Regular Season Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series starts 11/20

Game 1: Saturday, November 20th
Game 2: Wednesday, December 1st
Game 3: Tuesday, January 4th
Game 4: Tuesday, April 19th

Wizards 101

(45-36, 16-24 away)

Nets 109

(41-40, 24-17 home)

7:30 PM ET, April 19, 2005

IZOD Center, East Rutherford, NJ

1 2 3 4 T
WSH 13 27 31 30101
NJ 32 29 32 16109

Top Performers

WSH: K. Brown 14 Pts, 8 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Blk

NJ: J. Kidd 35 Pts, 8 Reb, 8 Ast, 5 Stl

New Jersey maintains tiebreaker over Cavs

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- Jason Kidd and Vince Carter have carried the New Jersey Nets from what seemed like a wasted season to the brink of a playoff berth. Now it comes down to one final night.

Kidd had a season-high 35 points, Carter added 26 points and the Nets kept control of their own playoff destiny with a 109-101 victory over the Washington Wizards on Tuesday night.

"This is a situation that no one thought we would be in," Kidd said after the Nets (41-40) remained tied with Cleveland for the eighth and final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference. The Cavaliers beat Boston 100-86 on Tuesday.

"We just kept fighting and now it's come down to the last game," added Kidd, who had led a surge that has seen the Nets win 14 of 18 games.

The Nets, who beat Cleveland in the season series to earn the tiebreaker, can clinch the NBA's final playoff berth in one of two ways: by beating the Celtics in Boston on Wednesday, or having Cavaliers lose at Toronto.

"It's going to be tough in Boston. It is like a Game 7," Kidd said. "If you lose, that's the end of the season. It's going to be a hostile environment. We've been playing extremely well on the road. We just have to keep executing our game plan and play with one another. Hopefully, at the end of day, we get a win on the road."

New Jersey could earn the No. 7 seed with a win at Boston and a loss by Philadelphia at home against Atlanta.

The eighth seed will face Miami in the opening round of the playoffs this weekend. The seventh seed will get the defending NBA champion Detroit Pistons. And with the way Kidd and company are playing after a season of injuries and transition, the Nets could be a tough opponent.

Kidd also added eight assists and eight rebounds, while Carter added nine assists. Brian Scalabrine had 13 points for New Jersey, which shot nearly 49 percent in beating Washington for the first time in four games this season.

Larry Hughes had 18 points for the Wizards, who had their four-game winning streak snapped. Kwame Brown, Antawn Jamison and Etan Thomas added 14. All-Star Gilbert Arenas was a non-factor with Kidd defending him, scoring eight points on 2-of-7 shooting.

"We were just going through the motions from the get to," Jamison said. "What can you say? They played well, we didn't."

The Nets' win over the Wizards was a carbon copy of Sunday night's surprisingly easy victory over the Philadelphia 76ers with Kidd pushing the offense and getting Scalabrine and Carter involved.

The difference against the Wizards was Kidd deciding to do everything in leading the Nets to a 32-13 first-quarter lead. He scored 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting and added two assists, three steals and four rebounds.

Kidd, who was 13-of-26 from the field, also did a number on Arenas, holding him scoreless and forcing three turnovers in the opening 12 minutes. On the offensive end, Kidd posted him low on the Nets' first possession and got a goaltending call, setting the stage for a series of jumpers and shots in the lane.

"You are so used to seeing Jason get other guys involved," Jamison said of Kidd. "Tonight. it was totally different. It's been that way the last couple of ballgames. He has been aggressive as far as trying to put the ball in the basket and really put his teammates behind him."

New Jersey led by 21 at the half and increased the margin to 28 in the third quarter before the Wizards made a run with a lineup that included Thomas, Brown and Steve Blake.

A jumper by Juan Dixon cut the Nets' lead to 103-94 with 2:49 to play, but Kidd drove past Blake for a layup and the New Jersey was never threatened again, leaving Game No. 82 to decide its playoff fate.

Game notes

The Wizards' 13 first-quarter points were their second lowest of the season. They had 11 twice, the last against Indiana on Apr. 3. ...Kidd's previous high this season was 29 against Indiana last week. ...Thomas had 11 rebounds for the Wizards, who never led. ...Carter has scored 20 or more points in 11 straight games...

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 101 109
FGM-FGA 37-79 (.468) 42-86 (.488)
3PM-3PA 7-17 (.412) 8-21 (.381)
FTM-FTA 20-27 (.741) 17-21 (.810)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 15-42 11-36
Assists 22 25
Turnovers 16 8
Steals 4 10
Blocks 4 1
Fast Break Points 17 18
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 23 (0/0) 16 (0/0)
Largest Lead 0 28

Top Performers

New Jersey
Kwame Brown Brown
Points: 14
Reb: 8
Ast: 3
Stl: 0
Blk: 1
Jason Kidd Kidd
Points: 35
Reb: 8
Ast: 8
Stl: 5
Blk: 0