Regular Season Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series starts 11/10

Game 1: Wednesday, November 10th
Game 2: Monday, February 7th
Game 3: Wednesday, March 2nd
Game 4: Sunday, April 17th

76ers 83

(41-39, 18-23 away)

Nets 104

(40-40, 23-17 home)

Coverage: CSN

6:00 PM ET, April 17, 2005

IZOD Center, East Rutherford, NJ

1 2 3 4 T
PHI 25 22 18 1883
NJ 38 27 18 21104

Top Performers

Philadelphia: A. Iverson 33 Pts, 4 Reb, 8 Ast

New Jersey: V. Carter 43 Pts, 11 Reb, 5 Ast, 2 Stl

Nets two wins away from postseason berth

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- After a season-long struggle, Jason Kidd and the New Jersey Nets took control of their playoff destiny heading into the final week of the season.

Kidd posted his 67th career triple-double and the Nets put themselves in prime position to earn a playoff berth with a 104-83 win over Philadelphia on Sunday that prevented the 76ers' from clinching a postseason spot.

"He had a fire going out there, pushing the ball in transition," Nets forward Jason Collins said of Kidd, who had 11 points, 16 assists and 10 rebounds. "It's our job to keep up with him. He did a great job of setting the tone."

While Vince Carter had 15 of his 43 points in the first quarter and Brian Scalabrine added 10, Kidd was the catalyst as the Nets won for the 13th time in 17 games.

The win moved New Jersey into a tie with eighth-place Cleveland (40-40), a game behind Philadelphia (41-39) in the race for the final two playoff spots in the Eastern Conference. Each team has two games remaining.

Kidd had seven points, five assists, two rebounds, and forced Allen Iverson into five turnovers in the first 12 minutes as New Jersey jumped to a 38-25 lead.

"He definitely had his A game and his Jason Kidd playoff game face on today," said Carter, who hit 17 of 33 shots from the field, including four 3-pointers.

New Jersey, which holds the tiebreaker with both Cleveland and Philadelphia, can earn a postseason berth with wins at home on Tuesday against Washington and at Boston on Wednesday.

"We'd like to be playing our best basketball, and that's what we are doing right now," Kidd said.

Philadelphia's second loss in eight games gave the Boston Celtics their first Atlantic Division title in 13 years.

The 76ers, who missed the playoffs last season, can reach the postseason with either one win or one Nets or Cleveland loss. Philadelphia has home games with Milwaukee and Atlanta on Monday and Wednesday, respectively.

"We can't use that excuse, as far as we were just due for a bad game," said Iverson, who scored 33 points. "We couldn't take a bad game today. We needed our best. That's what I thought was going to come. Unfortunately we didn't."

The Cavaliers will play at home against Boston on Tuesday and at Toronto on Wednesday.

Coming into the day, the Nets needed help and they got it when the NBA champion Detroit Pistons beat LeBron James and the Cavaliers 90-87, sending Cleveland to its eighth loss in 11 games.

With the scent of a fourth straight playoff appearance, the Nets shredded the 76ers with 38 first-quarter points and a season-high 65 in the first half to take an 18-point lead.

Not even Iverson could slow the Nets down and prevent them from reaching .500 for the first time since four games into a season that looked lost at times. New Jersey lost Kenyon Martin to free agency over the summer and then lost Kidd for the first month following knee surgery. Richard Jefferson hasn't played since Jan. 8 because of a wrist injury.

Scalabrine scored the first seven points to get the Nets off fast against the Sixers, and then Carter, who also had 11 rebounds, took over, scoring 11 points in a 19-4 spurt that gave New Jersey a 32-15 lead.

"They were making shots and we couldn't stop them," Iverson said. "They were hitting everything. They just played well. They were in rhythm from the beginning to the end. Vince got off early, Jason got everyone involved. That was a good team win for those guys."

Philadelphia, which trailed by as many as 23 midway through the third quarter, scored the first seven points of the fourth quarter to cut the Nets' lead to 83-72.

After a timeout, Kidd assisted on the first of three straight baskets by rookie Nenad Krstic for a 89-72 lead.

Krstic finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Scalabrine had 13 points and 11 rebounds.

Chris Webber, who has been struggling to fit in with the 76ers since being acquired from Sacramento, did little again. He scored 14 points on 7-of-19 shooting, with most of the baskets coming late.

Game notes

The Nets' previous high point total for a half was 63 against Philadelphia on March 2 and Utah on Jan. 29. The 38 first-quarter points were two shy of New Jersey's best for any quarter. They had 40 against Orlando on Jan. 8. ...The 40-point game was Carter's fifth with the Nets this season. He has scored at least 20 points in 36 of the last 38 games. Iverson has scored at least 20 in 56 straight games. ... Jefferson will be examined by team doctors this week to see if there is any chance he can return to action three months after surgery to repair a ruptured ligament in his left wrist. ...The Nets won the season series with Philadelphia 3-1.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 83 104
FGM-FGA 30-79 (.380) 44-96 (.458)
3PM-3PA 5-18 (.278) 8-22 (.364)
FTM-FTA 18-22 (.818) 8-14 (.571)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 12-45 16-53
Assists 20 29
Turnovers 18 14
Steals 6 12
Blocks 7 2
Fast Break Points 12 11
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 17 (2/0) 22 (0/0)
Largest Lead 0 23

Top Performers

New Jersey
Allen Iverson Iverson
Points: 33
Reb: 4
Ast: 8
Stl: 0
Blk: 0
Vince Carter Carter
Points: 43
Reb: 11
Ast: 5
Stl: 2
Blk: 0