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NBA  FINAL            1ST  2ND  3RD  4TH  TOTAL
                      ---  ---  ---  ---  -----
     DENVER           15   13   24   20    72   
     INDIANA          22   31   24   17    94      FINAL

HIGH SCORERS:   DEN - CHRIS WHITNEY 14, RODNEY WHITE 12, TWO 
                      PLAYERS WITH 10
                IND - RON MERCER 19, AUSTIN CROSHERE 17, 
                      JERMAINE O'NEAL 12

HIGH REBOUND:   DEN - JUWAN HOWARD 8, DONNELL HARVEY 7, TWO 
                      PLAYERS WITH 5
                IND - JEFF FOSTER 12, THREE PLAYERS WITH 6

HIGH ASSISTS:   DEN - LORINZA HARRINGTON 3, FOUR PLAYERS WITH 
                      2
                IND - AUSTIN CROSHERE 4, THREE PLAYERS WITH 3

         ATT:   15,017

Box Score

DENVER (72) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp R Bowen 12 3-4 1-2 1-2 0 1 7 J Howard 29 5-13 0-0 3-8 2 3 10 M Blount 6 0-1 0-0 0-0 1 5 0 J Posey 25 2-8 1-1 1-2 1 4 5 C Whitney 27 4-7 4-5 0-1 2 3 14 N Hilario 31 3-10 4-8 0-5 1 4 10 N Tskitishvili 28 1-8 3-4 1-3 2 2 5 L Harrington 21 1-4 0-0 1-3 3 2 2 D Harvey 18 0-4 0-0 2-7 0 2 0 R White 17 5-9 0-0 2-5 1 6 12 V Yarbrough 20 1-6 0-0 0-1 2 0 3 K Satterfield 6 2-3 0-0 0-1 0 1 4 _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 27-77 13-20 11-38 15 33 72 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.351, FT-.650. 3-Point Goals: 5-12, .417 (J Posey 0-1, C Whitney 2-3, N Tskitishvili 0-2, R White 2-4, V Yarbrough 1-2). Team Rebounds: 12. Blocked Shots:7 (N Tskitishvili 2, R Bowen, D Harvey, L Harrington, V Yarbrough, N Hilario). Turnovers:21 (D Harvey 4, N Hilario 4, J Posey 2, M Blount 2, K Satterfield 2, L Harrington 2, R White 2, J Howard, N Tskitishvili, C Whitney). Steals: 10 (N Hilario 4, C Whitney 2, D Harvey, L Harrington, K Satterfield, V Yarbrough). INDIANA (94) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp R Artest 28 4-7 1-1 0-1 1 2 10 A Harrington 21 4-9 3-3 2-6 0 2 11 J O'Neal 25 2-9 8-9 1-4 1 2 12 R Miller 13 0-1 4-4 0-0 0 2 4 J Tinsley 23 1-5 1-3 0-2 3 3 3 J Bender 26 1-4 3-6 2-6 1 3 5 J Foster 31 1-3 2-4 3-12 2 3 4 R Mercer 30 7-13 5-5 0-4 3 1 19 A Croshere 19 6-7 2-2 1-6 4 1 17 P Brezec 8 2-7 1-1 1-1 0 2 5 E Strickland 16 1-3 2-4 0-2 3 2 4 B Miller DNP - SORE LEFT HEEL _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 29-68 32-42 10-44 18 23 94 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.426, FT-.762. 3-Point Goals: 4-10, .400 (R Artest 1-3, J Tinsley 0-2, J Bender 0-1, A Croshere 3-3, P Brezec 0-1). Team Rebounds: 12. Blocked Shots:6 (J O'Neal 3, J Bender 2, R Artest). Turnovers:18 (E Strickland 3, J Tinsley 3, J O'Neal 2, R Mercer 2, A Croshere 2, R Artest 2, R Miller, A Harrington, P Brezec, J Bender). Steals: 5 (J Foster 2, R Miller, J Tinsley, A Croshere). ------------------------------------------- DENVER 15 13 24 20 - 72 INDIANA 22 31 24 17 - 94 ------------------------------------------- Technical fouls: Denver - 1 (J Howard, 7:01 2nd). Indiana - 2 (J Tinsley, 5:21 2nd; J O'Neal, 7:17 2nd). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 15,017. T: 2:17. Officials: Bernie Fryer, Gary Zielinski, Jim Clark.


Extended Box

DENVER (72) AT INDIANA (94) DENVER REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === R BOWEN F 12 3-4 1-2 1 1 2 0 1 0 0 7 J HOWARD F 29 5-13 0-0 3 5 8 2 3 0 1 10 M BLOUNT C 6 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 1 5 0 2 0 J POSEY G 25 2-8 1-1 1 1 2 1 4 0 2 5 C WHITNEY G 27 4-7 4-5 0 1 1 2 3 2 1 14 N HILARIO 31 3-10 4-8 0 5 5 1 4 4 4 10 N TSKITISHVILI 28 1-8 3-4 1 2 3 2 2 0 1 5 L HARRINGTON 21 1-4 0-0 1 2 3 3 2 1 2 2 D HARVEY 18 0-4 0-0 2 5 7 0 2 1 4 0 R WHITE 17 5-9 0-0 2 3 5 1 6 0 2 12 V YARBROUGH 20 1-6 0-0 0 1 1 2 0 1 0 3 K SATTERFIELD 6 2-3 0-0 0 1 1 0 1 1 2 4 TOTALS 240 27-77 13-20 11 27 38 15 33 10 21 72 (.351) (.650) TEAM REBS: 12 TOTAL TO: 23 (22 PTS) INDIANA REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === R ARTEST F 28 4-7 1-1 0 1 1 1 2 0 2 10 A HARRINGTON F 21 4-9 3-3 2 4 6 0 2 0 1 11 J O'NEAL C 25 2-9 8-9 1 3 4 1 2 0 2 12 R MILLER G 13 0-1 4-4 0 0 0 0 2 1 1 4 J TINSLEY G 23 1-5 1-3 0 2 2 3 3 1 3 3 J BENDER 26 1-4 3-6 2 4 6 1 3 0 1 5 J FOSTER 31 1-3 2-4 3 9 12 2 3 2 0 4 R MERCER 30 7-13 5-5 0 4 4 3 1 0 2 19 A CROSHERE 19 6-7 2-2 1 5 6 4 1 1 2 17 P BREZEC 8 2-7 1-1 1 0 1 0 2 0 1 5 E STRICKLAND 16 1-3 2-4 0 2 2 3 2 0 3 4 B MILLER DNP - SORE LEFT HEEL TOTALS 240 29-68 32-42 10 34 44 18 23 5 18 94 (.426) (.762) TEAM REBS: 12 TOTAL TO: 18 (20 PTS) DENVER 15 13 24 20 - 72 INDIANA 22 31 24 17 - 94 BLOCKED SHOTS: DENVER - N TSKITISHVILI 2, R BOWEN, D HARVEY, L HARRINGTON, V YARBROUGH, N HILARIO. INDIANA - J O'NEAL 3, J BENDER 2, R ARTEST. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: DENVER 5-12 (.417), J POSEY 0-1, C WHITNEY 2-3, N TSKITISHVILI 0-2, R WHITE 2-4, V YARBROUGH 1-2. INDIANA 4-10 (. 400), R ARTEST 1-3, J TINSLEY 0-2, J BENDER 0-1, A CROSHERE 3-3, P BREZEC 0- 1. TECHNICAL FOULS: DENVER - J HOWARD. INDIANA - J TINSLEY, J O'NEAL. FLAGRANT FOULS: NONE. OFFICIALS: BERNIE FRYER, GARY ZIELINSKI, JIM CLARK. A - 15,017. T - 2:17.


Game Story

INDIANAPOLIS (Ticker) -- Austin Croshere is playing himself back into the Indiana Pacers' rotation. Ron Mercer scored 19 points and Croshere had 11 of his season-high 17 in the decisive second quarter as the Pacers rolled to a 94-72 victory over the Denver Nuggets. Croshere was a key contributor for Indiana in coach Larry Bird's final season and its first under Isiah Thomas, averaging 10.2 points and 5.6 rebounds in 162 games. But he fell out of favor in Thomas' second season and was nearly half as productive in limited time as the Pacers committed to their developing talent. The sixth-year forward missed the first month of this season with back problems but slowly is working his way into the mix. He scored 11 points in Wednesday's overtime win over Milwaukee and took over the second quarter Friday. "At the beginning, it was sort of frustrating not knowing what type of minutes I would get," he said. "But I think back to last year and with the depth and talent we have now, I'm not letting it get me down. Even though my minutes were down, I was really ready to play in Milwaukee and tonight. It really felt good to get out and get some minutes." "We all know he's capable of playing well," Thomas said. "Give him credit. He got in shape, he's working hard and he's competing. It's paying off for him. It's a different mentality we're trying to play with. It's about the Pacers' team and not any one individual." Croshere entered the game 87 seconds into the period and buried a 3-pointer 1:40 later. He added two more 3-pointers and a medium-range jumper as Indiana took control with a 28-5 run. The Pacers had 22-18 lead early in the third quarter before reeling off 12 consecutive points. They had a 36-23 edge at 4:04 when Croshere buried his second 3-pointer to spark a 14-0 Indiana run. The Pacers built a 50-23 cushion with 67 seconds left in the first half and the Nuggets did not closer than 19 thereafter. Croshere and Mercer led a strong effort by Indiana's reserves, who combined for 56 points on 18-of-37 shooting. "I think we really stepped it up tonight and we just wore them down from the starters all the way down through our lineup," Croshere said. "I think it was great how it seemed everyone was ready to play. It was really great to see how Ron Mercer really stepped up tonight." "That's the way this team is," Mercer said. "We have a lot of talent and you have to be ready for anything. Some nights from the bench you may play only a few minutes, others you might get a lot. It just depends on how things are going and who's playing well. Basically, you just have to be ready." Jermaine O'Neal scored 12 points and reserve Jeff Foster grabbed 12 rebounds off the bench for Indiana, which has won eight straight home meetings with Denver. The Pacers shot just 43 percent (29-of-68) but made 32-of-42 free throws and solved their defensive problems against the Nuggets. Indiana had been allowing 105.2 points and 48 percent shooting in its last five games but held punchless Denver to just 35 percent (27-of-77). "It's too difficult to win when there is no scoring," Denver coach Jeff Bzdelik said. "The problem is that we can't put the ball in the hoop and when you struggle to score, this game is too tough. Indiana is a deep, experienced team. We didn't play like we should have against them." Chris Whitney scored 14 points and Donnell Harvey added 12 off the bench for the Nuggets, who lost for the seventh time in eight games. Denver made just 13-of-20 free throws and committed 23 turnovers leading to 22 points for Indiana. "The Pacers are a good team and good teams will take advantage of turnovers," said Nuggets guard James Posey, who had just five points. "We still have to take games one at a time. We're young and everyone is still learning. It's important for us to stick together, stay focused and keep our heads up."


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