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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- DENVER 33 23 20 26 102 HOUSTON 21 23 32 24 100 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: DEN - NICK VAN EXEL 26, VOSHON LENARD 19, ANTONIO MCDYESS 17 HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 26, CUTTINO MOBLEY 20, MAURICE TAYLOR 16

HIGH REBOUND: DEN - ANTONIO MCDYESS 20, TWO PLAYERS WITH 6 HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 9, KENNY THOMAS 9

HIGH ASSISTS: DEN - NICK VAN EXEL 8, VOSHON LENARD 5 HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 4, TWO PLAYERS WITH 3

ATT: 11,907


Extended Box

DENVER (102) AT HOUSTON (100)

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

MCDYESS F 42 6-17 5-10 7 13 20 2 2 1 1 17 POSEY F 24 3-7 2-2 2 3 5 0 3 0 0 8 LAFRENTZ C 34 6-10 2-2 3 3 6 0 3 1 3 14 LENARD G 38 8-15 0-0 0 6 6 5 2 2 0 19 VAN EXEL G 42 11-21 1-1 1 3 4 8 3 3 3 26 CLARK 20 3-5 1-2 1 1 2 2 2 0 3 7 PACK 16 2-5 1-2 0 0 0 3 2 1 0 5 MCCLOUD 24 2-5 2-2 0 1 1 1 3 1 0 6 ABDUL-WAHAD DNP - FLU BOWEN DNP - COACH'S DECISION MURRAY DNP - COACH'S DECISION STRICKLAND DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 41-85 14-21 14 30 44 21 20 9 10 102 (.482) (.667) TEAM REBS: 7 TOTAL TO: 10(13 PTS)

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

TAYLOR F 27 7-15 2-2 1 4 5 3 3 0 1 16 WILLIAMS F 23 1-5 2-2 1 2 3 3 1 0 0 5 OLAJUWON C 20 3-10 0-0 2 5 7 0 2 0 1 6 ANDERSON G 22 3-4 1-2 0 3 3 0 4 0 4 8 FRANCIS G 39 11-19 2-2 6 3 9 4 3 3 5 26 THOMAS 28 5-8 2-2 5 4 9 1 3 0 0 12 MOBLEY 38 6-16 6-8 1 3 4 2 0 2 0 20 NORRIS 15 2-7 0-0 0 1 1 2 0 0 2 4 BULLARD 21 1-7 0-0 3 4 7 2 0 0 0 3 CATO 7 0-2 0-0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 LANGHI DNP - COACH'S DECISION MILLER DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 39-93 15-18 19 29 48 17 17 5 13 100 (.419) (.833) TEAM REBS: 9 TOTAL TO: 13(21 PTS)

DENVER 33 23 20 26 - 102 HOUSTON 21 23 32 24 - 100

BLOCKED SHOTS: DENVER - VAN EXEL, LAFRENTZ. HOUSTON - FRANCIS, MOBLEY, ANDERSON, CATO. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: DENVER 6-15 (.400), POSEY 0-2, LAFRENTZ 0-2, LENARD 3-4, VAN EXEL 3-6, PACK 0-1. HOUSTON 7-22 (.318), WILLIAMS 1-3, ANDERSON 1-1, FRANCIS 2-3, THOMAS 0-2, MOBLEY 2-4, NORRIS 0-2, BULLARD 1-7. TECHNICALS: NONE. OFFICIALS: JOE CRAWFORD, RASHAN MICHEL, GREG WILLARD. A - 11,907. T - 2:03.


Box Score

DENVER (102) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Mcdyess 42 6-17 5-10 7-20 2 2 17 Posey 24 3-7 2-2 2-5 0 3 8 Lafrentz 34 6-10 2-2 3-6 0 3 14 Lenard 38 8-15 0-0 0-6 5 2 19 Van Exel 42 11-21 1-1 1-4 8 3 26 Clark 20 3-5 1-2 1-2 2 2 7 Pack 16 2-5 1-2 0-0 3 2 5 Mccloud 24 2-5 2-2 0-1 1 3 6 Abdul-wahad DNP - flu Bowen DNP - coach's decision Murray DNP - coach's decision Strickland DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 41-85 14-21 14-44 21 20 102 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.482, FT-.667. 3-Point Goals: 6-15, .400 (Posey 0-2, Lafrentz 0-2, Lenard 3-4, Van Exel 3-6, Pack 0-1). Team rebounds: 7. Blocked shots: 2 (Van Exel, Lafrentz). Turnovers: 10 (Clark 3, Lafrentz 3, Van Exel 3, Mcdyess). Steals: 9 (Van Exel 3, Lenard 2, Lafrentz, Mccloud, Mcdyess, Pack).

HOUSTON (100) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Taylor 27 7-15 2-2 1-5 3 3 16 Williams 23 1-5 2-2 1-3 3 1 5 Olajuwon 20 3-10 0-0 2-7 0 2 6 Anderson 22 3-4 1-2 0-3 0 4 8 Francis 39 11-19 2-2 6-9 4 3 26 Thomas 28 5-8 2-2 5-9 1 3 12 Mobley 38 6-16 6-8 1-4 2 0 20 Norris 15 2-7 0-0 0-1 2 0 4 Bullard 21 1-7 0-0 3-7 2 0 3 Cato 7 0-2 0-0 0-0 0 1 0 Langhi DNP - coach's decision Miller DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 39-93 15-18 19-48 17 17 100 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.419, FT-.833. 3-Point Goals: 7-22, .318 (Williams 1-3, Anderson 1-1, Francis 2-3, Thomas 0-2, Mobley 2-4, Norris 0-2, Bullard 1-7). Team rebounds: 9. Blocked shots: 4 (Francis, Mobley, Anderson, Cato). Turnovers: 13 (Francis 5, Anderson 4, Norris 2, Olajuwon, Taylor). Steals: 5 (Francis 3, Mobley 2). ____________________________________________ Denver 33 23 20 26 - 102 Houston 21 23 32 24 - 100 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: None. Flagrant fouls: None. A: 11,907. T: 2:03. Officials: Joe Crawford, Rashan Michel, Greg Willard.


Game Story

HOUSTON (Ticker) -- This time, there was no miracle finish for the Houston Rockets.

Cuttino Mobley missed a baseline jumper at the buzzer as the Rockets suffered a 102-100 loss to the Denver Nuggets that snapped a three-game winning streak.

On Thursday, Houston capped a four-game road trip in dramatic fashion as Moochie Norris banked in a desperation 34-foot heave to give the Rockets a 98-95 victory over Golden State.

With the Rockets unable to foul, Nick Van Exel appeared ready to run out the clock for the Nuggets before the ball inexplicably slipped out of his hands.

"I tried to dribble it out but I went one way and the ball went the other," Van Exel said. "It scared me half to death. When Cuttino got the ball, I didn't know if I should foul him or not but fortunately, he missed it."

"I told Nick that if that shot (by Mobley) went in, he could run out the back of the gym and not come back," Denver coach Dan Issel joked. "We got lucky but Nick is the reason why we won the game. He was terrific in the fourth quarter."

Mobley scooped up the loose ball but his off-balance jumper from the left corner clanged off the front of the rim.

"I don't know what he (Van Exel) was trying to do," Mobley said. "I was just trying to be there, then the ball popped out and it came right to me. I put up the shot before the horn blew but I just missed it."

Van Exel scored 26 points as the Nuggets swept their two-game trip to Texas. Voshon Lenard added 19 points and Antonio McDyess contributed 17 and 20 rebounds for Denver, which posted a 102-96 victory at San Antonio on Thursday.

"These are two big wins when we needed two big wins," said Issel, who may have weathered a mutiny that saw his players boycott practice on Monday. "It kept our season from going south."

Steve Francis, who sprained his right ankle with four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, scored 26 points for the Rockets but missed a baseline jumper with 5.2 seconds to go.

"I wasn't going to come out because of a sprained ankle," Francis said.

"It was me and him (Francis) out there and we talked about it on the court," Van Exel said. "We traded some big buckets in the fourth quarter. It was unfortunate that he hurt his ankle because he wasn't as quick but we'll take it."

McDyess' two foul shots gave the Nuggets the lead for good at 97-96, with 2:50 to play. Lenard's 3-pointer made it 102-98 with 1:11 left before Mobley hit a pair from the line seven seconds later to complete the scoring.

The Nuggets returned home from a winless four-game road trip late Sunday night and the players decided not to attend Monday morning's practice but failed to notify Issel. The coach and players resolved the situation in a team meeting Tuesday.

"The biggest thing is we got the win," Lenard said. "A lot of people thought we would crumble after the miscommunication this week, but we showed a lot of character. I think we really have come together."

The Rockets dropped to 4-2 in games decided by five points or less.

"We had a chance at the end," Houston coach Rudy Tomjanovich said. "We've been very fortunate in close games this year but not this time."

After Mobley hit his two foul shots, James Posey missed a 3-pointer for the Nuggets with 45 seconds left. Matt Bullard missed a 3-pointer for the Rockets but Kenny Thomas grabbed the offensive rebound with 17 seconds left, enabling Houston to maintain possession.

The Rockets got the ball to Francis, who drove the left baseline. But he was tightly guarded by McDyess and got off a bad shot that missed the rim.

"Both guys (Francis and Van Exel) made really good plays for their teams," Tomjanovich said. "Unfortunately, we just couldn't come up with the big play at the end."

Denver built a 60-45 lead on Raef LaFrentz's two foul shots with 10 minutes left in the third quarter. But the Rockets rallied to take a 76-74 lead on Mobley's 3-pointer with 12 seconds left in the period.

Houston took its last lead, 96-95, on Mobley's two foul shots with 3:08 to go.

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