Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 11/2

Game 1: Saturday, November 2nd
Game 2: Friday, December 13th
Game 3: Wednesday, January 29th
Game 4: Friday, February 21st

Nets 87

(3-0, 1-0 away)

Wizards 79

(1-2, 1-1 home)

    7:00 PM ET, November 2, 2002

    Verizon Center, Washington, DC

    1 2 3 4 T
    NJ 22 13 24 2887
    WSH 15 21 19 2479

    Top Performers

    NJ: J. Kidd 18 Pts, 10 Reb, 9 Ast, 2 Stl

    WSH: J. Stackhouse 23 Pts, 4 Reb, 5 Ast, 3 Stl

    Kidd too much for Jordan and the Wizards

    WASHINGTON (AP) -- Jason Kidd finished off Michael Jordan and the Washington Wizards.

    Jason Kidd

    New Jersey's Jason Kidd gets the inside angle on Washington's Christian Laettner.

    Both Kidd and Jordan entered the game with 7:10 remaining, during a couple of free throws that gave the New Jersey Nets a five-point lead.

    From there, Kidd took over -- while Jordan was a non-factor. Kidd stole the ball from Jerry Stackhouse, converted the layup and added four more points in a big run to lead the Nets to an 87-79 victory over the Wizards on Saturday night.

    ''The fourth quarter is winning time,'' New Jersey coach Byron Scott said. ''J-Kidd, and they've got the best ever in Michael. Just like he took it upon himself, so did J-Kidd.''

    In an early matchup of teams expected to contend for the Atlantic Division title, the Nets had five players score in double figures, led by Kidd's 18 points. New Jersey is 3-0, while Washington in three games has gone from very bad to very good to not good enough to beat the defending Eastern Conference champions.

    ''Jason Kidd showed why he is talked about as being the MVP of the league,'' Washington coach Doug Collins said. ''He came in and had a little stretch there of about three minutes where he just changed the game.''

    That's supposed to be Jordan's role. He isn't starting this season so he can be strong when the game's on the line, but he missed two of his next three shots after re-entering the game with Kidd as New Jersey built the double-digit lead.

    Jordan finished with 21 points on 7-for-16 shooting in 27 minutes. Stackhouse led Washington with 23 points.

    ''It really is hard to say whether it's working out or not working out,'' said Jordan, asked about his reserve role. ''We're in the games. We're competing. Myself, I'm starting to find a little groove when I get in the game, and I think that Doug is going to try to give me some longer stretches so that I can maintain a certain rhythm.''

    Kidd added 10 rebounds and nine assists, but he also had seven turnovers for the Nets. Kerry Kittles had 15 points in a game in which neither team shot well. New Jersey shot 39 percent from the field; Washington shot 37 percent, in part because its was rattled by the Nets' stiff defense in the second half.

    ''The best thing has been our defense,'' Scott said. ''The fact that when we want to turn it on -- when guys really start to get up and start pressuring guys -- that's been our staple.''

    The Nets won without the fireworks they had the night before against Indiana, when three players were ejected and nine technicals called. The Wizards landed somewhere in between their awful opener against Toronto and their 45-point victory over Boston earlier this week.

    ''Look at the teams we've played,'' Collins said. ''We've got eight new players. We've got five new starters. People have gone from having us in the Eastern Conference finals -- then we lose to Toronto -- to winning nine games -- then beating Boston -- to being in the Eastern Conference finals. It's like a yo-yo, and we've played three games. Nothing like instant gratification.''

    An even first half left the Wizards ahead 36-35. The Nets shot just 29 percent in the second quarter. Jordan played 12 minutes the half, scoring a relatively quiet seven points on 3-for-7 shooting.

    The Nets took the first double-digit lead of the game in the third quarter after back-to-back transition assists from Kidd. The first was an alley-oop for Kenyon Martin, and the second set up Kittles' three-point play to make it 53-43 with 4:54 left in the third.

    Game notes

    Kidd was fined $5,000 by the NBA for elbowing Indiana's Jamaal Tinsley in the game Friday night against the Pacers. Scott said the officials should share some of the blame for a game that included three ejections and nine technical fouls. ''They didn't control the game,'' Scott said. ''They let it get out of hand.'' Said Kidd: ''The league fined me for the shoving match, well-deserved. I'll pay the fine.'' ... After starting the season 19-for-19 from the free-throw line, Stackhouse finally missed one in the third quarter. ... The Nets are 3-0 for the first time since 1997, when they opened 4-0.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 87 79
    FGM-FGA 29-74 (.392) 31-83 (.373)
    3PM-3PA 2-7 (.286) 2-15 (.133)
    FTM-FTA 27-30 (.900) 15-21 (.714)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 11-48 12-39
    Assists 18 16
    Turnovers 19 14
    Steals 9 11
    Blocks 7 2
    Fast Break Points 7 5
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 22 (0/0) 25 (0/0)

    Top Performers

    New Jersey
    Jason Kidd Kidd
    Points: 18
    Reb: 10
    Ast: 9
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Jerry Stackhouse Stackhouse
    Points: 23
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 3
    Blk: 0