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Nets snap two-game losing streak

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- The New Jersey Nets have been a
step behind on defense, according to point guard Jason Kidd.
Against Seattle, they stayed a step ahead.

Nenad Krstic scored a season-high 25 points and New Jersey held
Ray Allen without a field goal for three quarters as the Nets
defeated the SuperSonics 109-99 Tuesday night.

Rashard Lewis had 29 points for Seattle, but scored only two
points in the fourth quarter as Richard Jefferson clamped down on
him.

"I thought Richard did a very good job," said Nets coach
Lawrence Frank. "Rashard's a very talented guy, and everything he
got he had to earn."

The Nets had lost their two most recent games to Houston and
Indiana, which had shot 47 percent and 52 percent against them.
Seattle finished 32-for-75 (43 percent), which included a 4-for-18
performance by Allen, who entered the game averaging 23.7 points
per game, tied for 10th in the NBA.

"It's about team defense," said Jefferson, who finished with
19 points along with teammate Vince Carter. "There are always
going to be individuals who make shots. But you've got to have
confidence that when you look across the floor, you know the other
guys have got your back."

Trailing 79-70 to begin the fourth quarter, Seattle closed to
87-86 on a fadeaway by Allen. But the Nets pushed the score back to
99-90, aided by six points from Carter and two alert plays by Kidd.

On the first, he snapped up a loose ball at the free throw line
and found Jefferson for a dunk. On Seattle's next possession, he
stole Luke Ridnour's pass and went in for an uncontested layup.

"Before that I'd had a good look at a '3' and missed, so I was
just looking for some other component to help out with," said
Kidd, who finished with 10 points on 3-of-13 shooting and nine
assists.

Seattle was playing its fifth game of a six-game road trip that
concludes Wednesday night in Boston. The SuperSonics lost the first
three games by a total of 93 points before winning at Toronto
Sunday.

At 2-5, Seattle has already lost more games than it did through
Dec. 15 a year ago, when the team began the season 17-3.

"We've got to get it into our minds that last year is over
with," said Lewis. "You've got to play good defense so it flows
into our offense. We're not putting a full game together. I feel
like we're only playing two quarters a night."

While the Nets starters misfired early, New Jersey's bench kept
them in the game. Scott Padgett finished with a season-high 13
points, 11 in the first half when Carter was held to two field
goals and six points.

New Jersey led be as many as 14 in the third quarter before
Lewis scored the last nine points for Seattle on two 3-pointers and
three foul shots after being fouled by Padgett with 7 seconds left.
^Notes:@ Seattle F Danny Fortson suffered an inflammation of his
right big toe and did not return after playing four minutes in the
first half ... Nets C Jason Collins missed his second straight game
with a muscle strain in his lower right leg suffered against
Indiana last Friday ... Clifford Robinson replaced Collins in the
starting lineup and played 21 minutes to pass Otis Thorpe and move
into 19th place on the NBA's all-time list with 39,840.