Regular Season Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series starts 11/14

Game 1: Friday, November 14th
Game 2: Sunday, January 4th
Game 3: Friday, March 19th
Game 4: Friday, April 2nd

Knicks 83

(35-41, 13-24 away)

Nets 108

(44-31, 25-12 home)

    Coverage: MSG

    8:00 PM ET, April 2, 2004

    IZOD Center, East Rutherford, NJ

    1 2 3 4 T
    NY 22 21 27 1383
    NJ 28 27 32 21108

    Top Performers

    NY: K. Thomas 8 Pts, 4 Reb, 6 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 Blk

    NJ: R. Jefferson 18 Pts, 6 Reb, 6 Ast, 3 Stl

    Division title is third straight for Nets

    EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- The New Jersey Nets wrapped up the Atlantic Division title -- and shut up the New York Knicks.

    Lucious Harris matched his season high with 24 points to help the Nets win their third straight division title with a 108-83 victory over the Knicks on Friday night.

    The Knicks fired up the Nets with comments that they wouldn't mind facing New Jersey -- missing injured Jason Kidd and Kenyon Martin -- in the opening round of the playoffs.

    Richard Jefferson, who had 18 points for New Jersey, took the Knicks' remarks to heart.

    "He reads the papers a lot," Harris said. "They were talking a lot of trash. Tonight we went out there and got our game right. Richard has been the key to this team since Jason and Kenyon have been out."

    Possible playoff opponents have tagged the Nets, 2-5 with both Kidd and Martin sidelined, as vulnerable prey without their stars in the lineup.

    "We've had some injuries and we've had some other things go on," Jefferson said. "Teams are still talking bad about us. It doesn't matter to us. We understand that you have to prove things on the court."

    The Nets showed the Knicks that they would not be an easy opening-round pushover.

    A showdown between the rivals looks possible. The Nets are the second seed in the Eastern Conference, and the Knicks are tied with Boston for seventh place.

    The Nets showed the Knicks no mercy. New Jersey never trailed and shot a season-high 60 percent from the field.

    "We came over here and we didn't have the intensity that we needed," said Penny Hardaway, who had 14 points for New York. "They beat us up pretty bad."

    Stephon Marbury also had 14 points for the Knicks.

    Rodney Rogers added 20 points, and rookie Zoran Planinic had a career-high 11 for the Nets, who clinched the division title when Detroit beat Miami.

    Game notes

    The Knicks placed guard Allan Houston on the injured list because of a bruised quadriceps, and activated guard Frank Williams. Houston, averaging 18.5 points in 50 games this season, has missed seven of the Knicks' last eight games, playing just eight minutes a week ago against Toronto. ... Martin went back to the sideline with tendinitis in left knee after playing only 12 minutes Wednesday night in the Nets' 103-99 overtime win over Washington. Kidd remains out with a knee injury. ... Former Net Marbury played his first game in New Jersey in a Knicks uniform. ... The Nets' Aaron Williams hit his first career 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 83 108
    FGM-FGA 30-75 (.400) 42-70 (.600)
    3PM-3PA 2-13 (.154) 7-13 (.538)
    FTM-FTA 21-27 (.778) 17-20 (.850)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 14-28 10-36
    Assists 15 32
    Turnovers 14 18
    Steals 11 8
    Blocks 4 5
    Fast Break Points 2 8
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 25 (1/0) 22 (2/0)

    Top Performers

    New York
    New Jersey
    Kurt Thomas Thomas
    Points: 8
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 6
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 2
    Richard Jefferson Jefferson
    Points: 18
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 6
    Stl: 3
    Blk: 0