Final / 2OT
(49-33, 16-25 away)
(44-38, 25-16 home)
8:00 PM ET, May 12, 2003
TD Garden, Boston, MA
AP Photo/Charles Krupa
Antoine Walker had his best game of the series Monday, but it wasn't enough to help the Celtics force Game 5.
As if they needed to be reminded.
The shot finished off the New Jersey Nets' 110-101, double-overtime win as they eliminated the Celtics in four games in the Eastern Conference semifinal Monday night.
"To come and sweep the Boston Celtics is just history in itself,'' Kidd said. "They've had so many talented teams.''
But they haven't won an NBA title since 1986, when they got their 16th, and they were knocked out one round earlier than last year, when they lost to the Nets in a six-game conference final.
Kidd finished with 29 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists and words of praise from the opposition.
"Jason Kidd is a great player,'' Boston coach Jim O'Brien said. "He's the best passer I've ever seen in my life.''
Added Eric Williams: "He's probably the best player going on right now. He takes all 12 of those guys and makes them like superstars.''
Kidd was able to block out the taunts of fans who, for the second straight game, yelled "wife beater,'' just as they did during last year's playoff games in Boston.
That was a reference to charges he struck his wife in 2001; the charges were dropped when Kidd underwent anger counseling and paid a fine. Because of the atmosphere at the FleetCenter, Joumana Kidd and their 4-year-old son, T.J., have not attended the games in Boston.
"At the end of the night,'' Kidd said, "it's about basketball.''
The Nets will play in the Eastern Conference final against Detroit or Philadelphia. That series, tied 2-2, resumes Wednesday night.
New Jersey swept an NBA best-of-seven series for the first time after being swept in seven of them, including last year's finals against the Los Angeles Lakers. It was only the third time Boston was swept, and the first in a seven-game series in 20 years.
Kenyon Martin had 22 points and 10 rebounds, while Richard Jefferson added 15 points. For Boston, Paul Pierce had 27 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists, and Tony Delk had 23 points, a career playoff high.
"They fell hard. You have to respect that,'' Martin said. "They fought hard for the entire game. We just had the final push in the second overtime.''
The Celtics had a chance to win in the first overtime, but Pierce missed a 3-pointer as the buzzer sounded with the score 97-97.
Jefferson and Williams traded baskets in the second overtime before Kerry Kittles' 3-pointer put the Nets ahead to stay, 102-99, with 3:56 to go. Williams' basket was Boston's only one of the second overtime as the Nets outscored the Celtics 13-4.
Martin's layup made it 104-99 before Jefferson hit a free throw. After Williams missed a 3-pointer, his two free throws made it 105-101 with 36 seconds to play.
Kidd was fouled and made both shots, and Williams missed a layup on the Celtics' final possession.
The Nets held the ball before Kidd hit a 3-pointer as the 24-second clock was running down.
"I was a little tired, delirious. The shot clock was running down. My instincts were to shoot it,'' Kidd said. "It wasn't anything to rub in Boston's face.''
Antoine Walker fouled out for the Celtics with 3:03 left in the first overtime after breaking out of his series-long slump. He averaged just 12 points and missed 35 of 52 shots in the first three games. On Monday, he had 20 points, nine rebounds and seven assists and went 8-for-15 from the field.
"They were (more) aggressive throughout the series,'' Walker said. "If we would have played with the energy that we played with tonight, we wouldn't be sitting here talking about the series being over.''
There was a possibility he might not play until the NBA ruled Monday he didn't deserve punishment for confronting a fan during Game 3.
Boston lost another starter, center Tony Battie, who left with 5:59 left in the fourth quarter with a bruised right knee.
The game was close throughout, with the biggest lead through the first overtime Boston's 86-78 margin when Walker hit two free throws with 4:10 left in the fourth.
Trailing 75-69, Boston went on a 12-1 run led by Williams' six points. After a basket by Kidd, Delk sank a 3-pointer and Walker made two free throws.
Just 3½ minutes later, the Nets had a one-point lead -- even though they missed 16 of their first 20 shots of the second half.
They went on a 12-3 run to take a 90-89 lead before Williams sank a free throw. But he missed the second and Jefferson rebounded with 16 seconds to play in the fourth quarter.
Delk poked the ball away from Kidd with 3 seconds left, forcing overtime.
The Nets led at halftime in each of the four games, but Monday's 50-49 edge was the smallest. Kidd scored the Nets' last 11 points before intermission.
"Boston didn't throw in the towel,'' Kidd said. "I hope we carve out something nice for the Nets in tradition and history.''
In the 69 best-of-seven NBA series in which a team led 3-0, 38 ended in sweeps, 23 went five games, five went six and three went seven. ... The Nets are 10-1 in their last 11 games against Boston. ... McCarty's wife Erin gave birth Sunday night to a 7-pound, 19-inch daughter Gabrielle at Beth Israel Hospital.
Team Stat Comparison
|FGM-FGA||40-93 (.430)||36-90 (.400)|
|3PM-3PA||11-22 (.500)||7-23 (.304)|
|FTM-FTA||19-26 (.731)||22-28 (.786)|
|Fast Break Points||7||4|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||29 (2/0)||27 (1/0)|