New Jersey wins series 4-2 (Game 3 of 6)

New Jersey wins series 4-2

Game 1: Saturday, April 19th
Game 2: Tuesday, April 22nd
Game 3: Thursday, April 24th
Game 4: Saturday, April 26th
Game 5: Tuesday, April 29th
Game 6: Thursday, May 1st

Nets 103

(49-33, 16-25 away)

Bucks 101

(42-40, 25-16 home)

    7:30 PM ET, April 24, 2003

    BMO Harris Bradley Center, Milwaukee, WI

    1 2 3 4 T
    NJ 30 24 25 24103
    MIL 20 19 32 30101

    Top Performers

    NJ: J. Kidd 26 Pts, 5 Reb, 7 Ast, 1 Stl

    Mil: T. Thomas 22 Pts, 11 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    After two missed free throws, Rogers hits winning shot

    MILWAUKEE (AP) -- While everybody else watched Rodney Rogers sink the game-winning shot, George Karl swore he witnessed a mugging Thursday night.

    Rodney Rogers

    Rogers missed two free throws with 5 seconds left, but teammate Kenyon Martin outfought Anthony Mason for the rebound and tipped the ball to Rogers, whose 20-foot jumper gave New Jersey a 103-101 victory over Milwaukee and a 2-1 series lead.

    Karl was livid that Martin wasn't whistled for a foul, particularly because Rogers was at the line because of a "touch foul'' on Tim Thomas.

    The comments will likely draw a fine from the league and the attention of NBA commissioner David Stern, who was in attendance.

    Karl called the officiating a disgrace.

    "It's sickening to see how we lost the game because it was a foul,'' Karl fumed. "Kenyon Martin just manhandles and throws. It's a foul. And here's a comparison, Rodney Rogers gets fouled on a touch foul. And then there's a wrestling foul. It's incredible.''

    Karl said the Bucks certainly should have done more to get the rebound, but "The physical contact on the free throw is a joke. To lose a playoff game on a (expletive) referee call is a disgrace.''

    The officiating crew of Joe DeRosa, Scott Foster and Tom Washington had left the arena by the time Karl made his comments.

    Karl said that all season long the officials said they weren't going to put up with wrestling in the lane, "and we lose a playoff game because Kenyon Martin can get away with murder on pushing Mase underneath the damn basket.''

    TV replays didn't appear to show an obvious foul, and Martin seemed surprised that Karl took such umbrage with the play.

    "I was just trying to be aggressive and get my hand on the ball,'' he said. "That's their biggest, strongest player, so how can I get away with murder with that? It was time to get aggressive and get my hand on the ball and I just tipped it straight to Rodney and it went in.''

    Mason blamed himself, not the referees, for the Bucks falling behind in the series.

    "We battled. I knocked it out. You're supposed to secure the rebound,'' Mason said. "I don't know what happened. It went out there and he got the open shot. I know Rodney got it wide open.''

    Rogers tied his season high with 18 points thanks to the biggest shot of his career.

    "I was surprised to get it,'' Rogers said. "When I shot it, I knew it was going in. It felt really good. I felt bad after missing those two free throws. It happened so fast. He tipped it back.

    "It was instant redemption.''

    Nets coach Byron Scott told Rogers in the locker room that he had redeemed himself for missing the two foul shots, to which Rogers replied: "No, Kenyon redeemed me tonight.''

    After calling timeout with 2 seconds left, Thomas inbounded the ball to Gary Payton, whose 3-pointer to win it banged off the rim at the buzzer.

    Payton said losing like they did was difficult for the Bucks to stomach.

    "We lose on a weird play,'' Payton said. "To lose like that is very heartbreaking. We lost in a crazy way, but we know that we're playing good basketball.''

    And the Nets, who led by as many as 19, are playing better -- and more physical.

    The Nets got 26 points from Jason Kidd and 23 from Martin. Kidd scored 21 of his points in the first half and sank just one shot after halftime, a 3-pointer that gave New Jersey a 101-94 lead with 2:34 left before the Bucks stormed back behind a 3-pointer by Thomas, two foul shots by Desmond Mason and a basket by Toni Kukoc that tied it with 27 seconds left.

    "We came down here to get one,'' Scott said. "We got the first one. Now, we want to get a little greedy and get the next one.''

    Game notes

    Sam Cassell scored 17 of his team-high 24 points in the third quarter. Thomas finished with 22 and Payton 21. ... The Nets were 16-25 away from home in the regular season. ... The Nets are 10-22 away from home in their playoff history. ... Thomas also had 11 boards for his first double-double of the playoffs. ... After shooting 47 percent (15-of-32) from the free throw line in the first two games of the series, the Bucks made 25 of 29 shots (86 percent) Thursday night.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 103 101
    FGM-FGA 36-79 (.456) 35-83 (.422)
    3PM-3PA 8-18 (.444) 6-19 (.316)
    FTM-FTA 23-28 (.821) 25-29 (.862)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 11-40 9-38
    Assists 23 20
    Turnovers 17 13
    Steals 4 8
    Blocks 3 2
    Fast Break Points 4 5
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 28 (2/0) 28 (4/0)

    Top Performers

    New Jersey
    Jason Kidd Kidd
    Points: 26
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 7
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0
    Tim Thomas Thomas
    Points: 22
    Reb: 11
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 1