Final / OT

Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 12/10

Game 1: Friday, December 10th
Game 2: Wednesday, March 9th

Hornets 91

(1-17, 1-8 away)

Nets 94

(6-13, 5-6 home)

    Coverage: COX

    7:30 PM ET, December 10, 2004

    IZOD Center, East Rutherford, NJ

    1 2 3 4 OT T
    NO 22 20 21 23 591
    NJ 26 17 22 21 894

    Top Performers

    NO: G. Lynch 14 Pts, 9 Reb, 5 Ast, 3 Stl

    NJ: R. Jefferson 24 Pts, 3 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

    Scott falls short in return to New Jersey

    EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- With the game on the line, Jason Kidd didn't hesitate to push his surgically-repaired knee to the limit.

    Kidd hit a go-ahead basket early in overtime, and the Nets denied former coach Byron Scott a win in his return to New Jersey with a 94-91 victory over the New Orleans Hornets on Friday night.

    "Coach asked me and I told him I wanted to continue to keep playing," Kidd said after contributing eight points and eight assists in a season-high 28 minutes. "I felt great. We'll see how I feel tomorrow."

    Nets coach Lawrence Frank struggled letting Kidd continue the extra five minutes in only his third game since returning from knee surgery in July.

    "I went to our coaches and said: `I think I have to take him out," Frank said. "I looked at him and I went with it. I just pray he's OK."

    Kidd had a basket, an assist and two rebounds in the overtime. His biggest play came with 3:26 to go when backed David Wesley down and hit a 10-footer for a 90-88 lead.

    Neither team scored again until Eric Williams hit a layup with 1:31 to go.

    George Lynch cut the lead to a point on a 3-pointer with 1:11 to play, but Travis Best hit two free throws with 49 seconds to go, Jason Collins blocked a layup attempt by Matt Freije with 25.9 seconds left and Freije also missed two free throws with a second to go.

    As the teams walked off the floor, Scott pointed to Frank in acknowledgment. Kidd had acknowledged Scott with a point before the game.

    "He just wanted you guys to know there is no rift," said Scott, who was fired in January amid rumors that he and Kidd were at odds. "Anything you guys are trying to make it out to be, it's not. ... We've never had a problem and I don't know how many times I have to say that."

    The Nets rallied from a seven-point deficit with 2:10 to play in the fourth quarter and sent the Hornets to their season-high ninth straight loss and 17th in 18 games.

    Richard Jefferson scored 24 points and Williams added 19 for the Nets, who had 30 turnovers.

    Dan Dickau came off the bench to lead the Hornets with a career-high 18 points. Lynch and P.J. Brown added 14 points apiece for New Orleans, which made too many late mistakes to win.

    The Hornets seemed on the verge of their second win of the season when Dickau and Brown scored four points apiece and Lynch hit a 3-pointer in a late 15-6 spurt that gave New Orleans an 86-79 lead with 2:10 to play.

    However, the Nets scored the next seven points. Jefferson fed Williams for a 3-pointer and then he scored on a fast break after Kidd stole the ball.

    Collins tied the game at 86-all, catching an airball by Jefferson and scoring a layup with 1:03 to play.

    "The game never should have gone to overtime," Brown said. "We were in complete control with two minutes to go. It's experience. You have to learn that. That's the hardest part of the game. You have to raise your game and concentrate more. We had a turnover or two and let them take it to overtime."

    The final 63 seconds were sloppy. Brown missed a jumper for New Orleans with about 40 seconds to go and Jefferson then had an errant pass stolen with 22.3 seconds left. Dickau threw up an airball with 3.6 seconds to play and Jefferson missed a jumper at the buzzer.

    In his 3½ years in New Jersey, Scott led the Nets to two NBA Finals appearances. He was fired in late January and replaced by Frank, who then won his first 13 games.

    Game notes

    Nets C Alonzo Mourning sat out with hand, hip and knee aches. He also intends to sit out Saturday's game at Atlanta. ...The Hornets, who already have Rodney Rogers, Jamal Mashburn, Baron Davis and Jamaal Magliore on the injured list, had starting F Lee Nailon sit out with a groin injury. ... Kaniel Dickens, who was leading the CBA in scoring before signing with New Jersey earlier this week, hit a 3-pointer on his first shot with the Nets. ...Hornets rookie and New Jersey resident J.R. Smith did not play in his first pro game here.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 91 94
    FGM-FGA 34-83 (.410) 38-70 (.543)
    3PM-3PA 6-21 (.286) 9-19 (.474)
    FTM-FTA 17-21 (.810) 9-12 (.750)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 13-34 10-40
    Assists 21 24
    Turnovers 14 30
    Steals 18 7
    Blocks 3 3
    Fast Break Points 17 13
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 21 (0/0) 24 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 8 8

    Top Performers

    New Orleans
    New Jersey
    George Lynch Lynch
    Points: 14
    Reb: 9
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 3
    Blk: 0
    Richard Jefferson Jefferson
    Points: 24
    Reb: 3
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 1