7 0-1 4 2 10 Bowen 4 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 1 0 Alexander DNP - coach's decision Stith DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 31-80 26-38 14-46 16 26 92 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.388, FT-.684. 3-Point Goals: 4-13, .308 (Posey 0-1, Lafrentz 1-2, Van Exel 2-6, Mccloud 1-2, Billups 0-2). Team rebounds: 15. Blocked shots: 2 (Mcdyess, Rogers). Turnovers: 18 (Van Exel 5, Mercer 4, Mcdyess 3, Lafrentz 2, Mccloud 2, Clark, Posey). Steals: 4 (Billups, Bowen, Mccloud, Van Exel).

MINNESOTA (109) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp K Garnett 36 7-16 2-2 1-6 5 4 16 Szczerbiak 34 3-10 6-6 3-5 6 4 12 Smith 35 12-16 2-7 1-9 1 5 26 Brandon 31 8-15 1-1 0-4 6 2 18 Peeler 18 2-4 2-2 0-2 2 1 7 Nesterovic 18 3-6 0-1 1-3 0 3 6 Hammonds 11 0-2 0-0 0-2 0 1 0 Sealy 31 7-11 4-6 2-4 4 1 18 Mitchell 8 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 0 Jackson 17 2-4 2-2 0-2 3 4 6 Avery 1 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 D Garrett DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 44-85 19-27 8-37 27 26 109 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.518, FT-.704. 3-Point Goals: 2-7, .286 (Szczerbiak 0-1, Brandon 1-1, Peeler 1-3, Nesterovic 0-1, Avery 0-1). Team rebounds: 12. Blocked shots: 9 (K Garnett 3, Smith 3, Nesterovic 2, Jackson). Turnovers: 10 (Avery 2, Mitchell 2, Brandon, Jackson, K Garnett, Peeler, Sealy, Szczerbiak). Steals: 7 (Brandon 3, Szczerbiak 2, Hammonds, Smith). ____________________________________________ Denver 27 36 16 13 - 92 Minnesota 28 26 33 22 - 109 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: None. Flagrant fouls: Minnesota 1 (Jackson, 0:01 3rd). A: 13,117. T: 2:12. Officials: Steve Javie, Mark Wunderlich, Scott Wall.


Game Story

MINNEAPOLIS (Ticker) -- Even when things appear to be falling their way, the Denver Nuggets find a way to lose on the road.

Joe Smith scored 12 of his season-high 26 points during the decisive third quarter as the Minnesota Timberwolves overcame a nine-point halftime deficit for a 109-92 rout of the road-weary Nuggets.

Nick Van Exel's running 35-foot banker at the halftime buzzer gave Denver a 63-54 lead and an apparent chokehold on momentum after its 114-105 home triumph over Minnesota on Friday.

But 12 minutes later, the Nuggets were staring at an 87-79 deficit and their 82nd road loss in 87 games as the Timberwolves rallied for its second straight win after a three-game losing streak.

Smith, making his first start of the season, came out blazing in the third quarter. The 6-10 forward assisted on frontcourt mate Kevin Garnett's layup before scoring 12 of his team's next 23 points to give Minnesota the lead for good, 79-77, with 2:10 to go in the period.

"It's been a while since I had this much fun," Smith said. "We went out, played hard and had fun as a team. It was a big win for us, which made the game that much more fun for me. In the second half we stepped it up on defense."

Smith started at center in place of second-year pivotman Radoslav Nesterovic and hit 12-of-16 shots, including 11 straight during the second and third periods.

"I found out (I was starting) right before the game," Smith said. "It was a surprise because I thought we were going to go with Dean (Garrett). I was actually shocked. I wanted to show that no matter when they played me, I would be ready. It was a huge boost to my confidence."

Terrell Brandon and Malik Sealy scored 18 points apiece for the Timberwolves, who have won 11 of the last 13 meetings from Denver.

"We buckled down in the second half," Sealy said. "They shot the lights out in the first half, Nick was hitting (3-pointers) while he was falling down. They were hitting from everywhere."

The Nuggets connected on 22-of-38 shots in the first half, but shot poorly thereafter.

Ron Mercer and Antonio McDyess scored 16 points each for Denver, which remained winless in five road games this season and eight straight dating to the lockout-shortened campaign.

Van Exel finished with 14 points, but managed just five after the half. His running, double-pump jumper banked in just prior to the half, but proved to be the last highlight of the night for the Nuggets.

Center Raef LaFrentz was held to 11 points by Smith, but did grab nine rebounds to lead the Nuggets to a 46-37 advantage on the boards.

"There was a lid on the basket in the second half," LaFrentz said. "We shot the ball real poorly and that was the difference in the game."

Keon Clark and Roy Rogers came off the bench to score 10 points each for the Nuggets, who shot 39 percent (31-of-80) and managed just 29 second-half points.

Garnett finished with 16 points for Minnesota, which shot 52 percent (44-of-85) and scored 21 points off 18 turnovers.

"We had balanced scoring, rebounds and assists," Garnett said. "Malik and Joe both had great nights. I was really happy to see other guys have good nights. They were able to step up."

The Nuggets were outscored, 33-16, in the third period and were lucky that the damage was not worse as Smith was unstoppable. He hit a 16-foot jumper, a layup, two free throws and running jumper on consecutive trips to pull the Wolves within 68-65 with 7:29 remaining in the third quarter.

Anthony Peeler's 13-footer cut the deficit to one before Smith sank a seven-foot hook to put Denver in front, 69-68, with 6:14 left.

Van Exel answered with a running jumper, but Peeler hit two free throws and a 3-pointer to make it 74-70. Mercer and McDyess hit back-to-back jumpers to knot the score with 4:15 left in the period.

"These were two young teams that are definitely hungry and going out at each other," Van Exel said. "So far, both teams have held their home court, so somebody has to win on the road."

Brandon made a layup and Rogers completed a three-point play before Smith's 16-footer thrust Minnesota ahead to stay, 78-77, with 2:39 left in the third quarter.

"Joe Smith would be an All-Star if he played against the Denver Nuggets every night," Denver coach Dan Issel said. "I remember the first game he played as a Timberwolf last year. I think he got 32 or 34 against us in the opener in Denver. It's a variety of shots. He's scoring inside, he's scoring from the perimeter and they kept going right back to him."

That basket sparked a 9-0 run capped by Bobby Jackson's 17-footer that opened an 85-77 cushion 26 seconds before the final period.

Smith averaged 22 points in two meetings with the Nuggets during the lockout-shortened campaign -- his first in Minnesota.

"It never fails," Sealy added. "(Smith) has a big game ever since he's been in Minnesota and I've been in Denver. He comes out and has a big game -- a 20-point game or a 30-point game."

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