EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New Jersey Nets have quite a
trend going: Every time somebody beats them, the Nets get revenge.
Jason Kidd had 31 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds for his
second straight triple-double, leading New Jersey past the Toronto
Raptors 98-91 Saturday.
Jason Kidd looks to pass the ball on his way to 31 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.
The Nets, who lost to Toronto by 12 points on Jan. 18, again
defeated a team that had beaten them in their previous meeting. No
team has defeated New Jersey twice in a row this season, with this
"revenge" victory following similar ones against Milwaukee,
Orlando, Washington, Indiana and Detroit.
"Oh, yeah. We're well aware of it," Kenyon Martin said. "You
understand teams better the second time around. We watch the tape,
learn what we did wrong and fix it."
Kidd, who also had a triple-double Thursday against Milwaukee,
did it all for the Nets on an afternoon when Martin was plagued by
foul trouble and Keith Van Horn's shooting slump continued.
Kidd scored New Jersey's final nine points, shot 10-for-17 from
the floor, 2-for-2 from 3-point range and 9-for-10 at the line.
"That's what this team has been about -- anybody can go off at
any time. For some reason it was me today," Kidd said.
Rookie Richard Jefferson added 17, and Martin, who picked up
three fouls in a 12-second span of the second quarter, had 16.
Vince Carter scored 26 points, and Antonio Davis had 14 for
Toronto, which had its three-game winning streak snapped. The
Raptors could at least take solace in the fact that they controlled
the tempo and slowed the game down -- something opponents will try
to do more and more against the Nets as the season progresses.
New Jersey drew its second sellout crowd of the season in
improving to 31-14 -- the best record in the East. The Nets have won
seven straight at home.
"Nobody cares about the numbers," Kidd said. "This was about
us keeping our composure against a veteran team."
Kidd got the triple-double with 3:08 left by finding Van Horn
open for a 20-foot jumper that gave the Nets an 89-84 lead. The
Raptors scored the next five points to tie the game for the first
time since the opening tip.
Kidd followed with two free throws, and Davis also hit a pair,
before Kidd took a pass from Jefferson and hit a 3-pointer with
"Richard did the right thing and passed it to me. I knew I was
going to shoot a 3 before he even passed the ball because Chris
(Childs) was playing so far off me," Kidd said.
Each team failed to score on its next possession, and Kidd was
fouled after the Nets rebounded Carter's miss with 25 seconds left.
Kidd hit both foul shots for a 96-91 lead.
Dell Curry then missed a 3-pointer, and Kidd went to the line
with 13.9 seconds left. With the crowd chanting "M-V-P," he made
"I was laughing this time," Kidd said. "Donny Marshall told
me coming out of a timeout that they were chanting MP3."
The Nets improved to 11-0 when Kidd shoots 50 percent or better
from the floor. New Jersey has two more games before the All-Star
break, both against teams -- Sacramento and Dallas -- that defeated
them earlier this season.
"It's hard to keep up with our goals. They change every day,"
Kidd said. "The sky's the limit."
Martin committed a flagrant foul against Jerome Williams on a
breakaway with 4:45 left in the first, then was whistled for two
more fouls over the next 12 seconds as the refs kept an extra-close
eye on him.
He went to the bench for the rest of the first half, which ended
with the Nets leading 52-44 after Kidd had a jumper and two assists
in the final minute.
Kidd started the third quarter with a defensive rebound, a
running jumper and a 3-pointer to make it 57-46, and the Nets took
a 76-68 lead into the fourth after Toronto had pulled back within
Martin now has five flagrant foul points. If he commits
another one, he faces an automatic one-game suspension. ... Van
Horn scored nine points on 2-for-8 shooting, failing to reach
double figures for the third straight game. Van Horn needed three
stitches to close a cut on the inside of his mouth in the first
half. ... The Nets are 8-0 at home against teams from the Central
Division. ... Yankees reliever Mariano Rivera attended the game and
visited with Kidd before tipoff. ... The triple-double was the 43rd
of Kidd's career.