Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 3)

Series starts 11/1

Game 1: Friday, November 1st
Game 2: Thursday, February 20th
Game 3: Wednesday, April 16th

Pacers 91

(1-1, 0-1 away)

Nets 102

(2-0, 2-0 home)

    7:30 PM ET, November 1, 2002

    IZOD Center, East Rutherford, NJ

    1 2 3 4 T
    IND 20 21 20 3091
    NJ 21 27 28 26102

    Top Performers

    Indiana: J. Bender 15 Pts, 4 Reb, 2 Ast, 6 Blk

    New Jersey: R. Jefferson 19 Pts, 3 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Blk

    Kidd, two others tossed from playoff rematch

    EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- The Nets-Pacers rivalry that developed in the playoffs boiled over in bad feelings Friday night.

    Anthony Johnson

    Kenyon Martin wraps up teammate Anthony Johnson as Johnson gets the thumb from referee Don Vaden.

    In their first meeting since the Nets' dramatic double-overtime win in the deciding Game 5 of the first round, New Jersey defeated Indiana 102-91 in a game that included the ejection of three players, including the first ever for Jason Kidd.

    "It did get kind of out of control,'' said Pacers forward Jermaine O'Neal. "It almost turned into a circus. It's going to be that way. It's going to be that way for a long time.

    "They have a young team over there and we have a young team over here,'' he added. "We're going to have the same teams for the next four or five years. It's going to be great games. Hopefully, they don't end up that way.''

    Nets backup guard Anthony Johnson and Pacers guard Erick Strickland were also tossed in a game that featured nine individual technical fouls, four flagrants and 59 personal fouls.

    The tone may have been set before the game. The Pacers came in saying they had circled their calendars for their first game against the Eastern Conference champions.

    "Rivalry is a good thing,'' Pacers coach Isiah Thomas said. "It's good to have a rival and be noticed as the new kid on the block trying to carve out some turf. Our goal and mission is to take what they have.''

    The turf war was chippy almost from the start.

    "They circled the game,'' said Kidd, who had an off night with nine points on 3-for-13 shooting, eight rebounds and eight assists, "They were the ones coming in saying they were looking forward to the game.''

    It certainly got interesting after the Nets opened an 18-point lead late in the third quarter.

    Strickland was called for a flagrant foul with about 10 seconds left in the quarter for blocking Lucious Harris. Strickland got a technical for arguing the call and then was ejected for being part of a double technical with Harris.

    Kidd was ejected with 4:52 left for throwing an elbow at Pacers guard Jamaal Tinsley after the two were both called for technicals while backing each other in the post.

    Johnson was thrown out for pointing at Tinsley less than a minute later.

    After the third ejection, things calmed down.

    Richard Jefferson led five Nets in double figures with 19 points. Dikembe Mutombo added 14, Kenyon Martin and Rodney Rogers had 11 and Lucious Harris had 10.

    "It's a great win,'' Nets coach Byron Scott said. "A lot of things went on in this game that I haven't seen in a long time.''

    Ron Mercer had 16 points for the Pacers, who played without the injured Reggie Miller. Jonathan Bender added 15, O'Neal 14 and Ron Artest 11.

    After the Nets trailed 27-23 early in the second quarter, backup center Jason Collins ignited and capped a 13-3 run with a pair of three-point plays. The Nets built the lead to 18 points late in the third quarter when things really got chippy.

    The teams will meet again on Feb. 20 in Indianapolis.

    Game notes

    Nets backup point guard Chris Childs, who was suspended for being out of shape, is paying his own way to be treated at Duke's diet and fitness center, GM Rod Thorn said. ... Miller (injured list) will have his ankle re-evaluated next week. ... After missing the season opener with a sprained ankle, Tinsley had eight points and six fouls in 16 minutes.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 91 102
    FGM-FGA 33-80 (.413) 35-79 (.443)
    3PM-3PA 2-8 (.250) 3-10 (.300)
    FTM-FTA 23-31 (.742) 29-39 (.744)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 9-38 12-47
    Assists 20 20
    Turnovers 14 16
    Steals 7 3
    Blocks 8 8
    Fast Break Points 2 6
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 32 (5/3) 27 (7/1)

    Top Performers

    New Jersey
    Jonathan Bender Bender
    Points: 15
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 6
    Richard Jefferson Jefferson
    Points: 19
    Reb: 3
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 1