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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- LA LAKERS 18 33 20 15 86 DENVER 29 18 15 25 87 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: LAL - KOBE BRYANT 32, HORACE GRANT 18, TWO PLAYERS WITH 10 DEN - ANTONIO MCDYESS 28, NICK VAN EXEL 15, GEORGE MCCLOUD 11

HIGH REBOUND: LAL - HORACE GRANT 12, MARK MADSEN 6 DEN - ANTONIO MCDYESS 18, RAEF LAFRENTZ 10

HIGH ASSISTS: LAL - FOUR PLAYERS WITH 4 DEN - NICK VAN EXEL 11, JAMES POSEY 4

ATT: 19,513


Extended Box

LA LAKERS (86) AT DENVER (87)

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

BRYANT F 44 10-25 9-10 1 4 5 4 2 0 3 32 GRANT F 37 8-15 2-3 5 7 12 1 4 0 1 18 FOSTER C 25 3-8 0-0 2 3 5 4 1 0 0 6 HARPER G 23 2-4 0-0 0 2 2 2 1 2 0 4 SHAW G 26 1-5 0-0 0 1 1 4 4 2 0 2 PENBERTHY 15 0-2 0-0 0 3 3 4 2 1 1 0 RIDER 21 4-12 0-0 1 2 3 0 1 0 1 10 HORRY 23 3-7 4-4 2 2 4 3 4 3 0 10 MADSEN 11 2-8 0-0 4 2 6 0 2 0 0 4 FOX 15 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 GEORGE DNP - COACH'S DECISION ONEAL DNP - SPRAINED LEFT ANKLE

TOTALS 240 33-87 15-17 15 26 41 23 21 8 6 86 (.379) (.882) TEAM REBS: 6 TOTAL TO: 6(9 PTS)

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

MCDYESS F 44 9-15 10-13 6 12 18 2 4 0 4 28 POSEY F 33 4-11 2-3 3 4 7 4 3 0 1 10 LAFRENTZ C 37 2-7 3-6 4 6 10 1 1 0 0 7 ABDUL-WAHAD G 14 0-1 0-0 1 3 4 1 4 0 2 0 VAN EXEL G 42 7-21 0-0 1 2 3 11 3 1 4 15 LENARD 15 3-7 0-1 1 2 3 1 1 0 1 8 PACK 6 2-2 0-0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 4 CLARK 9 0-3 0-0 0 1 1 0 3 0 1 0 STRICKLAND 6 1-1 0-0 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 2 MCCLOUD 27 4-8 1-2 0 5 5 0 3 0 1 11 MURRAY 7 1-3 0-0 1 2 3 0 0 0 0 2 DAVIS DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 33-79 16-25 17 38 55 21 24 1 15 87 (.418) (.640) TEAM REBS: 9 TOTAL TO: 16(8 PTS)

LA LAKERS 18 33 20 15 - 86 DENVER 29 18 15 25 - 87

BLOCKED SHOTS: LA LAKERS - BRYANT, GRANT, FOSTER. DENVER - LAFRENTZ 3, MCDYESS 2, VAN EXEL, CLARK, MCCLOUD. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: LA LAKERS 5-19 (.263), BRYANT 3-6, HARPER 0-2, SHAW 0-4, RIDER 2-4, HORRY 0-3. DENVER 5-18 (.278), POSEY 0-5, VAN EXEL 1-4, LENARD 2-5, MCCLOUD 2-4. TECHNICALS: NONE. OFFICIALS: BERNIE FRYER, SCOTT FOSTER, JASON PHILLIPS. A - 19,513. T - 2:02.


Box Score

LA LAKERS (86) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Bryant 44 10-25 9-10 1-5 4 2 32 Grant 37 8-15 2-3 5-12 1 4 18 Foster 25 3-8 0-0 2-5 4 1 6 Harper 23 2-4 0-0 0-2 2 1 4 Shaw 26 1-5 0-0 0-1 4 4 2 Penberthy 15 0-2 0-0 0-3 4 2 0 Rider 21 4-12 0-0 1-3 0 1 10 Horry 23 3-7 4-4 2-4 3 4 10 Madsen 11 2-8 0-0 4-6 0 2 4 Fox 15 0-1 0-0 0-0 1 0 0 George DNP - coach's decision Oneal DNP - sprained left ankle _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 33-87 15-17 15-41 23 21 86 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.379, FT-.882. 3-Point Goals: 5-19, .263 (Bryant 3-6, Harper 0-2, Shaw 0-4, Rider 2-4, Horry 0-3). Team rebounds: 6. Blocked shots: 3 (Bryant, Grant, Foster). Turnovers: 6 (Bryant 3, Grant, Penberthy, Rider). Steals: 8 (Horry 3, Harper 2, Shaw 2, Penberthy).

DENVER (87) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Mcdyess 44 9-15 10-13 6-18 2 4 28 Posey 33 4-11 2-3 3-7 4 3 10 Lafrentz 37 2-7 3-6 4-10 1 1 7 Abdul-wahad 14 0-1 0-0 1-4 1 4 0 Van Exel 42 7-21 0-0 1-3 11 3 15 Lenard 15 3-7 0-1 1-3 1 1 8 Pack 6 2-2 0-0 0-0 1 1 4 Clark 9 0-3 0-0 0-1 0 3 0 Strickland 6 1-1 0-0 0-1 0 1 2 Mccloud 27 4-8 1-2 0-5 0 3 11 Murray 7 1-3 0-0 1-3 0 0 2 Davis DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 33-79 16-25 17-55 21 24 87 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.418, FT-.640. 3-Point Goals: 5-18, .278 (Posey 0-5, Van Exel 1-4, Lenard 2-5, Mccloud 2-4). Team rebounds: 9. Blocked shots: 8 (Lafrentz 3, Mcdyess 2, Van Exel, Clark, Mccloud). Turnovers: 16 (Mcdyess 4, Van Exel 4, Abdul-wahad 2, Clark, Lenard, Mccloud, Posey, Strickland). Steals: 1 (Van Exel). ____________________________________________ La Lakers 18 33 20 15 - 86 Denver 29 18 15 25 - 87 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: None. Flagrant fouls: None. A: 19,513. T: 2:02. Officials: Bernie Fryer, Scott Foster, Jason Phillips.


Game Story

DENVER (Ticker) -- The Los Angeles Lakers appeared headed for victory despite playing without Shaquille O'Neal. But the Denver Nuggets took advantage of his absence in crunch time to rally for an improbable victory.

Trailing badly in the fourth quarter, the Nuggets reeled off 17 straight points and held off the stunned Lakers for a spirited 87-86 victory.

O'Neal was scratched just prior to game time due to a sprained left ankle. It appeared the Lakers would not need the NBA's Most Valuable Player as they built an 82-69 lead with 7:08 left.

But Los Angeles appeared unsure down the stretch, going nearly five minutes without a point and allowing Denver to crawl back into the game.

"We were at the height of inefficiency at the end of the game," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "I don't know why we were taking 3-pointers, we had opportunities, we just didn't play it right."

With the score tied at 82-82, former Laker Nick Van Exel stole the ball and fed James Posey for a layup that put the Nuggets ahead to stay with just under three minutes remaining.

Antonio McDyess, who matched a season high with 28 points and grabbed 18 rebounds, followed with a 15-foot baseline jumper that capped the 17-0 surge and extended the lead to 86-82 with nearly two minutes to go.

Bryant snapped the Lakers drought with a pair of free throws at the 1:40 mark and Posey made one of two from the line, giving the Nuggets a three-point lead.

Bryant cut the deficit to 87-86 with a spinning jumper with 1:18 to play but misfired from 15 feet after a turnover by Posey.

The Lakers had one more opportunity to take the lead, calling timeout after a missed jumper by Van Exel with 17 seconds left. But Los Angeles never got a shot off, as Isaiah Rider looked to pass with the clock winding down.

"I was surprised Phil called my number because Kobe had been hot," Rider said. "The play was designed for me to post up but McDyess made me change my mind on going inside and made me step out and time ran out."

"It felt good even though Shaq didn't play," McDyess said. "We really kept our composure in the fourth quarter. That's a great team and we came out with a big victory. We had a discussion that we had to take advantage of Shaq's injury. They didn't have any shot blockers or inside presence so we could take it (inside). We also got a lot of rebounds."

Denver won the battle of the boards, 55-41.

Kobe Bryant scored 32 points for the Lakers, who lost for only the third time in 16 meetings with Denver. Bryant has scored at least 30 points in five consecutive contests.

After a sluggish first quarter which saw the Lakers fall behind 28-18, Los Angeles began to heat up, with Bryant leading the way. The versatile All-Star scored 10 points in the second period, as did Robert Horry, as the defending champions took a 51-47 halftime lead.

McDyess accounted for 11 of Denver's 19 points in the session.

Los Angeles trailed by one midway through the third quarter when Bryant collected 10 points during a 16-4 run that provided the Lakers a 71-60 lead in the final minute of the period. They took a nine-point lead into the fourth quarter.

"I've seen too many games where a team is without their star and they still win," Nuggets coach Dan Issel said. "They are the world champs because they are a pretty darn good team, not just because of Kobe and Shaq. But without Shaq in the game, we didn't have to double-team down low and it permitted us to play tougher perimeter defense."

Van Exel had 15 points and 11 assists for Denver, which shot 42 percent (33-of-79) and blocked eight shots.

Grant had 18 points and 12 rebounds for Los Angeles, which committed a season-low six turnovers but shot just 38 percent (33-of-87).

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