Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 12/6

Game 1: Monday, December 6th
Game 2: Sunday, December 19th
Game 3: Tuesday, February 22nd
Game 4: Friday, April 15th

Raptors 86

(7-13, 2-11 away)

Nets 88

(5-12, 4-6 home)

7:30 PM ET, December 6, 2004

IZOD Center, East Rutherford, NJ

1 2 3 4 T
TOR 22 25 23 1686
NJ 16 26 25 2188

Top Performers

Tor: V. Carter 22 Pts, 1 Ast, 3 Stl, 1 Blk

NJ: R. Jefferson 26 Pts, 9 Reb, 8 Ast

Kidd assists on game-winner

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- Jason Kidd couldn't have scripted a better ending, except perhaps for a flashier assist on the game-winning basket.

Making his season debut, Kidd was credited with an assist on Richard Jefferson's jumper from the lane with 7.1 seconds left that gave the New Jersey Nets an 88-86 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Monday night.

Jefferson pretty much did all the work on the key play, catching Kidd's pass on the right wing, taking three dribbles to his left and launching a 9-footer that fell through.

"Heck, yeah. He deserved an assist," Jefferson said. "I finished, but he put me in position to finish it."

After sitting out the season's first 16 games recovering from left knee surgery, Kidd had 10 points, six rebounds and three assists in 21 minutes with the Nets restricting his playing time.

Jefferson had 26 points, nine rebounds and eight assists for New Jersey, which began the night in last place in the Atlantic Division after winning only four of its first 16 games with Kidd sidelined.

"It was a whole different feeling when he was out there," Nets forward Eric Williams said. "We got the ball up and down the floor, and the game just looked a whole lot better."

Vince Carter had 22 points for Toronto, but he missed a driving layup just before the final buzzer that would have sent the game to overtime. Chris Bosh added 15 points.

"I thought for sure it went in. As I'm turning around heading to the bench, I see Richard Jefferson holding the ball -- but he wasn't under the basket," Carter said.

Kidd defended Carter on the final play, the ball bouncing around the rim and missing to give Toronto its fourth straight loss.

"I wanted to guard him," Kidd said. "We all knew in the huddle where the ball was going to end up. I wanted to guard him and try to make it as tough as possible. I thought he was going to try to win the game by shooting a 3, so I tried to ride him and make him take it to the basket."

Trade rumors involving Carter and Jalen Rose have been circulating daily around the Raptors, who were outrebounded 61-36.

"I'm just numb. I am not angry. I'm not frustrated. I'm just numb," Toronto coach Sam Mitchell said. "It's not my job to change the roster, it's just my job to coach the players, and I am going to do that to the best of my ability."

Coach Lawrence Frank limited Kidd to 11 first-half minutes, and the Nets trailed 47-42 at intermission after Kidd contributed only two points, two assists and four rebounds with five turnovers.

Travis Best was the Nets' starting point guard at the beginning of the second half, with Kidd staying seated until 5:40 remained. Kidd played the remainder of the third quarter, but Jacque Vaughn replaced him at the start of the fourth.

The Nets trailed 78-73 when Kidd returned with 5:54 left, and his 3-pointer with 1:56 remaining tied the game at 84-84.

"Watching a lot of basketball, watching the great shooters like Ray Allen, they don't think, they just shoot," Kidd said. "When you start to think about maybe passing, that's when your brain might get in the way of the shot. My new philosophy is just let it go.

A pair of free throws by Jefferson with 52.5 seconds left made it 86-84, giving New Jersey its first lead since midway through the first quarter. Carter tied it 10 seconds later with a pair from the line.

Game notes

Carter had missed the Raptors' previous game due to food poisoning. He played 29 minutes and shot 7-for-14. ... Battle of the redheads: Brian Scalabrine and Matt Bonner, the NBA's only two redheads, were matched against each other early in the fourth quarter. Bonner, who began the night leading the NBA in field goal percentage (60.2 percent), shot just 1-for-6. ... To make room on the active roster for Kidd, the Nets placed guard Awvee Storey on the injured list. ... Forward Aaron Williams, who has dropped almost completely out of the Nets' rotation, played one minute in the third quarter.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 86 88
FGM-FGA 28-78 (.359) 35-91 (.385)
3PM-3PA 9-19 (.474) 3-7 (.429)
FTM-FTA 21-27 (.778) 15-20 (.750)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 6-36 19-61
Assists 20 26
Turnovers 12 15
Steals 9 8
Blocks 6 4
Fast Break Points 14 4
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 19 (0/0) 26 (0/0)
Largest Lead 9 2

Top Performers

New Jersey
Vince Carter Carter
Points: 22
Reb: 0
Ast: 1
Stl: 3
Blk: 1
Richard Jefferson Jefferson
Points: 26
Reb: 9
Ast: 8
Stl: 0
Blk: 0