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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- DENVER 31 24 20 21 96 PORTLAND 27 32 18 18 95 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: DEN - ANTONIO MCDYESS 22, NICK VAN EXEL 22, CHRIS GATLING 16 POR - BONZI WELLS 18, STEVE SMITH 15, DAMON STOUDAMIRE 13

HIGH REBOUND: DEN - ANTONIO MCDYESS 8, CHRIS GATLING 7 POR - JERMAINE ONEAL 11, BRIAN GRANT 10

HIGH ASSISTS: DEN - NICK VAN EXEL 9, GEORGE MCCLOUD 8 POR - GREG ANTHONY 5, DAMON STOUDAMIRE 4

ATT: 20,403


Extended Box

DENVER (96) AT PORTLAND (95)

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

MCCLOUD F 34 6-13 0-1 1 5 6 8 1 2 1 13 MCDYESS F 35 9-12 4-6 2 6 8 3 3 1 1 22 LAFRENTZ C 34 3-8 1-3 0 5 5 1 5 0 0 7 VAN EXEL G 35 9-19 0-0 0 3 3 9 1 0 1 22 POSEY G 18 2-3 0-0 0 2 2 1 5 0 0 5 GATLING 20 7-11 2-2 1 6 7 0 2 0 3 16 BOWEN 20 2-3 0-0 1 1 2 0 1 1 0 4 CLARK 24 1-5 1-4 1 3 4 1 0 1 1 3 ROGERS 7 2-4 0-0 1 1 2 0 1 0 0 4 C HERREN 13 0-3 0-0 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 ALEXANDER DNP - ARTHROSCOPIC SURG. JONES DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 41-81 8-16 7 32 39 24 20 5 8 96 (.506) (.500) TEAM REBS: 6 TOTAL TO: 8(9 PTS)

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

B GRANT F 25 2-8 3-4 3 7 10 1 4 2 1 7 PIPPEN F 21 2-9 0-0 2 3 5 2 0 0 1 5 WALLACE C 25 3-9 6-6 0 4 4 2 2 0 1 12 SMITH G 25 5-9 4-4 0 2 2 2 0 0 0 15 STOUDAMIRE G 24 6-11 0-0 0 0 0 4 0 0 1 13 ONEAL 23 4-7 0-0 2 9 11 1 3 0 0 8 AUGMON 26 4-6 0-0 1 2 3 3 2 1 0 8 ANTHONY 24 1-4 0-0 1 1 2 5 2 0 2 3 SCHREMPF 24 2-9 2-3 1 4 5 3 2 0 1 6 WELLS 23 7-14 4-4 1 2 3 1 1 1 1 18 KLEINE DNP - COACH'S DECISION HARVEY DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 36-86 19-21 11 34 45 24 16 4 8 95 (.419) (.905) TEAM REBS: 10 TOTAL TO: 8(11 PTS)

DENVER 31 24 20 21 - 96 PORTLAND 27 32 18 18 - 95

BLOCKED SHOTS: DENVER - LAFRENTZ 4, MCDYESS 2, VAN EXEL, ROGERS, GATLING. PORTLAND - WALLACE 2, B GRANT 2, ONEAL, SMITH. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: DENVER 6-17 (.353), MCCLOUD 1-2, LAFRENTZ 0-2, VAN EXEL 4-7, POSEY 1-2, GATLING 0-2, C HERREN 0-2. PORTLAND 4-11 (.364), PIPPEN 1-4, SMITH 1-2, STOUDAMIRE 1-2, ANTHONY 1-3. TECHNICALS: NONE. OFFICIALS: JOE CRAWFORD, TIM DONAGHY, KEN MAUER. A - 20,403. T - 2:06.


Box Score

DENVER (96) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Mccloud 34 6-13 0-1 1-6 8 1 13 Mcdyess 35 9-12 4-6 2-8 3 3 22 Lafrentz 34 3-8 1-3 0-5 1 5 7 Van Exel 35 9-19 0-0 0-3 9 1 22 Posey 18 2-3 0-0 0-2 1 5 5 Gatling 20 7-11 2-2 1-7 0 2 16 Bowen 20 2-3 0-0 1-2 0 1 4 Clark 24 1-5 1-4 1-4 1 0 3 Rogers 7 2-4 0-0 1-2 0 1 4 C Herren 13 0-3 0-0 0-0 1 1 0 Alexander DNP - arthroscopic surg. Jones DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 41-81 8-16 7-39 24 20 96 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.506, FT-.500. 3-Point Goals: 6-17, .353 (Mccloud 1-2, Lafrentz 0-2, Van Exel 4-7, Posey 1-2, Gatling 0-2, C Herren 0-2). Team rebounds: 6. Blocked shots: 9 (Lafrentz 4, Mcdyess 2, Van Exel, Rogers, Gatling). Turnovers: 8 (Gatling 3, C Herren, Clark, Mccloud, Mcdyess, Van Exel). Steals: 5 (Mccloud 2, Bowen, Clark, Mcdyess).

PORTLAND (95) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp B Grant 25 2-8 3-4 3-10 1 4 7 Pippen 21 2-9 0-0 2-5 2 0 5 Wallace 25 3-9 6-6 0-4 2 2 12 Smith 25 5-9 4-4 0-2 2 0 15 Stoudamire 24 6-11 0-0 0-0 4 0 13 Oneal 23 4-7 0-0 2-11 1 3 8 Augmon 26 4-6 0-0 1-3 3 2 8 Anthony 24 1-4 0-0 1-2 5 2 3 Schrempf 24 2-9 2-3 1-5 3 2 6 Wells 23 7-14 4-4 1-3 1 1 18 Kleine DNP - coach's decision Harvey DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 36-86 19-21 11-45 24 16 95 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.419, FT-.905. 3-Point Goals: 4-11, .364 (Pippen 1-4, Smith 1-2, Stoudamire 1-2, Anthony 1-3). Team rebounds: 10. Blocked shots: 6 (Wallace 2, B Grant 2, Oneal, Smith). Turnovers: 8 (Anthony 2, B Grant, Pippen, Schrempf, Stoudamire, Wallace, Wells). Steals: 4 (B Grant 2, Augmon, Wells). ____________________________________________ Denver 31 24 20 21 - 96 Portland 27 32 18 18 - 95 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: None. Flagrant fouls: None. A: 20,403. T: 2:06. Officials: Joe Crawford, Tim Donaghy, Ken Mauer.


Game Story

PORTLAND, Oregon (Ticker) -- This was the last game the Portland Trail Blazers can explain away.

The playoff-bound Trail Blazers closed the regular season with another loss to an inferior foe as Nick Van Exel's 21-footer with 1.7 seconds left gave the Denver Nuggets a 96-95 victory.

Despite winning five of its last seven games, Portland (59-23) has not been the same team since a home loss in an epic showdown with the Los Angeles Lakers on February 29. The Trail Blazers went 14-12 over the last two months as they battled injuries and some internal strife.

"We are pretty close (to being where we want to be)," Portland coach Mike Dunleavy said. "You'd like to be a little more healthy but a lot of teams have that problem this time of year."

Portland is seeded third in the Western Conference and will face Minnesota in the first round of the postseason. The Blazers reached the conference finals last year but that was the first time they advanced past the opening round since 1992.

"We have to improve on a few things before the playoffs having the same intensity for 48 minutes," Blazers forward Detlef Schrempf said. "Consistency. We make runs and then we throw the ball away two or three times in a row and let teams back in ballgames. We just need to be consistently effective and efficient with the ball."

"Let the playoffs begin. I'm glad to be done with this game," forward Brian Grant said. "This game, the last couple, I've really been waiting for this moment to go into practice and focus on just one team and their personnel, and just get ready for Minnesota."

Van Exel's shot from the left baseline marked the fourth lead change in the final 77 seconds. He had 22 points and nine assists to lead the Nuggets (35-47), who matched a season high with their fourth straight win, established from November 18-26.

"I knocked it down. I got a great look," Van Exel said. "I knew we had five seconds so I wasn't worried about the clock. It was tipped and came right to me."

Denver enjoyed its best season since 1995-96 but is headed to the lottery for the fifth straight year.

"It's a nice way to go into the summer, on a four-game win streak," Nuggets coach Dan Issel said. "We reached a late goal that we set. This was a nice way to end it."

The Blazers played without center Arvydas Sabonis, whose creaky knees were rested as a precaution. They used 10 players, all of whom played between 20 and 26 minutes.

Bonzi Wells came off the bench to score 18 points, including a pair of free throws that gave Portland a 93-92 lead with 1:17 to go. Van Exel scored on a drive with a minute remaining and Wells made two more free throws 10 seconds later, giving the Blazers a 95-94 edge.

The teams traded empty possessions, setting up Van Exel's shot.

Antonio McDyess scored 22 points and Chris Gatling added 16 for the Nuggets, who shot 51 percent (41-of-81) from the field and committed just eight turnovers.

Steve Smith scored 15 points and Damon Stoudamire added 13 for the Blazers, who shot 42 percent (36-of-86) and also had just eight giveaways.

Denver gained a split of the four-game season series.

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