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Kidd ties Bird for triple-double mark

3/12/2004

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- Jason Kidd put himself in some
pretty lofty company with his 59th career triple-double.

Kidd tied Larry Bird for fourth-most in NBA history, and the New
Jersey Nets beat the Chicago Bulls 88-76 Friday night after blowing
a 20-point lead.

"He is one of the greatest players of all time," Nets forward
Richard Jefferson said after Kidd moved within 19 of Wilt
Chamberlain for third place.

Oscar Robertson has the triple-double record of 181. Magic
Johnson is second with 138.

"Sometimes, it's hard to look at someone's career while they
are still playing, while they are still pretty much in their
prime," Jefferson said. "He is going to be third all time."

The 30-year-old Kidd wasn't so sure.

"It's a great honor," Kidd said. "When you look at those four
guys that are up there, it's quite an honor. Those guys aren't too
shabby. Someone asked me if I thought I could catch Wilt. Yes, if I
get new legs and stay 30."

Kidd finished with 13 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds as the
Nets won consecutive games for the first time since Feb. 24 -- the
final victory in their 14-game winning streak that ended the next
night in Minnesota.

Jefferson added 27 points as the Nets had to play the second
half without All-Star power forward Kenyon Martin, who sprained his
left ankle in the first quarter.

Jamal Crawford scored 24 of his 25 points in the second half to
help turn a laugher into a game that had Nets' fans booing late in
the third quarter.

Kirk Hinrich added 12 for the Bulls, who have lost five
straight, nine of 11 overall and 26 of 32 road games. Tyson
Chandler had 13 rebounds.

The Bulls, who were held to 65 points in a loss to Detroit on
Wednesday, came out just as cold, going 1-of-16 from the field in
falling behind 24-4. Even a slam dunk attempt by a wide-open
Chandler, who stands 7-foot-1, banged off the back of the iron.

"It was terrible," Bulls center Eddy Curry said. "When you
are out there going through that you wonder `When is it going to
stop?" These guys are coming down making baskets and we can't get
a look at the rim."

While the Nets smiled and laughed, the Bulls never stopped
playing.

"It was only going to get worse if we didn't put forth some
effort, get a few stops and fight to the end," Curry said.

They used a 6-2 run at the end of a 10-point first quarter to
cut the deficit to 16. They got within 10 at halftime, then had a
24-13 run to start the third quarter, grabbing a 56-55 lead on a
3-pointer by Linton Johnson with two minutes left in the period.

That's when the Nets fans starting booing, and it woke the team
up.

"It's a game of runs," Kidd said. "We started off with a
bang. Unfortunately, we couldn't end it right there. You have to
give Chicago a lot of credit. They kept playing hard. They didn't
let that big lead we got off to run them off."

A 20-foot jumper by Brian Scalabrine, who got more playing time
with Martin hurt, gave New Jersey a 59-58 lead after three
quarters.

Scalabrine and Kerry Kittles, who had 16 points, each hit
3-pointers in a 10-2 run that gave the Nets a 69-60 lead in the
opening minutes of the fourth quarter.

The closest Chicago got the rest of the way was five points.

Martin was hurt in the opening minutes of the first quarter on a
layup attempt. He went to the bench for two minutes and then
returned. Martin had 10 points and four rebounds in 18 minutes.

Game notes
The Nets have won 21 of 24 at home since opening 2-6. ...
Johnson also had 10 rebounds for Chicago. ... Scalabrine finished
with 11 points and eight rebounds in 23 minutes. ...