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Nets end four-game skid, compound Raps' woes

3/14/2002

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- In an ugly game where baskets didn't come easy, Kenyon Martin figured to shine.

The bruising Martin scored on a rebound with less than a second to play and the New Jersey Nets snapped a season-high four-game losing streak, 86-84 over the struggling Toronto Raptors on Tuesday night.

"We were playing against a team that was fighting for its life, so you know they were going to bring everything they had," coach Byron Scott said after the Nets handed the Raptors their 15th loss in 16 games.

After Dell Curry tied the game by hitting three free throws with 9.4 seconds to play, the game was decided on a drive to the basket by Jason Kidd.

The All-Star guard took the inbounds pass, waited until there were about three seconds to play and then started his drive against Alvin Williams.

At the top of the lane, Kidd made a spin move and got a step on Williams. That forced forward Antonio Davis to contest his shot.

When it rolled off the rim, Martin was all alone to put it back with .3 seconds to play.

"When it comes down to crunch time I want the ball," said Kidd, who had 13 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter. "I had a good look, but Kenyon had a better look."

Martin, who had his first double-double of the season with 16
points and 10 rebounds, really didn't know how he got so free.

"I think he went to contest J," Martin said of Davis. "I just tried to get it by any means necessary."

Davis, who led the Raptors with 27 points and 13 rebounds, said there was nothing else the Raptors could have done.

"I saw a guy coming down the lane and went to help," Davis
said. "That's basketball. Unfortunately, the ball bounced right
back to my guy. That's what I mean when I say, I guess we're not
supposed to be winning right now. We have to fight through it somehow."

Kidd, 3-of-18 from the field, added 11 rebounds. Lucious Harris had 13 and Jason Collins 11.

A limping Vince Carter added 21 points for Toronto, which was limited to 17 points in the final 12 minutes.

Nobody else scored in double figures for Toronto, which missed four free throws in the final 5:09.

Until his foul, Harris was the hero for the Nets. He hit a
3-pointer with 1:04 to play to put them ahead 80-79, and he scored
on the rebound of another Kidd miss -- he was 3-of-18 in the game -- with 28 seconds to go to make it 82-79.

After Davis and Kidd each hit two free throws, Curry tied the game, setting the stage for Martin's heroics.

Both teams played as if they didn't want to win in the fourth
quarter. The Nets were 6-of-18 from the field, while the Raptors
were 5-of-18.

Game notes
New Jersey was coming off a 0-4 West Coast road trip.
... The Nets are 25-6 at home, winning their last six here. ... The
first-half shooting percentages didn't tell the story. The Raptors
shot 34.8 percent (15-of-43) and led 43-42. New Jersey shot 48.6
percent (18-of-37). ... Nets center Todd MacCullouch missed his
10th straight game with foot injury. ... Raptors guard Chris Childs
was called for a second-quarter flagrant foul for hitting rookie
Richard Jefferson on a layup. ... Keith Van Horn had consecutive
airballs in the third quarter and spent most of the fourth quarter
on the bench. He finished with eight points on 3-for-10 shooting.