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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- INDIANA 16 23 23 21 83 DENVER 19 21 28 27 95 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: IND - JERMAINE ONEAL 22, AL HARRINGTON 18, JALEN ROSE 17 DEN - NICK VAN EXEL 37, RAEF LAFRENTZ 22, GEORGE MCCLOUD 14

HIGH REBOUND: IND - JERMAINE ONEAL 13, AL HARRINGTON 9 DEN - RAEF LAFRENTZ 14, JAMES POSEY 10

HIGH ASSISTS: IND - AL HARRINGTON 6, JALEN ROSE 6 DEN - NICK VAN EXEL 8, VOSHON LENARD 5

ATT: 14,313


Extended Box

INDIANA (83) AT DENVER (95)

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

HARRINGTON F 41 8-13 2-2 1 8 9 6 4 0 5 18 ONEAL F 43 11-18 0-0 3 10 13 0 2 1 3 22 CROSHERE C 26 0-7 2-2 0 3 3 1 2 0 1 2 R MILLER G 36 5-11 3-3 0 1 1 2 2 0 1 15 ROSE G 33 8-16 1-1 0 6 6 6 2 1 2 17 BEST 30 1-4 0-0 0 2 2 5 6 2 3 2 FOSTER 13 1-1 0-0 0 4 4 0 1 0 1 2 J BENDER 16 1-4 3-4 0 1 1 3 1 1 0 5 KETNER 2 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 T MILLS DNP - COACH'S DECISION PERKINS DNP - COACH'S DECISION TABAK DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 35-74 11-12 4 35 39 24 20 5 17 83 (.473) (.917) TEAM REBS: 5 TOTAL TO: 17(21 PTS)

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

POSEY F 32 6-12 0-2 3 7 10 1 3 1 1 12 STRICKLAND F 15 1-3 2-2 0 3 3 0 0 0 1 4 LAFRENTZ C 34 6-11 8-8 3 11 14 1 3 1 4 22 LENARD G 32 1-12 0-0 0 1 1 5 1 3 2 2 VAN EXEL G 43 15-27 0-1 0 5 5 8 0 0 1 37 MCCLOUD 29 6-15 1-2 1 1 2 2 1 2 1 14 PACK 10 0-1 2-2 0 2 2 4 1 0 2 2 DAVIS 20 0-1 2-2 4 0 4 1 2 0 0 2 BOWEN 25 0-2 0-0 1 0 1 1 5 4 0 0 GOLDWIRE DNP - COACH'S DECISION MCDYESS DNP - LEFT KNEE PATELLA SUBLUXATION WILLIS DNP - HEAD COLD

TOTALS 240 35-84 15-19 12 30 42 23 16 11 12 95 (.417) (.789) TEAM REBS: 7 TOTAL TO: 12(6 PTS)

INDIANA 16 23 23 21 - 83 DENVER 19 21 28 27 - 95

BLOCKED SHOTS: INDIANA - ROSE, FOSTER, ONEAL. DENVER - LAFRENTZ 5, LENARD. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: INDIANA 2-9 (.222), CROSHERE 0-3, R MILLER 2-5, ROSE 0-1. DENVER 10-22 (.455), POSEY 0-3, LAFRENTZ 2-2, LENARD 0-3, VAN EXEL 7-10, MCCLOUD 1-4. TECHNICALS: DENVER - ILLEGAL DEFENSE 2. OFFICIALS: DEE KANTNER, BILL SPOONER, DON VADEN. A - 14,313. T - 2:01.


Box Score

INDIANA (83) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Harrington 41 8-13 2-2 1-9 6 4 18 Oneal 43 11-18 0-0 3-13 0 2 22 Croshere 26 0-7 2-2 0-3 1 2 2 R Miller 36 5-11 3-3 0-1 2 2 15 Rose 33 8-16 1-1 0-6 6 2 17 Best 30 1-4 0-0 0-2 5 6 2 Foster 13 1-1 0-0 0-4 0 1 2 J Bender 16 1-4 3-4 0-1 3 1 5 Ketner 2 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 0 0 T Mills DNP - coach's decision Perkins DNP - coach's decision Tabak DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 35-74 11-12 4-39 24 20 83 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.473, FT-.917. 3-Point Goals: 2-9, .222 (Croshere 0-3, R Miller 2-5, Rose 0-1). Team rebounds: 5. Blocked shots: 3 (Rose, Foster, Oneal). Turnovers: 17 (Harrington 5, Best 3, Oneal 3, Rose 2, Croshere, Foster, Ketner, R Miller). Steals: 5 (Best 2, J Bender, Oneal, Rose).

DENVER (95) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Posey 32 6-12 0-2 3-10 1 3 12 Strickland 15 1-3 2-2 0-3 0 0 4 Lafrentz 34 6-11 8-8 3-14 1 3 22 Lenard 32 1-12 0-0 0-1 5 1 2 Van Exel 43 15-27 0-1 0-5 8 0 37 Mccloud 29 6-15 1-2 1-2 2 1 14 Pack 10 0-1 2-2 0-2 4 1 2 Davis 20 0-1 2-2 4-4 1 2 2 Bowen 25 0-2 0-0 1-1 1 5 0 Goldwire DNP - coach's decision Mcdyess DNP - left knee patella subluxation Willis DNP - head cold _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 35-84 15-19 12-42 23 16 95 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.417, FT-.789. 3-Point Goals: 10-22, .455 (Posey 0-3, Lafrentz 2-2, Lenard 0-3, Van Exel 7-10, Mccloud 1-4). Team rebounds: 7. Blocked shots: 6 (Lafrentz 5, Lenard). Turnovers: 12 (Lafrentz 4, Lenard 2, Pack 2, Mccloud, Posey, Strickland, Van Exel). Steals: 11 (Bowen 4, Lenard 3, Mccloud 2, Lafrentz, Posey). ____________________________________________ Indiana 16 23 23 21 - 83 Denver 19 21 28 27 - 95 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: Denver 2 (Illegal Defense 2, 9:32 2nd, 2:35 2nd). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 14,313. T: 2:01. Officials: Dee Kantner, Bill Spooner, Don Vaden.


Game Story

DENVER (Ticker) -- Even if the Indiana Pacers were not tired, they probably could not have stopped Nick Van Exel.

Van Exel scored 26 of his season-high 37 points in the second half, when the Denver Nuggets pulled away for a 95-83 victory over the weary Pacers.

Van Exel made 15-of-27 shots, including 7-of-10 from behind the arc, as the Nuggets posted their second straight win following a five-game skid.

The 6-1 Van Exel also handed out eight assists and pulled down five rebounds as the Nuggets won for the first time in 11 meetings with the Pacers. He missed two games with a bruised knee before scoring 17 points and handing out seven assists in Monday's 84-79 win at Golden State.

All-Star forward Antonio McDyess missed three games before he had 12 points and 17 rebounds on Monday. But a patella subluxation in his left knee forced him to miss Wednesday's contest.

"Without Antonio we needed some people to step up tonight, and we got that," Denver coach Dan Issel said. "Nick played unbelievable."

Raef LaFrentz controlled the middle for the Nuggets, scoring 22 points, grabbing 14 rebounds and blocking five shots. He made all eight of his free throws, helping Denver shoot 79 percent (15-of-19) from the line.

"My knee wasn't feeling any better," Van Exel said. "I guess I just got lucky tonight. Our bench finally got their chance and stepped up. Raef's been playing well and he's just getting better. The sky's the limit for him. He's got a lot of talent."

George McCloud scored 14 points off the bench and James Posey added 12 and 10 rebounds for Denver, which held a 42-39 edge on the boards.

"We are just trying to win one game at a time and hope we get to .500, at least," McCloud said. "It seems like when one guy goes down, another guy steps up. Nick was that guy tonight."

Jermaine O'Neal had 22 points and 13 rebounds and Jalen Rose scored 17 points for Indiana, which completed an 0-3 road trip.

On Tuesday, the Pacers blew an eight-point lead late in the fourth quarter and suffered a 127-118 triple-overtime loss at Houston in a contest that lasted 3 hours, 13 minutes.

"The second half, they hit nine threes, had eight offensive rebounds and we had 10 turnovers," Indiana coach Isiah Thomas said. "We didn't get enough from our bench tonight. When Van Exel started knocking down threes, it was lights out. We would get a defensive stop and then we wouldn't come up with the defensive rebound."

Indiana's lead for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot dropped to one-half game over Boston.

Despite making just 15-of-39 shots in the first half, Denver had a 40-39 lead.

Van Exel heated up in the third quarter, knocking down 7-of-10 shots for 18 points as the Nuggets outscored the Pacers, 28-23. Indiana used an 11-4 burst and tied it at 54-54 on O'Neal's dunk with 5:37 left.

Mark Strickland, who had four points, answered with a 16-footer and Van Exel followed with a running jumper to give the Nuggets a 58-54 edge with 4:38 left.

The Pacers tied it for the final time when Reggie Miller sank two free throws to make it 62-62 with 32 seconds left. But Van Exel nailed a 3-pointer 18 seconds later.

The Nuggets got the ball back after Travis Best was called for an offensive foul. Van Exel dribbled over halfcourt and, with two defenders on him, spun and nailed a 32-footer as time expired.

"Nick will probably win an ESPY for that last shot of the third quarter," McCloud said.

Van Exel and McCloud made consecutive 3-pointers to give Denver its biggest lead, 83-68, with 7:16 left in the fourth quarter.

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