Final / OT
(27-35, 11-21 away)
(13-47, 10-20 home)
7:00 PM ET, March 9, 2005
Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, LA
Kidd ran down a blocked shot, then hit a driving layup as he was fouled with 2.5 seconds left, lifting the Nets to an 86-85 victory over the New Orleans Hornets on Wednesday night.
"I took a peek at the clock to see we had time," Kidd said, describing the moment he grabbed a loose ball along the sidelines with about 5 seconds remaining. "Everybody was scrambling, so my first reaction was drive to the basket -- if I get fouled just make the free throws, if not, lay it in."
The Hornets still had a chance to win when rookie J.R. Smith, who had been the Hornets best player of the night, was fouled on a 3-point attempt with 1.5 seconds to go. But Smith missed the first two foul shots, then tried to miss the third but ended up putting it in off the backboard, allowing New Jersey to inbound the ball and run out the clock.
"I've been beating myself up over it because I know I should have made the free throws," said Smith, who sank to his hands and knees as the game ended. "Just bad luck really. I'm used to making big free throws."
Vince Carter led the Nets with 24 points and 10 rebounds, while Kidd finished with 15 points and nine assists as the Nets (27-35), who still hope to make the playoffs, halted a three-game losing streak.
Smith had 23 for New Orleans, including a 3-pointer with 1:23 left in regulation that helped New Orleans rally to tie the game. Chris Andersen had 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Hornets, while Lee Nailon and Dan Dickau each scored 10.
P.J. Brown's jumper gave New Orleans an 84-83 lead with 16.2 seconds left in overtime. Carter missed a jumper on the other end, but Jason Collins got the rebound as he was fouled to keep the Nets alive. Collins missed both free throws, then rebounded his second miss, only to have his putback slapped away by Andersen. Kidd ran it down and dribbled in for the eventual winning score.
"Jason showed his warrior spirit in getting that offensive rebound and driving it right to the rim. That's what separates him from others," Nets coach Lawrence Frank said. "It wasn't pretty, but we had to find a way to win it and our guys did. Anytime you're in a playoff chase on the outside looking in you need to win. You need to win with a sense of urgency every night."
New Jersey led by 15 early in the third quarter, but Smith and Andersen fueled an 11-2 run to cut the score to 59-55. Smith hit a 3 and finished a break with a dunk during the run. Smith was out in front on another break but lost his footing under the basket and lofted the ball up softly for Andersen, who threw down an alley-oop dunk to cap the run.
New Orleans tied the game at 75 with four straight points on Smith's 3, followed by Speedy Claxton's free throw with 58.2 seconds left in the game.
Carter's jumper gave New Jersey a brief lead before Andersen's off-balance tip-in tied it again. Carter's missed pull-up jumper then gave New Orleans 8.2 seconds to win the game in regulation. And although New Jersey was over the limit in fouls, the Hornets settled for a 3-point attempt by Bostjan Nachbar that missed.
Hornets coach Byron Scott said he wanted Claxton to drive but the Nets were able to shut off that option, forcing the outside shot.
New Orleans' early shooting trouble, reminiscent of the droughts the Hornets experienced in a loss Sunday against Toronto, allowed New Jersey to open up a quick double-digit lead. New Orleans shot 6-of-23 in the first period.
The Nets responded with an 18-2 run that included Kidd's 3 and Carter's alley-oop dunk in running out to a 24-9 lead.
"It's a shame that we didn't come out with the defensive intensity in the beginning of the game. If so, we probably would have won this game easily," Brown said. "This one hurts. We wanted it for coach Scott (who previously coached the Nets). It seems we've lost in about every imaginable way, but this one hurts the most."
In the second period, Carter hit a 3, then Zoran Paninic hit two more 3-pointers, and after Kidd stole a rebound from Maceij Lampe for an easy layup, it was 42-26.
New Orleans finished the last two minutes of the second period with an 8-0 run that included a jumper and soaring fast break dunk by Smith and ended with Dan Dickau's off-balance jumper at the buzzer, leading 45-34 at halftime.
Vaughn, who came in averaging 4.6 points per game, scored 12 in the first quarter, then didn't score again until his free throw in overtime. ... New Orleans failed to score 20 in the first quarter for the 26th time this season. ... Kidd, who now has 7,101 assists in his career, passed Tim Hardaway (7,095) for 11th all-time in that category. ... Carter has scored 20 or more points in 19 of 20 games. ... New Orleans is 0-40 when trailing after three quarters.
Team Stat Comparison
|FGM-FGA||31-84 (.369)||34-91 (.374)|
|3PM-3PA||6-16 (.375)||3-16 (.188)|
|FTM-FTA||18-25 (.720)||14-21 (.667)|
|Fast Break Points||16||11|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||24 (2/0)||25 (1/0)|