Jason Kidd had seen enough.
"It was time to stop playing around," Kidd said after scoring
19 of his season-high 35 points in the fourth quarter and
engineering a 17-2 run that led the New Jersey Nets past New York
95-85 Sunday night.
"We made a conscious effort to get some stops and make it tough
on them on the offensive end and to come back and get in our
running game," Kidd said.
Once that happened, a tight game became not-so-tight in a hurry.
After Kenyon Martin made a foul shot to break a 70-70 tie, Kidd
began the decisive run with a tough-angle jumper from the right
corner. He followed with a 17-footer, then found Kerry Kittles for
a 3-pointer that made it 78-70.
Van Horn scored for New York before Kidd reeled off five
consecutive assists -- the last coming on a 50-foot pass to Martin
ahead of the field for a dunk that gave the Nets an 87-72 lead.
"He did what a strong point guard does, he just took over the
game," Knicks coach Don Chaney said. "That, to me, is what
separates him from a lot of point guards. He basically took the
game over, and we had no answer."
Kidd's shooting and passing exhibition overshadowed Mutombo's
finger-wag fest as he tied a Knicks record with 10 blocked shots.
New Jersey won its fourth straight and for the 12th time in 15
games, defeating the Knicks for the 10th time in their last 11
Kidd also had with 13 assists and seven rebounds. He went to the
free throw line 13 times -- six more than the entire Knicks team --
and made 12.
"When he brings it like that in the heart of the game, there
nothing many people can do about it," teammate Brian Scalabrine
said. "He can dominate a game at any time. He has that special
Kittles added 20 points, Richard Jefferson had 15 and Martin 13.
Van Horn led the Knicks with 21 points and 11 rebounds.
Kidd's performance was one of his best of the season, coming
after he was named player of the week at the end of December.
Kidd had consecutive triple-doubles against Indiana and Detroit,
then scored a game-high 23 points as the Nets defeated Golden State
on New Year's Eve.
"I feel fresh," he said. "I'm starting to gain some
confidence in shooting the ball. Being close to 35-40 games and
feeling good, hopefully that'll continue from here on out."
Mutombo's blocks were the most in an NBA game this season.
He was two short of his career high, and it was the 13th time he
has blocked at least 10. ... Joe Meriweather blocked 10 shots for
New York on Dec. 12, 1979. ... Mutombo needs 12 more blocks to tie
David Robinson for fourth place on the NBA career list. ...
Jefferson grabbed his 1,000th career rebound. ... Danny Whelan, the
longtime trainer for the Knicks and the man who gave Walt Frazier
the nickname "Clyde," died Friday after a long illness. He was
84. ... The Knicks drew their fourth consecutive sellout crowd.