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NBA FINAL IN 1ST OT 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH 1OT TOTAL --- --- --- --- --- ----- DALLAS 33 23 27 19 14 116 DENVER 25 31 22 24 8 110 FINAL IN 1ST OT

HIGH SCORERS: DAL - MICHAEL FINLEY 30, NICK VAN EXEL 20, DIRK NOWITZKI 19 DEN - JUWAN HOWARD 30, GEORGE MCCLOUD 20, TWO PLAYERS WITH 16

HIGH REBOUND: DAL - DIRK NOWITZKI 10, STEVE NASH 9, EDUARDO NAJERA 7 DEN - DONNELL HARVEY 12, JUWAN HOWARD 10, ANTONIO MCDYESS 9

HIGH ASSISTS: DAL - STEVE NASH 9, NICK VAN EXEL 6, DIRK NOWITZKI 4 DEN - TIM HARDAWAY 9, GEORGE MCCLOUD 7, JUWAN HOWARD 5

ATT: 16,851


Extended Box

DALLAS (116) AT DENVER (110)

DALLAS

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

E NAJERA F 29 6-9 5-8 3 4 7 0 4 1 0 17 D NOWITZKI F 45 6-18 4-6 2 8 10 4 5 2 0 19 R LAFRENTZ C 26 2-7 3-4 1 2 3 1 6 2 1 8 M FINLEY G 50 12-21 4-5 0 6 6 3 2 1 1 30 S NASH G 41 6-14 2-4 3 6 9 9 3 0 2 16 W ZHI ZHI 9 2-4 1-2 1 1 2 0 3 0 0 5 N VAN EXEL 43 8-18 4-6 1 3 4 6 2 0 1 20 J NEWMAN 14 0-0 1-2 0 2 2 0 1 1 1 1 D MANNING 6 0-1 0-0 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 T ABDUL-WAHAD 2 0-0 0-0 1 1 2 0 1 0 0 0 A JOHNSON DNP - COACH'S DECISION E ESCHMEYER DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 265 42-92 24-37 13 33 46 23 28 7 6 116 (.457) (.649) TEAM REBS: 16 TOTAL TO: 7 (8 PTS)

DENVER

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

J HOWARD F 51 8-20 14-17 4 6 10 5 5 0 3 30 C CHEANEY F 26 4-10 1-2 0 2 2 2 0 0 1 9 A MCDYESS C 25 4-9 8-8 5 4 9 1 2 1 0 16 V LENARD G 20 3-10 0-0 0 4 4 1 1 0 0 6 T HARDAWAY G 36 7-14 0-0 0 1 1 9 3 1 5 16 D HARVEY 28 3-5 1-3 2 10 12 1 5 1 1 7 R BOWEN 32 1-2 0-0 2 0 2 1 1 1 0 2 G MCCLOUD 33 6-11 5-6 1 4 5 7 4 0 0 20 J POSEY 12 2-10 0-0 0 4 4 3 4 0 2 4 M BATEER 2 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 Z HAMILTON DNP - COACH'S DECISION K SATTERFIELD DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 265 38-91 29-36 14 36 50 30 26 4 12 110 (.418) (.806) TEAM REBS: 11 TOTAL TO: 13 (9 PTS)

DALLAS 33 23 27 19 14 - 116 DENVER 25 31 22 24 8 - 110

BLOCKED SHOTS: DALLAS - R LAFRENTZ 5, D MANNING. DENVER - R BOWEN 3, A MCDYESS, C CHEANEY. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: DALLAS 8-23 (.348), D NOWITZKI 3-6, R LAFRENTZ 1- 4, M FINLEY 2-3, S NASH 2-3, W ZHI ZHI 0-2, N VAN EXEL 0-5. DENVER 5- 19 (.263), V LENARD 0-3, T HARDAWAY 2-7, G MCCLOUD 3-6, J POSEY 0- 3. TECHNICAL FOULS: DALLAS - TEAM, S NASH. DENVER - TEAM. FLAGRANT FOULS: DALLAS 1 (E NAJERA, 3:10 2ND). OFFICIALS: DAVID JONES, DERRICK STAFFORD, JASON PHILLIPS. A - 16,851. T - 2:29.


Box Score

DALLAS (116)

fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp E Najera 29 6-9 5-8 3-7 0 4 17 D Nowitzki 45 6-18 4-6 2-10 4 5 19 R Lafrentz 26 2-7 3-4 1-3 1 6 8 M Finley 50 12-21 4-5 0-6 3 2 30 S Nash 41 6-14 2-4 3-9 9 3 16 W Zhi Zhi 9 2-4 1-2 1-2 0 3 5 N Van Exel 43 8-18 4-6 1-4 6 2 20 J Newman 14 0-0 1-2 0-2 0 1 1 D Manning 6 0-1 0-0 1-1 0 1 0 T Abdul-Wahad 2 0-0 0-0 1-2 0 1 0 A Johnson DNP - COACH'S DECISION E Eschmeyer DNP - COACH'S DECISION

_____________________________________________________ TOTALS 265 42-92 24-37 13-46 23 28 116 _____________________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.457, FT-.649. 3-Point Goals: 8-23, .348 (D Nowitzki 3-6, R Lafrentz 1-4, M Finley 2-3, S Nash 2-3, W Zhi Zhi 0-2, N Van Exel 0-5). Team Rebounds: 16. Blocked Shots:6 (R Lafrentz 5, D Manning). Turnovers:6 (S Nash 2, M Finley, N Van Exel, R Lafrentz, J Newman). Steals: 7 (D Nowitzki 2, R Lafrentz 2, M Finley, E Najera, J Newman).

DENVER (110)

fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp J Howard 51 8-20 14-17 4-10 5 5 30 C Cheaney 26 4-10 1-2 0-2 2 0 9 A McDyess 25 4-9 8-8 5-9 1 2 16 V Lenard 20 3-10 0-0 0-4 1 1 6 T Hardaway 36 7-14 0-0 0-1 9 3 16 D Harvey 28 3-5 1-3 2-12 1 5 7 R Bowen 32 1-2 0-0 2-2 1 1 2 G McCloud 33 6-11 5-6 1-5 7 4 20 J Posey 12 2-10 0-0 0-4 3 4 4 M Bateer 2 0-0 0-0 0-1 0 1 0 Z Hamilton DNP - COACH'S DECISION K Satterfield DNP - COACH'S DECISION

_____________________________________________________ TOTALS 265 38-91 29-36 14-50 30 26 110 _____________________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.418, FT-.806. 3-Point Goals: 5-19, .263 (V Lenard 0-3, T Hardaway 2-7, G McCloud 3-6, J Posey 0-3). Team Rebounds: 11. Blocked Shots:5 (R Bowen 3, A McDyess, C Cheaney). Turnovers:12 (T Hardaway 5, J Howard 3, J Posey 2, C Cheaney, D Harvey). Steals: 4 (A McDyess, T Hardaway, R Bowen, D Harvey).

------------------------------------------------ DALLAS 33 23 27 19 14 - 116 DENVER 25 31 22 24 8 - 110 ------------------------------------------------

Technical fouls: Dallas - 2 (Team, 4:46 4th; S Nash, 6:46 4th). Denver - (Team, 1:37 3rd). Flagrant fouls: Dallas 1 (E Najera, 3:10 2n). A: 16,851. T: 2:29. Officials: David Jones, Derrick Stafford, Jason Phillips.


Game Story

DENVER (Ticker) -- Denver Nuggets fans booed Nick Van Exel every time he touched the ball. Michael Finley made sure they had nothing to cheer about.

Finley scored 30 points, including the tying basket in the final minute of regulation and seven points in overtime, leading the Dallas Mavericks to a 116-110 victory over the Nuggets.

"It was a good game, we knew it was going to be a tough game because of the emotions involved," Finley said.

Van Exel returned to Denver for the first time since the February 21 seven-player deal that sent him to Dallas. The point guard had asked for a trade several times during the season and wound up with a contender for the NBA championship.

Nuggets fans, who are suffering through another losing season, serenaded Van Exel with boos when he entered the game with 2:41 left in the first quarter and every time he had the ball thereafter.

But he scored 20 points and at one point put his finger to his lips after making a shot.

"I knew what to expect coming in and didnít feel any pressure going out to play," Van Exel said. "It was a pretty good game, the hecklers got their moneyís worth. In our situation, it was a big game and Iím glad we got the win. Iím going to miss the fellas."

"I thought Nick played extremely well and was a big factor in the win," Dallas coach Don Nelson said.

The Mavericks blew a 15-point first-quarter lead and trailed, 102-99, with less than two minutes to go in the fourth quarter. But Raef LaFrentz, who also came over in the trade, made a free throw and Finley dribbled into the lane for the tying jumper with 57 seconds left.

A 3-pointer by Steve Nash gave Dallas the lead for good at 107-104 with 3:13 remaining. Finley had a breakaway layup for a three-point play that made it 112-106 with 1:29 to play.

After Juwan Howard twice went 1-of-2 from the line, Finley drove the lane, elevated and threw down a hard dunk over Donnell Harvey for a 114-108 advantage with 19 seconds left.

"In the overtime situation, I just had some good looks at the basket," Finley said. "The last shot I just wanted to be aggressive, get fouled or something like that and I got a dunk out of it."

The players the Nuggets acquired from Dallas played well. Howard had 30 points and 10 rebounds, Tim Hardaway added 16 and nine assists and Harvey had seven and 11 rebounds. But they could not prevent Denver from losing to Dallas for the 10th time in 11 meetings.

"This is a game we really wanted to win," Nuggets coach Mike Evans said. "We shoot ourselves in the foots; we missed key free throws and shots down the stretch. ... A very entertaining game to watch, the fans were really into it, this is what it should be like every night in the NBA."

"In a lot of ways, Denver deserved to win," Nelson said. "We got a little lucky to win it in OT. All the traded players played extremely well. I thought it would be close and hard to win and thatís exactly what it was."

Dirk Nowitzki had 19 points and 10 rebounds, Nash added 16, nine and nine assists and Eduardo Najera scored 17 points for the Mavericks, who swept the Nuggets for the first time in franchise history.

LaFrentz, who received a mixed reaction when introduced, scored eight points in 26 minutes. He spent part of the game joking with former teammate Antonio McDyess, who has been injured most of the season.

"Antonio was a clown all night," LaFrentz said. "Heís a great guy and itís good to see him back."

"McDyess booed me," Van Exel said. "Every time he came by me said he was going to block my shot, but I didnít let that happen."

Dallas has won four of its last five. Denver has dropped seven of eight.

The Mavs led, 87-78, early in the fourth quarter, but the Nuggets fought back and there were three ties and five lead changes in the period. After Finley's tying bucket, Denver had a chance to win, but Hardaway missed a tough runner at the buzzer.

"It would have been great to hit that shot at the end of regulation," Hardaway said. "It just didnít go down."

Dallas had a 16-0 run in the first quarter to open a 23-8 lead. Finley had 12 points and Nowitzki 10 in the opening period, which ended with the Mavs holding a 33-25 advantage.

But Denver fought back for a 56-56 halftime behind McDyess, who scored 10 of his 16 points in the second quarter.

Dallas shot 46 percent (42-of-92) and committed just seven turnovers. Denver shot 42 percent (38-of-91) and held a 50-46 rebounding edge.

George McCloud scored 20 points for the Nuggets, who fell to 0-27 when giving up 99 points or more and 1-3 in overtime.

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