Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 11/23

Game 1: Tuesday, November 23rd
Game 2: Sunday, February 13th

Nuggets 79

(23-28, 8-19 away)

Nets 94

(22-29, 13-11 home)

    Coverage: ALT

    6:00 PM ET, February 13, 2005

    IZOD Center, East Rutherford, NJ

    1 2 3 4 T
    DEN 31 12 16 2079
    NJ 29 22 26 1794

    Top Performers

    Den: C. Anthony 18 Pts, 8 Reb, 5 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

    NJ: V. Carter 23 Pts, 3 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl

    V.C.'s 23 points sparks Nets

    EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- Kenyon Martin got everything in his return to New Jersey except what he wanted most -- a win for the Denver Nuggets.

    While Martin received a standing ovation and delighted the fans with his trademark hand-to-the-ear pose before the game, the Nets proved they could win without their former All-Star forward.

    New Jersey got 23 points from Vince Carter and held Denver without a basket for a nearly 11-minute span bridging the second and third quarters in a 94-79 victory Sunday night.

    "It was a great feeling," said Martin, who finished with 13 points and four rebounds in 30 minutes. "Too bad we didn't win."

    The game was Martin's first in New Jersey since being traded to the Nuggets over the summer after the Nets decided not to match Denver's free-agent contract offer to the popular forward who helped the franchise reach two NBA Finals.

    Martin had the 16,125 fans at the Continental Airlines Arena eating out of his hands from the start. Many gave him a standing ovation before he was introduced, and they went wild when he put his hand to his ear to get them to cheer more. Smiling, he walked the Nets' bench and shook hands with coach Lawrence Frank and a few former coaches and teammates.

    "I had a great four years here," Martin said. "Fans appreciate a guy who plays hard every night. That's what I did."

    Jason Kidd, who fed Martin on so many ally-opp dunks, had no problem hearing the Nets' fans cheer for Martin.

    "I thought that was a great thing the crowd did for K-Mart because he was such an emotional leader on the court when he was a Net," Kidd said. "That was very classy for the fans to do."

    Kidd was a little concerned after Martin scored 11 points and the Nuggets hit 12 of their first 15 shots in taking a 31-29 lead in a quarter that had little defense.

    "I was thinking we might be in a little trouble, but it worked out," said Kidd, who finished with 13 points and eight assists in his first game against Martin. He was sidelined with a knee injury in Denver's win over New Jersey in November.

    Denver led 41-37 with 5:14 left in the second quarter when it went ice cold.

    Carter scored seven straight in a 14-2 spurt that gave New Jersey a 51-43 halftime lead, and the game got out of hand early in the third quarter when the Nets scored the first 11 points, with rookie Nenad Krstic getting the last five.

    New Jersey eventually pushed the lead to 26 points, 75-49, on two free throws by Carter with 2:06 to go.

    Denver did not score a basket in the final 5:13 of the second quarter and it did not get one until Bryon Russell hit a jumper with 6:22 to go in the third.

    Ron Mercer added 12 points on 6-of-10 shooting, and Jacque Vaughn and Travis Best had 10 apiece as the Nets snapped a two-game overall losing streak and beat the Nuggets for the 14th time in 16 games in New Jersey.

    Martin missed his last eight shots and spent the final quarter on the bench. With the clock winding down, fans chanted "Ken-yon Mar-tin!" in a final salute.

    Carmelo Anthony had 18 points for the Nuggets, who turned the ball over 20 times. After the torrid start, Denver hit 16 of its final 50 shots.

    "I'm quite sure he wanted to win, especially because he wanted to stay here," Nuggets guard Earl Boykins said of Martin. "It was a big game for him. I'm sorry we couldn't get him a win."

    Game notes

    Boykins' free-throw streak ended at 57 in fourth quarter when he missed his first of the game. ... Nuggets starting center Nene sprained his left knee in the second quarter and did not return. He is to return to Denver on Monday for further examination. ... The Nets have won five straight home games against Denver. ... Nuggets center Marcus Camby did not dress for the game with a hip problem.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 79 94
    FGM-FGA 28-65 (.431) 36-69 (.522)
    3PM-3PA 3-9 (.333) 6-16 (.375)
    FTM-FTA 20-30 (.667) 16-21 (.762)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 10-34 6-35
    Assists 17 31
    Turnovers 20 16
    Steals 8 10
    Blocks 3 5
    Fast Break Points 10 8
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 21 (0/0) 23 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 4 26

    Top Performers

    New Jersey
    Carmelo Anthony Anthony
    Points: 18
    Reb: 8
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 1
    Vince Carter Carter
    Points: 23
    Reb: 3
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0