Facebook Twitter



The man who runs the NBA's most potent scoring machine had just witnessed an exceptional offensive display, and he was not pleased.

Denver Coach Doug Moe said that the Jugoplastika Split team that lost 135-129 to the Nuggets in Sunday's final of the McDonald's Open put on an offensive performance worthy of the best NBA teams.It was so good that Moe wondered how his team came out on top.

"I've been around a long time and it doesn't get much better than that offensively," Moe said. "They played better than any NBA teams play against us offensively. They played as good an offense as the best NBA teams."

Perhaps, Moe joked, the scoreboard operator had taken a few points away from the Yugoslav team to avoid embarrassing the NBA.

"They should have won. I think someone cheated on the score, because on my count they scored every time down, and even if we scored every time down the best we could have done was tie," he said.

"I don't remember stopping them. They scored at will. It was like layup practice. They drove by us, they got open shots. As bad as our defense was, theirs must have been bad, too, for us to have won."

Jugoplastika, which trailed by 15 points in the third quarter, cut the deficit to one in the final minutes. But six points apiece by guards Lafayette Lever and Walter Davis in the last three minutes saved the Nuggets.

"I think we need to play better defense," said Dino Radja, the 6-foot-11 Yugoslav center who will join the Boston Celtics next season. He had 29 points against Denver.

Guard Dusko Ivanovic had 31 points to lead Jugoplastika, and 6-foot-10 forward Toni Kukoc had 17 points and six assists.

Denver, traditionally one of the NBA's highest-scoring teams, was led by center Danny Schayes's 29 points, and Lever and Davis had 26 each.