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NBA  FINAL            1ST  2ND  3RD  4TH  TOTAL
                      ---  ---  ---  ---  -----
     SEATTLE          25   9    25   20    79   
     DENVER           20   19   11   27    77      FINAL

HIGH SCORERS:   SEA - DESMOND MASON 23, GARY PAYTON 21, KENNY 
                      ANDERSON 12
                DEN - NENE HILARIO 21, JUWAN HOWARD 19, 
                      DONNELL HARVEY 12

HIGH REBOUND:   SEA - DESMOND MASON 8, REGGIE EVANS 7, TWO 
                      PLAYERS WITH 5
                DEN - JUWAN HOWARD 15, DONNELL HARVEY 8, NENE 
                      HILARIO 6

HIGH ASSISTS:   SEA - GARY PAYTON 9, KENNY ANDERSON 7, ANSU 
                      SESAY 2
                DEN - LORINZA HARRINGTON 5, THREE PLAYERS WITH
                      3

         ATT:   13,564

Box Score

SEATTLE (79) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp D Mason 40 9-20 5-5 0-8 1 2 23 R Evans 22 0-3 0-0 4-7 1 3 0 P Drobnjak 29 3-11 3-4 2-4 1 5 9 G Payton 42 9-21 3-9 1-5 9 1 21 B Barry 23 0-3 0-0 1-4 1 1 0 K Anderson 28 5-9 2-2 0-4 7 4 12 V Potapenko 18 0-3 4-6 1-4 0 4 4 V Radmanovic 19 4-6 0-0 0-5 0 3 8 A Sesay 12 0-4 0-0 1-2 2 3 0 C Booth 7 1-1 0-0 0-2 0 3 2 R Lewis DNP - FLU J Forte DNP - COACH'S DECISION _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 31-81 17-26 10-45 22 29 79 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.383, FT-.654. 3-Point Goals: 0-6, .000 (D Mason 0-2, G Payton 0-1, B Barry 0-2, V Radmanovic 0-1). Team Rebounds: 6. Blocked Shots:4 (G Payton, C Booth, D Mason, R Evans). Turnovers:12 (A Sesay 3, V Potapenko 2, D Mason 2, V Radmanovic 2, G Payton, K Anderson, R Evans). Steals: 11 (G Payton 3, D Mason 2, V Radmanovic 2, K Anderson, C Booth, R Evans, A Sesay). DENVER (77) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp D Harvey 33 3-10 6-6 2-8 1 4 12 J Howard 39 7-14 5-8 5-15 3 3 19 N Hilario 33 8-9 5-7 2-6 3 5 21 V Yarbrough 37 4-14 0-0 0-4 3 6 8 L Harrington 28 2-5 0-0 1-4 5 3 4 J Crotty 20 0-2 3-4 0-0 2 3 3 M Blount 13 1-7 0-0 2-4 0 0 2 N Tskitishvili 13 1-4 1-2 0-3 1 0 4 R White 14 1-7 0-0 0-4 0 2 2 R Bowen 5 1-2 0-0 0-2 0 1 2 P Savovic 5 0-1 0-0 0-1 1 0 0 M Bryant DNP - COACH'S DECISION _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 28-75 20-27 12-51 19 27 77 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.373, FT-.741. 3-Point Goals: 1-7, .143 (V Yarbrough 0-1, N Tskitishvili 1-3, R White 0-2, P Savovic 0-1). Team Rebounds: 11. Blocked Shots:1 (D Harvey). Turnovers:18 (J Howard 6, N Hilario 3, M Blount 2, P Savovic 2, J Crotty, L Harrington, N Tskitishvili, R White, V Yarbrough). Steals: 5 (J Howard, V Yarbrough, N Hilario, N Tskitishvili, L Harrington). ------------------------------------------- SEATTLE 25 9 25 20 - 79 DENVER 20 19 11 27 - 77 ------------------------------------------- Technical fouls: None. Flagrant fouls: None. A: 13,564. T: 2:20. Officials: Bennie Adams, Blane Reichelt, James Capers.


Extended Box

SEATTLE (79) AT DENVER (77) SEATTLE REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === D MASON F 40 9-20 5-5 0 8 8 1 2 2 2 23 R EVANS F 22 0-3 0-0 4 3 7 1 3 1 1 0 P DROBNJAK C 29 3-11 3-4 2 2 4 1 5 0 0 9 G PAYTON G 42 9-21 3-9 1 4 5 9 1 3 1 21 B BARRY G 23 0-3 0-0 1 3 4 1 1 0 0 0 K ANDERSON 28 5-9 2-2 0 4 4 7 4 1 1 12 V POTAPENKO 18 0-3 4-6 1 3 4 0 4 0 2 4 V RADMANOVIC 19 4-6 0-0 0 5 5 0 3 2 2 8 A SESAY 12 0-4 0-0 1 1 2 2 3 1 3 0 C BOOTH 7 1-1 0-0 0 2 2 0 3 1 0 2 R LEWIS DNP - FLU J FORTE DNP - COACH'S DECISION TOTALS 240 31-81 17-26 10 35 45 22 29 11 12 79 (.383) (.654) TEAM REBS: 6 TOTAL TO: 12 (15 PTS) DENVER REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === D HARVEY 33 3-10 6-6 2 6 8 1 4 0 0 12 J HOWARD F 39 7-14 5-8 5 10 15 3 3 1 6 19 N HILARIO C 33 8-9 5-7 2 4 6 3 5 1 3 21 V YARBROUGH G 37 4-14 0-0 0 4 4 3 6 1 1 8 L HARRINGTON G 28 2-5 0-0 1 3 4 5 3 1 1 4 J CROTTY 20 0-2 3-4 0 0 0 2 3 0 1 3 M BLOUNT 13 1-7 0-0 2 2 4 0 0 0 2 2 N TSKITISHVILI 13 1-4 1-2 0 3 3 1 0 1 1 4 R WHITE 14 1-7 0-0 0 4 4 0 2 0 1 2 R BOWEN F 5 1-2 0-0 0 2 2 0 1 0 0 2 P SAVOVIC 5 0-1 0-0 0 1 1 1 0 0 2 0 M BRYANT DNP - COACH'S DECISION TOTALS 240 28-75 20-27 12 39 51 19 27 5 18 77 (.373) (.741) TEAM REBS: 11 TOTAL TO: 21 (12 PTS) SEATTLE 25 9 25 20 - 79 DENVER 20 19 11 27 - 77 BLOCKED SHOTS: SEATTLE - G PAYTON, C BOOTH, D MASON, R EVANS. DENVER - D HARVEY. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: SEATTLE 0-6 (.000), D MASON 0-2, G PAYTON 0-1, B BARRY 0- 2, V RADMANOVIC 0-1. DENVER 1-7 (.143), V YARBROUGH 0-1, N TSKITISHVILI 1- 3, R WHITE 0-2, P SAVOVIC 0-1. TECHNICAL FOULS: NONE. FLAGRANT FOULS: NONE. OFFICIALS: BENNIE ADAMS, BLANE REICHELT, JAMES CAPERS. A - 13,564. T - 2:20.


Game Story

DENVER (Ticker) -- Gary Payton stopped talking long enough to deal the Denver Nuggets their 10th straight loss. Payton had 21 points, nine assists and several key plays down the stretch as the Seattle SuperSonics held on for a 79-77 victory over the woeful Nuggets. "We need to win these games," said Payton, who made 9-of-21 shots. "It's going to affect us at the end of the year when we try to make the playoffs." Perhaps the NBA's biggest trash-talker and notoriously tough on rookies, Payton held a running commentary for much of the fourth quarter with Nuggets rookie guard Junior Harrington, who had played earlier but was sitting on the bench. When Harrington said he could stop the perennial All-Star, Payton sneered, "Then why ain't you on the court?" "We're just playing around," Payton said. "You guys blow that stuff out of proportion. It's nothing." "Coach says to pay respect to them by showing no respect," Harrington said. "Some people talk more than others." After the Nuggets crept within 67-65, Payton made a jumper at the 3:20 mark. Just over a minute later, he penetrated past Chris Whitney and found Kenny Anderson alone in the left corner for a jumper and a 73-67 lead. Payton's jumper made it 76-70 with 30 seconds to go. He missed two free throws with 2.6 seconds left, but Denver never got off another shot. "We have to play better down the stretch, make smarter decisions and smarter plays," Sonics coach Nate McMillan said. "We're allowing teams to stay close when we should have the game under control by being out of position and not having a sense of urgency." Desmond Mason scored 23 points and Anderson added 12 for Seattle, which hosts Denver on Friday. The Sonics survived 38 percent shooting (31-of-81) and a nine-point second quarter. Rookie Nene Hilario scored 21 points and Juwan Howard added 19 and 15 rebounds for the Nuggets, who fell to 1-13 in December. Denver shot just 37 percent (28-of-75) and endured an 11-point third quarter. "I kind of sound like a broken record," Nuggets coach Jeff Bzdelik said. "There is no quit in this team. Two things prevent us from winning. We had 21 turnovers to their 12. The second is our ability to make shots. I think we missed seven layups." The best defensive second quarter in franchise history helped the Nuggets take a 39-34 halftime lead. But Seattle took the lead for good at 48-47 with 4:05 left in the third quarter on a jumper by Vladimir Radmanovic, which started a 13-3 run. Denver's only basket was a 3-pointer by rookie Nikoloz Tskitishvili and it trailed, 59-50, entering the fourth quarter. "I played Skita at the 4," Bzdelik said. "We were a little lost and disorganized." Seattle scored just eight points in the first eight-plus minutes of the period. Two free throws by Howard made it 67-65 before Payton took over.


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