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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- DENVER 37 23 17 35 112 NEW JERSEY 27 29 30 24 110 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: DEN - NICK VAN EXEL 28, RAEF LAFRENTZ 22, JAMES POSEY 21 NJN - KEITH VAN HORN 20, JOHNNY NEWMAN 20, KERRY KITTLES 18

HIGH REBOUND: DEN - RAEF LAFRENTZ 18, GEORGE MCCLOUD 8 NJN - KEITH VAN HORN 10, TWO PLAYERS WITH 8

HIGH ASSISTS: DEN - NICK VAN EXEL 12, GEORGE MCCLOUD 4 NJN - STEPHON MARBURY 11, LUCIOUS HARRIS 5

ATT: 15,825


Extended Box

DENVER (112) AT NEW JERSEY (110)

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

MCCLOUD F 44 6-12 0-0 1 7 8 4 2 0 3 15 MCDYESS F 14 2-5 0-0 0 4 4 0 2 0 1 4 LAFRENTZ C 43 8-18 6-6 6 12 18 3 4 0 2 22 POSEY G 35 9-13 0-0 1 4 5 2 2 2 2 21 VAN EXEL G 46 11-21 2-2 1 4 5 12 3 0 5 28 GATLING 31 7-14 6-6 4 3 7 2 4 1 1 20 CLARK 11 0-1 0-0 1 1 2 1 4 0 2 0 JONES 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 C HERREN 7 0-2 0-0 0 0 0 1 3 0 0 0 BOWEN 8 1-2 0-0 1 1 2 1 3 0 0 2 ALEXANDER DNP - COACH'S DECISION ROGERS DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 44-88 14-14 15 36 51 26 27 3 16 112 (.500) (1.000) TEAM REBS: 4 TOTAL TO: 16(23 PTS)

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

GILL F 21 2-8 2-2 0 2 2 2 2 1 0 6 VAN HORN F 34 6-15 6-8 3 7 10 2 3 0 1 20 FEICK C 29 2-3 0-1 1 7 8 1 1 0 0 4 KITTLES G 31 7-11 2-2 1 3 4 1 0 1 1 18 MARBURY G 39 5-16 6-7 1 1 2 11 0 3 2 16 ESCHMEYER 16 4-6 1-1 5 3 8 1 5 0 0 9 NEWMAN 27 5-12 10-11 2 0 2 0 2 2 1 20 BURRELL 17 5-10 0-0 1 1 2 1 1 0 0 13 HARRIS 17 0-3 0-0 0 2 2 5 1 1 1 0 PERRY 9 1-3 1-1 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 4 MCILVAINE DNP - LOWER BACK STRAIN G MURESAN DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 37-87 28-33 14 26 40 25 16 8 6 110 (.425) (.848) TEAM REBS: 4 TOTAL TO: 7(17 PTS)

DENVER 37 23 17 35 - 112 NEW JERSEY 27 29 30 24 - 110

BLOCKED SHOTS: DENVER - LAFRENTZ 7, CLARK 2, POSEY, VAN EXEL, JONES. NEW JERSEY - VAN HORN 3, GILL, KITTLES. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: DENVER 10-23 (.435), MCCLOUD 3-5, LAFRENTZ 0-3, POSEY 3-5, VAN EXEL 4-7, GATLING 0-2, C HERREN 0-1. NEW JERSEY 8-14 (.571), VAN HORN 2-2, KITTLES 2-2, NEWMAN 0-1, BURRELL 3-7, PERRY 1-2. TECHNICALS: NONE. OFFICIALS: HUE HOLLINS, TOM WASHINGTON, BRUCE ALEXANDER. A - 15,825. T - 2:14.


Box Score

DENVER (112) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Mccloud 44 6-12 0-0 1-8 4 2 15 Mcdyess 14 2-5 0-0 0-4 0 2 4 Lafrentz 43 8-18 6-6 6-18 3 4 22 Posey 35 9-13 0-0 1-5 2 2 21 Van Exel 46 11-21 2-2 1-5 12 3 28 Gatling 31 7-14 6-6 4-7 2 4 20 Clark 11 0-1 0-0 1-2 1 4 0 Jones 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 C Herren 7 0-2 0-0 0-0 1 3 0 Bowen 8 1-2 0-0 1-2 1 3 2 Alexander DNP - coach's decision Rogers DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 44-88 14-14 15-51 26 27 112 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.500, FT-1.000. 3-Point Goals: 10-23, .435 (Mccloud 3-5, Lafrentz 0-3, Posey 3-5, Van Exel 4-7, Gatling 0-2, C Herren 0-1). Team rebounds: 4. Blocked shots: 12 (Lafrentz 7, Clark 2, Posey, Van Exel, Jones). Turnovers: 16 (Van Exel 5, Mccloud 3, Clark 2, Lafrentz 2, Posey 2, Gatling, Mcdyess). Steals: 3 (Posey 2, Gatling).

NEW JERSEY (110) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Gill 21 2-8 2-2 0-2 2 2 6 Van Horn 34 6-15 6-8 3-10 2 3 20 Feick 29 2-3 0-1 1-8 1 1 4 Kittles 31 7-11 2-2 1-4 1 0 18 Marbury 39 5-16 6-7 1-2 11 0 16 Eschmeyer 16 4-6 1-1 5-8 1 5 9 Newman 27 5-12 10-11 2-2 0 2 20 Burrell 17 5-10 0-0 1-2 1 1 13 Harris 17 0-3 0-0 0-2 5 1 0 Perry 9 1-3 1-1 0-0 1 1 4 Mcilvaine DNP - lower back strain G Muresan DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 37-87 28-33 14-40 25 16 110 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.425, FT-.848. 3-Point Goals: 8-14, .571 (Van Horn 2-2, Kittles 2-2, Newman 0-1, Burrell 3-7, Perry 1-2). Team rebounds: 4. Blocked shots: 5 (Van Horn 3, Gill, Kittles). Turnovers: 7 (Marbury 2, Harris, Kittles, Newman, Van Horn). Steals: 8 (Marbury 3, Newman 2, Gill, Harris, Kittles). ____________________________________________ Denver 37 23 17 35 - 112 New Jersey 27 29 30 24 - 110 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: None. Flagrant fouls: Denver 1 (Posey, 10:43 2nd). A: 15,825. T: 2:14. Officials: Hue Hollins, Tom Washington, Bruce Alexander.


Game Story

EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Ticker) -- The New Jersey Nets erased an 18-point deficit, then gave away an 18-point lead -- and perhaps their season with it.

New Jersey blew a huge lead in the final seven minutes and suffered a crushing 112-110 loss to the Denver Nuggets, who got a follow shot from former Net Chris Gatling with 0.5 seconds left.

After trailing by 18 points midway through the first quarter, the Nets sped past the Nuggets and opened a 99-81 advantage with 8:36 to play. They still held a 101-84 bulge with 7:07 to go before a barrage of 3-pointers got the Nuggets back in the game.

Gatling, a New Jersey native who scored 20 points off the bench, was huge in the final minute. He put in a follow shot and was fouled, with the free throw giving Denver a 110-108 lead with 56 seconds left. The teams traded possessions before Scott Burrell put back a miss by Stephon Marbury to tie it with 6.5 seconds left.

"He (Gatling) told us he was the mayor of East Rutherford, New Jersey, so I thought the last shot should go to the mayor," Nuggets coach Dan Issel said. "As a matter of fact, I think he told us he was the mayor of New Jersey, so that tells us how smart he is."

The Nuggets inbounded to Gatling, who rolled into the lane and fired a hook that missed. George McCloud -- another former Net -- slapped the rebound off the backboard right to Gatling, who put in a layup with a half-second to go.

"We wanted Gat to pin down in the post and execute, but when that didn't happen, George did great job of keeping the ball in play," Issel said.

"I was trying to get inside with Johnny Newman coming over my back," McCloud said. "I tipped it up against the backboard and Gat came in and made things happen."

Denver's Keon Clark kicked away the inbounds pass, sending the Nets (29-40) to their third straight loss -- and perhaps back to the draft lottery. New Jersey is five games out of the Eastern Conference's final postseason berth with 13 to play, nine of them against prospective playoff teams.

"We had no defense and we played terribly at key times," Nets coach Don Casey said. "We had guys moping. This was a killer game for us. I really have no answer. They let everyone down, everyone went into a vacuum. We couldn't handle the pressure and the results speak for themselves. It seems like we can stop mentioning the playoffs now."

Although the loss came to a team which came in with a 6-28 road record and nine straight losses away from home, some of Casey's players disagreed.

"I don't think we're out yet," said Burrell, who scored 13 points off the bench. "It ain't over yet. Injuries happen and streaks happen. Anything can happen. We play Orlando and (ninth-place) Milwaukee again and we'll be ready."

"Anything can happen," said Nets guard Kerry Kittles, who scored 18 points. "We still have time left. Teams can lose and teams can put on a winning streak. Anything can happen. We have to really want it inside."

Nets forward Keith Van Horn, who had 20 points and 10 rebounds, also had the best perspective.

"I don't think this loss eliminates us," he said. "It hurts us tremendously, though. That's the strangest thing about it. We still have a chance. We have to go out and realize that."

Newman scored 20 points off the bench and Marbury added 16 and 11 assists for the Nets, who were coming off a 116-115 home overtime loss to Minnesota on Friday. They allowed Denver its first win in New Jersey since February 17, 1990, a span of nine losses.

Nick Van Exel had 28 points and 12 assists for the Nuggets, who ended a four-game losing streak and staved off elimination from the Western Conference playoff race. One more loss sends Denver to the lottery for the fifth straight year.

Raef LaFrentz had 22 points, 18 rebounds and seven blocks, Posey scored 21 points and McCloud added 15. Posey, McCloud and Van Exel each made two 3-pointers in a 23-5 surge, turning a 17-point deficit into a 107-106 lead on Posey's 3-pointer with 2:10 remaining. Denver was 10-of-23 from behind the arc.

"It was a situation where we got momentum and started making shots," McCloud said. "Our confidence was like a domino effect. We really moved the ball and got a lot of different guys involved."

Marbury made two free throws 18 seconds later and the teams traded empty possessions before Gatling's three-point play.

Van Exel came out scorching. He scored 14 points in the first 7 1/2 minutes and Gatling added five after replacing foul-prone Antonio McDyess as Denver raced to a 31-13 lead with 4:02 left in the opening quarter.

The Nets closed to 37-27 after one period and 60-56 at halftime. Midway through the third quarter, they took control with a 17-6 spurt that featured six points by Kittles and a 3-pointer by Van Horn for an 83-73 lead with 1:21 remaining.

Burrell drilled a pair of 3-pointers and rookie Evan Eschmeyer scored five points in an 11-2 run that opened the final period and gave New Jersey its largest lead at 97-79 with 9:25 to go.

McDyess, Denver's leading scorer, played just 14 minutes due to an ankle injury. Neverthless, the Nuggets shot 50 percent (44-of-88) from the field, made all 14 of their free throws and held a 51-40 rebounding advantage.

Eschmeyer had a season-high nine points and eight boards for the Nets, who shot 42.5 percent (37-of-87). New Jersey made 8-of-14 3-pointers and 28-of-33 free throws.

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