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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- SEATTLE 30 18 26 23 97 DENVER 18 27 32 28 105 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: SEA - GARY PAYTON 30, BRENT BARRY 20, RASHARD LEWIS 13 DEN - GEORGE MCCLOUD 20, JAMES POSEY 19, NICK VAN EXEL 18

HIGH REBOUND: SEA - GARY PAYTON 10, HORACE GRANT 8 DEN - ANTONIO MCDYESS 9, TWO PLAYERS WITH 8

HIGH ASSISTS: SEA - HORACE GRANT 8, TWO PLAYERS WITH 5 DEN - NICK VAN EXEL 12, JAMES POSEY 6

ATT: 17,808


Extended Box

SEATTLE (97) AT DENVER (105)

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

BAKER F 26 4-9 2-2 1 2 3 2 3 0 0 10 PATTERSON F 37 4-10 2-3 4 3 7 0 0 0 4 10 GRANT C 40 3-7 0-0 3 5 8 8 4 2 0 6 B BARRY G 41 8-15 0-0 0 3 3 5 3 1 1 20 PAYTON G 43 12-26 5-7 0 10 10 5 3 1 1 30 LEWIS 23 6-11 1-1 1 3 4 1 3 1 1 13 WILLIAMS 16 1-8 5-8 1 2 3 1 0 0 1 8 MCCOY 14 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 2 4 0 2 0 BORRELL DNP - COACH'S DECISION FOSTER DNP - COACH'S DECISION MAXWELL DNP - WIFE HAVING BABY STEPANIA DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 38-86 15-21 10 29 39 24 20 5 10 97 (.442) (.714) TEAM REBS: 7 TOTAL TO: 11(11 PTS)

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

MCCLOUD F 35 7-12 2-3 0 4 4 5 3 0 2 20 MCDYESS F 35 2-12 6-10 3 6 9 2 0 0 0 10 JONES C 9 1-4 0-0 4 2 6 0 1 0 2 2 POSEY G 41 6-13 3-4 1 2 3 6 5 2 2 19 VAN EXEL G 37 6-18 6-8 1 7 8 12 4 1 2 18 CLARK 20 5-8 0-0 0 8 8 2 0 0 0 10 LAFRENTZ 24 6-13 2-4 4 2 6 1 5 0 0 15 C HERREN 16 1-2 0-0 0 3 3 2 2 0 1 3 BOWEN 17 3-7 0-0 5 1 6 1 2 2 1 6 GATLING 6 1-3 0-0 1 1 2 0 0 0 0 2 ALEXANDER DNP - COACH'S DECISION ROGERS DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 38-92 19-29 19 36 55 31 22 5 10 105 (.413) (.655) TEAM REBS: 17 TOTAL TO: 12(11 PTS)

SEATTLE 30 18 26 23 - 97 DENVER 18 27 32 28 - 105

BLOCKED SHOTS: SEATTLE - GRANT 3, PATTERSON 2, B BARRY, MCCOY, LEWIS, PAYTON. DENVER - LAFRENTZ 5, MCDYESS 4, CLARK 3, MCCLOUD. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: SEATTLE 6-20 (.300), PATTERSON 0-1, B BARRY 4-8, PAYTON 1-8, LEWIS 0-1, WILLIAMS 1-2. DENVER 10-19 (.526), MCCLOUD 4-6, POSEY 4-8, VAN EXEL 0-1, LAFRENTZ 1-2, C HERREN 1-2. TECHNICALS: SEATTLE - HEAD COACH P WESTPHAL. OFFICIALS: BERNIE FRYER, MARC DAVIS, RON OLESIAK. A - 17,808. T - 2:06.


Box Score

SEATTLE (97) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Baker 26 4-9 2-2 1-3 2 3 10 Patterson 37 4-10 2-3 4-7 0 0 10 Grant 40 3-7 0-0 3-8 8 4 6 B Barry 41 8-15 0-0 0-3 5 3 20 Payton 43 12-26 5-7 0-10 5 3 30 Lewis 23 6-11 1-1 1-4 1 3 13 Williams 16 1-8 5-8 1-3 1 0 8 Mccoy 14 0-0 0-0 0-1 2 4 0 Borrell DNP - coach's decision Foster DNP - coach's decision Maxwell DNP - wife having baby Stepania DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 38-86 15-21 10-39 24 20 97 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.442, FT-.714. 3-Point Goals: 6-20, .300 (Patterson 0-1, B Barry 4-8, Payton 1-8, Lewis 0-1, Williams 1-2). Team rebounds: 7. Blocked shots: 9 (Grant 3, Patterson 2, B Barry, Mccoy, Lewis, Payton). Turnovers: 11 (Patterson 4, Mccoy 2, B Barry, Lewis, Payton, Williams). Steals: 5 (Grant 2, B Barry, Lewis, Payton).

DENVER (105) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Mccloud 35 7-12 2-3 0-4 5 3 20 Mcdyess 35 2-12 6-10 3-9 2 0 10 Jones 9 1-4 0-0 4-6 0 1 2 Posey 41 6-13 3-4 1-3 6 5 19 Van Exel 37 6-18 6-8 1-8 12 4 18 Clark 20 5-8 0-0 0-8 2 0 10 Lafrentz 24 6-13 2-4 4-6 1 5 15 C Herren 16 1-2 0-0 0-3 2 2 3 Bowen 17 3-7 0-0 5-6 1 2 6 Gatling 6 1-3 0-0 1-2 0 0 2 Alexander DNP - coach's decision Rogers DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 38-92 19-29 19-55 31 22 105 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.413, FT-.655. 3-Point Goals: 10-19, .526 (Mccloud 4-6, Posey 4-8, Van Exel 0-1, Lafrentz 1-2, C Herren 1-2). Team rebounds: 17. Blocked shots: 13 (Lafrentz 5, Mcdyess 4, Clark 3, Mccloud). Turnovers: 12 (Jones 2, Mccloud 2, Posey 2, Van Exel 2, Bowen, C Herren). Steals: 5 (Bowen 2, Posey 2, Van Exel). ____________________________________________ Seattle 30 18 26 23 - 97 Denver 18 27 32 28 - 105 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: Seattle 1 (Head Coach P Westphal, 2:48 4th). Flagrant fouls: Seattle 1 (Lewis, 7:59 2nd). Denver 1 (Posey, 1:37 4th). A: 17,808. T: 2:06. Officials: Bernie Fryer, Marc Davis, Ron Olesiak.


Game Story

DENVER (Ticker) -- Rookie James Posey scored nine of his 19 points in the pivotal third quarter as the Denver Nuggets survived a horrendous opening period to defeat the slumping Seattle SuperSonics, 105-97.

Posey, who entered the contest averaging only 8.0 points per game, hit three 3-pointers in the quarter to spark a comeback.

Denver shot a dismal 22 percent (7-of-32) in the opening quarter and trailed 30-18. But the Nuggets shot 52 percent the rest of the way and avenged a 103-96 loss to Seattle four days ago.

Posey ended up 4-of-8 from behind the arc and has made 20 of his last 38 3-point attempts. The 6-8 guard is averaging 18.3 points over his last seven games.

"I got a lot of open looks and they were falling for me tonight," Posey said. "It's still a learning process every day and I'm just trying to fit in with the team. Chemistry is a big thing with me."

The Sonics have picked the worst possible time to stumble. They have lost six of their last eight and dropped 1 1/2 games behind the seventh-place Sacramento Kings with six games left. The No. 8 seed in the Western Conference faces the powerful Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of the playoffs.

Gary Payton had 30 points and 10 rebounds for Seattle, which was derailed in its attempt to sweep the season series for the third time in four seasons.

"We didn't play well," Payton said. "We didn't follow our shots, didn't rebound and the Nuggets beat us down the stretch. There's no bad mood in the locker room. We've got to keep the younger guys positive.

"I don't care if we're the seventh or eighth spot," Payton added. "We'll have to go to Los Angeles or Utah, and either of those is going to be tough. We'll have to face either Shaquille O'Neal or Karl Malone. What's the difference? You think we're going to get calls in either of those places?"

George McCloud, making his fifth start of the season, had 20 points, leading the Nuggets in scoring for the third straight game. McCloud was 4-of-6 from 3-point range as Denver improved to 4-1 with the veteran forward in the starting lineup.

"This time of season, I play well," McCloud said. "I keep myself prepared and in good shape the whole season.

"As a team, we're trying to end on a positive note," McCloud added. "Lately, a different player has been stepping up and Posey did that tonight. He's playing with a lot of confidence and he's not hesitating on his shot."

Trailing 48-45 at halftime, the Nuggets got within 50-48 on Posey's first 3-pointer at the 11:24 mark. His second bomb of the quarter gave the Nuggets their first lead since early in the contest, 53-52, and he followed with another that pushed the lead to four with 9:36 left.

Denver took a 77-74 lead into the final quarter and used a 9-2 run to build a 100-87 cushion with 2:16 to play. The Sonics closed within 102-97 on a 3-pointer by Shammomd Williams in the final minute but McCloud hit a free throw and Posey added two more to seal the victory.

Nick Van Exel had 18 points and 12 assists and Raef LaFrentz -- coming off the bench for the first time in his career -- added 15 and five blocks for Denver, which shot 41 percent from the floor (38-of-92) but hit 10-of-19 3-pointers.

Brent Barry had 20 points and Rashard Lewis 13 for the Sonics, who shot 44 percent (38-of-86) and were outrebounded, 55-39.

"Denver did a great job of in the third quarter establishing what they wanted to do," Barry said. "They did a good job opening the passing lanes, and James Posey and George McCloud did a good job shooting 3-pointers."

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