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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- DETROIT 30 23 22 21 96 DENVER 30 25 23 22 100 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: DET - GRANT HILL 39, CHRISTIAN LAETTNER 19, LINDSEY HUNTER 15 DEN - ANTONIO MCDYESS 24, RON MERCER 23, RAEF LAFRENTZ 19

HIGH REBOUND: DET - GRANT HILL 7, TERRY MILLS 6 DEN - ANTONIO MCDYESS 11, GEORGE MCCLOUD 8

HIGH ASSISTS: DET - JERRY STACKHOUSE 4, THREE PLAYERS WITH 3 DEN - CHAUNCEY BILLUPS 6, NICK VAN EXEL 4

ATT: 11,881


Extended Box

DETROIT (96) AT DENVER (100)

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

HILL F 40 13-21 13-17 2 5 7 3 3 1 2 39 LAETTNER F 39 7-14 5-9 1 4 5 3 5 0 4 19 MILLS C 28 2-4 0-0 0 6 6 1 3 0 1 5 HUNTER G 38 5-9 2-2 1 1 2 3 5 1 3 15 STACKHOUSE G 37 3-10 8-9 1 3 4 4 5 3 7 14 WILLIAMS 16 1-3 0-0 0 2 2 0 2 1 0 2 CURRY 25 1-4 0-0 0 0 0 2 2 0 0 2 CROTTY 10 0-4 0-0 1 1 2 2 2 0 0 0 REID 3 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 BUECHLER 4 0-2 0-0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 VAUGHT DNP - COACH'S DECISION MONTROSS DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 32-71 28-37 6 22 28 18 30 6 17 96 (.451) (.757) TEAM REBS: 10 TOTAL TO: 17(12 PTS)

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

MCDYESS F 33 9-17 6-8 6 5 11 1 5 1 3 24 POSEY F 12 1-2 0-0 0 2 2 0 4 0 3 2 LAFRENTZ C 43 7-15 2-5 1 6 7 2 4 0 3 19 MERCER G 38 9-18 4-4 0 2 2 0 3 1 4 23 VAN EXEL G 16 3-5 1-1 0 2 2 4 4 0 1 7 MCCLOUD 28 3-5 5-7 1 7 8 3 3 1 2 12 CLARK 23 1-1 2-2 0 3 3 0 6 0 0 4 BILLUPS 32 3-9 3-3 2 3 5 6 4 1 3 9 STITH 6 0-1 0-0 0 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 BOWEN 9 0-1 0-0 2 2 4 0 4 0 0 0 ALEXANDER DNP - COACH'S DECISION ROGERS DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 36-74 23-30 12 35 47 16 37 4 19 100 (.486) (.767) TEAM REBS: 8 TOTAL TO: 22(26 PTS)

DETROIT 30 23 22 21 - 96 DENVER 30 25 23 22 - 100

BLOCKED SHOTS: DETROIT - LAETTNER 4, HILL. DENVER - CLARK 4, MCDYESS 3, LAFRENTZ 3, MCCLOUD 2, STITH, BOWEN. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: DETROIT 4-9 (.444), MILLS 1-2, HUNTER 3-5, CROTTY 0-1, BUECHLER 0-1. DENVER 5-12 (.417), LAFRENTZ 3-5, MERCER 1-1, VAN EXEL 0-1, MCCLOUD 1-2, BILLUPS 0-3. TECHNICALS: DETROIT - HEAD COACH GENTRY, DENVER - VAN EXEL 2 (EJECTED), HEAD COACH ISSEL 2 (EJECTED). OFFICIALS: MONTY MCCUTCHEN, BERNIE FRYER, RODNEY MOTT. A - 11,881. T - 2:23.


Box Score

DETROIT (96) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Hill 40 13-21 13-17 2-7 3 3 39 Laettner 39 7-14 5-9 1-5 3 5 19 Mills 28 2-4 0-0 0-6 1 3 5 Hunter 38 5-9 2-2 1-2 3 5 15 Stackhouse 37 3-10 8-9 1-4 4 5 14 Williams 16 1-3 0-0 0-2 0 2 2 Curry 25 1-4 0-0 0-0 2 2 2 Crotty 10 0-4 0-0 1-2 2 2 0 Reid 3 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 2 0 Buechler 4 0-2 0-0 0-0 0 1 0 Vaught DNP - coach's decision Montross DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 32-71 28-37 6-28 18 30 96 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.451, FT-.757. 3-Point Goals: 4-9, .444 (Mills 1-2, Hunter 3-5, Crotty 0-1, Buechler 0-1). Team rebounds: 10. Blocked shots: 5 (Laettner 4, Hill). Turnovers: 17 (Stackhouse 7, Laettner 4, Hunter 3, Hill 2, Mills). Steals: 6 (Stackhouse 3, Hill, Hunter, Williams).

DENVER (100) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Mcdyess 33 9-17 6-8 6-11 1 5 24 Posey 12 1-2 0-0 0-2 0 4 2 Lafrentz 43 7-15 2-5 1-7 2 4 19 Mercer 38 9-18 4-4 0-2 0 3 23 Van Exel 16 3-5 1-1 0-2 4 4 7 Mccloud 28 3-5 5-7 1-8 3 3 12 Clark 23 1-1 2-2 0-3 0 6 4 Billups 32 3-9 3-3 2-5 6 4 9 Stith 6 0-1 0-0 0-3 0 0 0 Bowen 9 0-1 0-0 2-4 0 4 0 Alexander DNP - coach's decision Rogers DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 36-74 23-30 12-47 16 37 100 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.486, FT-.767. 3-Point Goals: 5-12, .417 (Lafrentz 3-5, Mercer 1-1, Van Exel 0-1, Mccloud 1-2, Billups 0-3). Team rebounds: 8. Blocked shots: 14 (Clark 4, Mcdyess 3, Lafrentz 3, Mccloud 2, Stith, Bowen). Turnovers: 22 (Mercer 4, Billups 3, Lafrentz 3, Mcdyess 3, Posey 3, Mccloud 2, Van Exel). Steals: 4 (Billups, Mccloud, Mcdyess, Mercer). ____________________________________________ Detroit 30 23 22 21 - 96 Denver 30 25 23 22 - 100 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: Detroit 1 (Head Coach Gentry, 7:38 1st). Denver 4 (Van Exel 2 (ejected), 11:43 3rd; Head Coach Issel 2 (ejected), 11:25 3rd). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 11,881. T: 2:23. Officials: Monty Mccutchen, Bernie Fryer, Rodney Mott.


Game Story

DENVER (Ticker) -- Grant Hill simply was unstoppable until Raef LaFrentz got in his way.

LaFrentz partially blocked Hill's potential go-ahead jumper and added a crucial offensive rebound in the final seconds, giving the Denver Nuggets their fifth straight home win, a 100-96 triumph over the Detroit Pistons.

Hill exploded for 39 points, two short of his season high. He made 13-of-21 shots, 13-of-17 free throws and added seven rebounds as the Nuggets had no answer for his all-around skills. His two free throws with 46 seconds left pulled Detroit within 97-96.

On Detroit's next possession, Hill pulled up for a jumper but LaFrentz jumped out and partially blocked it. Denver's George McCloud grabbed the loose ball and was fouled with 11 seconds left.

McCloud made the first and missed the second. But LaFrentz sneaked in for the offensive rebound and quickly passed out to McCloud, who agin was fouled and this time made both for a 100-96 cushion with seven seconds left.

"It's very frustrating," Hill said. "It's a hard one to swallow."

Antonio McDyess scored 24 points, Ron Mercer added 23 and LaFrentz 19 for the Nuggets, who overcame the ejections of point guard Nick Van Exel and coach Dan Issel 18 seconds apart early in the third quarter to improve to 7-2 at the new Pepsi Center.

"It was probably an ugly game to watch," said LaFrentz, who sank three 3-pointers. "We faced adversity and had to regroup. We want to make the Pepsi Center a tough place to win. So far, so good."

The Nuggets are on their longest home streak since winning six straight from November 21-December 20, 1996. However, Denver is 5-82 on the road since February 1997.

Hill's layup with 4 1/2 minutes left gave Detroit its last lead at 90-89. Chauncey Billups made a basket and Mercer sank two free throws to give Denver a 93-90 advantage with 3:16 to go.

Detroit's Christian Laettner scored before McDyess and Jerry Stackhouse traded a pair of free throws apiece, leaving the Nuggets with a 95-94 lead with 1:51 remaining. Mercer made a tough fadeaway jumper 49 seconds later.

Hill sank two free throws and Mercer committed a foul before LaFrentz took charge down the stretch.

McCloud scored 12 points and Billups added nine and six assists for the Nuggets, who shot 49 percent (36-of-74) from the field and committed 22 turnovers.

"This is the kind of game that could snowball," McCloud said. "This is definitely a momentum and a confidence builder. This is the type of win we will look back at and say that this game turned the season around."

Laettner scored 19 points and Lindsey Hunter added 15 for the Pistons, who shot 45 percent (32-of-71) and were outrebounded 47-28.

"When you get outrebounded like that you're not going to win," Pistons coach Alvin Gentry said. "The game should have been won before our last play."

Denver held a 55-53 halftime lead but quickly found itself down two key members in the first minute of the third quarter. Van Exel argued a foul call and was thrown out by referee Monty McCutchen. Issel argued another foul call and was tossed by referee Rodney Mott.

"We will break down film and send it to (NBA supervisor of officials) Ed Rush tomorrow," Issel said. "Nick has tried hard to keep his mouth shut this year and he's done a good job. And what they did to him out there tonight was atrocious."

"When their guys got thrown out, they kind of used that to their advantage," Hill said.

An 8-1 burst midway through the third quarter helped the Nuggets take a 78-75 lead into the final period.

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