Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 12/19

Game 1: Thursday, December 19th
Game 2: Friday, January 24th

Nets 89

(29-14, 10-12 away)

Lakers 83

(19-23, 14-8 home)

    Coverage: FSW

    7:30 PM ET, January 24, 2003

    STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA

    1 2 3 4 T
    NJ 23 14 22 3089
    LAL 19 21 22 2183

    Top Performers

    NJ: K. Kittles 17 Pts, 4 Reb, 4 Ast, 3 Stl, 1 Blk

    LAL: S. O'Neal 27 Pts, 13 Reb, 4 Ast

    Nets hold Kobe to 11 points, complete season sweep

    LOS ANGELES (AP) -- After losing three in a row for their longest slide of the season, the New Jersey Nets were eager to beat somebody.


    That somebody turned out to be the team that swept them in the NBA Finals last year, as the Nets' downed the Los Angeles Lakers 89-83 on Friday night.

    "We had a chip on our shoulders tonight and wanted to prove to ourselves and to everyone else that we can beat any team in this league,'' New Jersey coach Byron Scott said.

    "We played 48 minutes of good, solid basketball and defensively we didn't allow them to get big-time runs. We defended.''

    Kerry Kittles had 17 points to lead a balanced scoring attack and hit a pivotal 3-pointer with 40 seconds remaining to give the Atlantic Division-leading Nets an 85-83 lead.

    "The Lakers are not what they were last year right now, but it is just big for us to get a victory on this West Coast trip,'' said Kettles, referring to the Nets' beginning a five-game trip with three losses before finally winning one.

    The Lakers' loss was their third in four games and the three-time defending NBA champions dropped to 19-23.

    Shaquille O'Neal had 27 points and 13 rebounds for Los Angeles, but missed four of six free throws in the final 1:51 and was 5-of-13 from the line for the game.

    "Unfortunately, we couldn't come down the stretch and win the game,'' Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "We had all the opportunities to win it and couldn't do it at the end.''

    Kittles' go-ahead 3-pointer came after O'Neal had just made one of two free throws to give Los Angeles an 83-82 edge. After Kittles scored, O'Neal missed two free throws, Kenyon Martin made a pair from the line to give New Jersey a four-point lead with 14 seconds left. The Lakers' Robert Horry then missed a 3-pointer and Martin scored on a fast break.

    Martin had 18 points for New Jersey, which had six players in double figures. Richard Jefferson and Aaron Williams added 12 points each. Jason Kidd went 3-of-13 from the floor and had 11 points, and Jason Collins had 10.

    Derek Fisher scored 22 for Los Angeles, but Kobe Bryant, who has been slowed by tendinitis in his right knee, had just 11 points on 4-of-14 shooting.

    "I'm just getting my rhythm back right now,'' Bryant said of his poor shooting night. "My knee felt pretty good, the best it's felt in a long time.

    The Lakers trailed 80-75 with 3:10 to play. But Bryant made a fallaway jumper, Rick Fox a layup, O'Neal made one free throw and then dunked off a lob from Fox to tie it 82-82 with 1:22 remaining.

    The Lakers built a 60-52 lead with 2:19 left in the third quarter, but Kittles made a 3-pointer and another jumper to help the Nets narrow the gap to 62-59 heading into the fourth.

    Fisher scored 14 points in the first half to help Los Angeles to a 40-37 lead.

    The Nets led 23-19 at the end of the first quarter.

    Bryant complained of pain in his knee after the Lakers' last game, a 114-110 loss to Golden State on Wednesday. He also missed practice earlier in the week because of the soreness.

    Game notes

    New Jersey's Lucious Harris sat out his second straight game with a bruised calf, hurt when he was kicked during Monday's 106-103 loss at Utah. The Nets also are missing Rodney Rogers (strained left calf) and Dikembe Mutombo (torn ligament right wrist), both on the injured list. ... The ever-philosophical Jackson said before the game that he has found himself wondering whether he can still communicate effectively with the Los Angeles players after coaching them for three years. He said he was thinking about that as recently as Wednesday, during the loss to the Warriors, but added he believes he still can get through to them.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 89 83
    FGM-FGA 35-79 (.443) 34-84 (.405)
    3PM-3PA 4-13 (.308) 6-21 (.286)
    FTM-FTA 15-20 (.750) 9-18 (.500)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 8-43 13-46
    Assists 22 25
    Turnovers 11 12
    Steals 8 6
    Blocks 2 5
    Fast Break Points 5 3
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 22 (1/0) 20 (0/0)

    Top Performers

    New Jersey
    Los Angeles
    Kerry Kittles Kittles
    Points: 17
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 3
    Blk: 1
    Shaquille O'Neal O'Neal
    Points: 27
    Reb: 13
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0