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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- SAN ANTONIO 22 16 20 26 84 DENVER 11 24 24 27 86 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: SAS - TIM DUNCAN 33, TERRY PORTER 12, DAVID ROBINSON 11 DEN - RON MERCER 25, KEON CLARK 18, BRYANT STITH 14

HIGH REBOUND: SAS - DAVID ROBINSON 12, TIM DUNCAN 10 DEN - KEON CLARK 16, ANTONIO MCDYESS 12

HIGH ASSISTS: SAS - AVERY JOHNSON 5, MARIO ELIE 4 DEN - NICK VAN EXEL 9, ANTONIO MCDYESS 6

ATT: 17,318


Extended Box

SAN ANTONIO (84) AT DENVER (86)

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

BROWN F 28 3-7 0-0 0 2 2 1 0 1 0 6 DUNCAN F 43 10-21 13-15 2 8 10 3 4 2 5 33 ROBINSON C 31 4-10 3-6 2 10 12 2 3 1 1 11 ELIE G 30 1-6 2-2 0 3 3 4 4 1 1 5 JOHNSON G 35 4-11 0-0 0 1 1 5 1 0 2 8 JACKSON 22 1-6 0-0 0 3 3 2 2 0 0 2 ROSE 17 2-4 3-4 3 2 5 1 5 2 3 7 PORTER 23 4-8 0-0 0 0 0 2 1 0 2 12 J KERSEY 6 0-1 0-2 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 WALKER 5 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 DANIELS DNP - COACH'S DECISION S KERR DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 29-74 21-29 7 30 37 20 21 8 14 84 (.392) (.724) TEAM REBS: 9 TOTAL TO: 14(19 PTS)

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

MCDYESS F 34 4-10 3-8 6 6 12 6 6 3 5 11 POSEY F 22 2-3 1-2 1 4 5 0 1 0 0 6 CLARK C 38 9-19 0-0 8 8 16 2 5 0 2 18 MERCER G 43 9-21 7-8 2 6 8 2 2 1 2 25 VAN EXEL G 41 3-15 0-0 0 3 3 9 0 3 3 6 MCCLOUD 11 0-3 0-0 0 2 2 0 0 0 1 0 ROGERS 21 1-4 1-2 1 3 4 0 2 0 1 3 STITH 18 5-6 4-5 1 1 2 0 2 1 2 14 C HERREN 7 1-1 1-2 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 3 BOWEN 5 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 ALEXANDER DNP - COACH'S DECISION LAFRENTZ DNP - NAUSEA

TOTALS 240 34-82 17-27 19 34 53 20 20 8 16 86 (.415) (.630) TEAM REBS: 12 TOTAL TO: 16(15 PTS)

SAN ANTONIO 22 16 20 26 - 84 DENVER 11 24 24 27 - 86

BLOCKED SHOTS: SAN ANTONIO - NONE. DENVER - CLARK 3, C HERREN, POSEY, BOWEN, ROGERS. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: SAN ANTONIO 5-10 (.500), DUNCAN 0-1, ELIE 1-1, JACKSON 0-2, PORTER 4-6. DENVER 1-9 (.111), POSEY 1-2, MERCER 0-3, VAN EXEL 0-3, STITH 0-1. TECHNICALS: NONE. OFFICIALS: TED BERNHARDT, HUGH EVANS, GARY BENSON. A - 17,318. T - 2:48.


Box Score

SAN ANTONIO (84) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Brown 28 3-7 0-0 0-2 1 0 6 Duncan 43 10-21 13-15 2-10 3 4 33 Robinson 31 4-10 3-6 2-12 2 3 11 Elie 30 1-6 2-2 0-3 4 4 5 Johnson 35 4-11 0-0 0-1 5 1 8 Jackson 22 1-6 0-0 0-3 2 2 2 Rose 17 2-4 3-4 3-5 1 5 7 Porter 23 4-8 0-0 0-0 2 1 12 J Kersey 6 0-1 0-2 0-0 0 0 0 Walker 5 0-0 0-0 0-1 0 1 0 Daniels DNP - coach's decision S Kerr DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 29-74 21-29 7-37 20 21 84 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.392, FT-.724. 3-Point Goals: 5-10, .500 (Duncan 0-1, Elie 1-1, Jackson 0-2, Porter 4-6). Team rebounds: 9. Blocked shots: None. Turnovers: 14 (Duncan 5, Rose 3, Johnson 2, Porter 2, Elie, Robinson). Steals: 8 (Duncan 2, Rose 2, Brown, Elie, J Kersey, Robinson).

DENVER (86) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Mcdyess 34 4-10 3-8 6-12 6 6 11 Posey 22 2-3 1-2 1-5 0 1 6 Clark 38 9-19 0-0 8-16 2 5 18 Mercer 43 9-21 7-8 2-8 2 2 25 Van Exel 41 3-15 0-0 0-3 9 0 6 Mccloud 11 0-3 0-0 0-2 0 0 0 Rogers 21 1-4 1-2 1-4 0 2 3 Stith 18 5-6 4-5 1-2 0 2 14 C Herren 7 1-1 1-2 0-0 1 1 3 Bowen 5 0-0 0-0 0-1 0 1 0 Alexander DNP - coach's decision Lafrentz DNP - nausea _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 34-82 17-27 19-53 20 20 86 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.415, FT-.630. 3-Point Goals: 1-9, .111 (Posey 1-2, Mercer 0-3, Van Exel 0-3, Stith 0-1). Team rebounds: 12. Blocked shots: 7 (Clark 3, C Herren, Posey, Bowen, Rogers). Turnovers: 16 (Mcdyess 5, Van Exel 3, Clark 2, Mercer 2, Stith 2, Mccloud, Rogers). Steals: 8 (Mcdyess 3, Van Exel 3, Mercer, Stith). ____________________________________________ San Antonio 22 16 20 26 - 84 Denver 11 24 24 27 - 86 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: None. Flagrant fouls: None. A: 17,318. T: 2:48. Officials: Ted Bernhardt, Hugh Evans, Gary Benson.


Game Story

DENVER (Ticker) -- The Denver Nuggets are a legitimate Western Conference power when they are within the confines of the Pepsi Center.

Nick Van Exel hit the go-ahead jumper with 21 seconds remaining as the Nuggets held off the NBA champion San Antonio Spurs for another impressive home win, 86-84.

Denver improved to 9-3 at home this season and added the champs to a list of home victims that includes the league-leading Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns and Sacramento Kings. However, the Nuggets are just 3-8 on the road, leaving them one game above .500 and 4 1/2 games behind the Spurs for first place in the Midwest Division.

Denver's 12-11 record marks the latest it has been over .500 since 1994-95, when the Nuggets were 18-17.

Van Exel, who scored a season-high 38 points against the Kings on Thursday, managed just six on 3-of-15 shooting tonight. But when the Nuggets needed him most, the volatile point guard gave his team the lead for good, 83-82, on a short jumper with 21 seconds remaining.

Bryant Stith stole the ensuing inbounds pass at midcourt and went in for a layup that stretched the margin to 85-82. Stith was fouled on the play but missed the free throw to give San Antonio a chance to tie with 18 seconds left.

"I was just trying to take away any passes up top. I had good anticipation," Stith said.

"There's a new hero every night," Denver coach Dan Issel added. "Nick couldn't hit a shot all night until it counted and he knocked down a big one. Bryant had an unbelievably professional performance tonight. You have to have a good effort by everyone to beat the world champions."

Tim Duncan made a layup with 12 seconds remaining to pull the Spurs withing one and San Antonio wisely fouled Roy Rogers, a career 56 percent free throw shooter, with eight seconds to go.

Rogers made the first and missed the second. The Spurs pushed the ball up the floor to Duncan, who unleashed a 15-footer that scraped the front of the rim and fell harmlessly to the floor, giving the Nuggets their first win in 11 meetings with San Antonio.

"I had a wide open shot. I just didn't hit it," Duncan said. "The turnovers were an example of us making mistakes down the stretch and that makes it hard to win games."

Ron Mercer scored 25 points and Keon Clark added career highs of 18 points and 16 rebounds for Denver, which avenged a 106-87 loss at the Alamodome on November 27.

"We played hard and didn't give up," Mercer said. "We had poor shooting in the first half (27 percent) and we knew we wouldn't shoot that way in the second. A lot of guys stepped up for a second night in a row. We have a lot of talent. We can beat anybody."

The Nuggets, who trailed by as many as 14 points in the first half, have overcome 10-point margins in each of their last three wins.

The Spurs had a three-game winning streak snapped and lost in the series for the first time since March 15, 1997.

Duncan was 10-of-21 from the field and 13-of-15 at the line. He also grabbed 10 rebounds but was unable to knock down the shot that could have prevented his first loss in 10 career meetings with the Nuggets.

David Robinson had 11 points and 12 rebounds and Terry Porter added 12 points off the bench for the Spurs, who shot 39 percent (29-of-74) and yielded 19 points off turnovers.

"Denver is good in this building," Robinson said. "They were all over the place. They all hit big shots."

Antonio McDyess returned after missing a game with back spasms and had 11 points, 12 rebounds and six assists before fouling out with less than a minute to play. The Nuggets were without forward Raef LaFrentz, who missed the game with nausea.

Porter appeared to put a dagger in the Nuggets when he hit a 23-footer with 7:12 remaining to play that gave San Antonio a 72-65 lead. Mercer answered with a 16-footer and Stith sank two free throws and an 18-footer to cut the deficit to one with 5:31 left.

Van Exel and Mercer made layups on consecutive trips to give the Nuggets a 77-74 lead with 2:57 remaining. But nine-year veteran Mario Elie calmly sank a 26-footer from the left side to forge a 77-77 tie with 2:32 left.

Stith hit a jumper and Duncan made two free throws to make it 79-79 with 1:50 to go. After Mercer missed a 3-pointer, Avery Johnson made a 19-footer to give San Antonio a two-point lead with 76 seconds remaining. This time, Mercer connected on a tying 21-footer with 1:01 left.

McDyess fouled out by running into Robinson in the paint on the ensuing possession. The Spurs' center made 1-of-2 with 31 seconds left before Van Exel's running jumper put the Nuggets ahead to stay.

Stith scored a season-high 14 points for the Nuggets, who shot 41 percent (34-of-82) and held a commanding 53-37 advantage on the boards.

"We gave up too many offensive rebounds (19) and had too many turnovers (14). Those are tough hurdles to overcome," San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said.

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