Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 2/6

Game 1: Monday, February 6th
Game 2: Sunday, March 12th

Hornets 91

(24-23, 9-15 away)

Nets 99

(25-21, 15-6 home)

    Coverage: COX

    7:30 PM ET, February 6, 2006

    IZOD Center, East Rutherford, NJ

    1 2 3 4 T
    NO 20 31 20 2091
    NJ 25 14 29 3199

    Top Performers

    NO: S. Claxton 23 Pts, 2 Reb, 6 Ast, 3 Stl

    NJ: R. Jefferson 26 Pts, 9 Reb, 7 Ast

    Jefferson scores 26, Carter gets 21 in win over Hornets

    EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- Count Nets coach Lawrence Frank among the many fans of New Orleans point guard Chris Paul. Just don't ask him to trade in his own, older model just yet.

    Playing for the first time against the heralded rookie, Jason Kidd missed a triple-double by one rebound Monday night as New Jersey (25-21) beat the Hornets 99-91 to extend its home winning streak to 11 games.

    Kidd finished with 14 points, 11 assists and 9 rebounds. Paul handed out 13 assists but shot 2-for-12 and was held to 6 points, 11 below his average.

    "He's a tough-minded guy who is as good with the ball as anybody in the league," Frank said. "He has some things that just aren't taught, and he's going to be a great player in this league."

    Kidd, meanwhile, directed a second-half surge that put the visitors away and pulled the Nets within two games of tying the franchise record for consecutive home wins. The Nets trailed by 12 at halftime, but by the middle of the fourth quarter the only suspense was whether Kidd would earn his 71st career triple-double, tops among active players by a huge margin.

    In the locker room after the game, the soon-to-be 33-year-old looked every bit his age as he sat soaking both feet and with an ice pack strapped to one knee. In the next locker, Richard Jefferson, who led the Nets with 26 points, assessed the point guard matchup.

    "(Paul) went up against one of the greatest point guards of all time tonight," he said, "and I think it showed in some areas."

    Speedy Claxton led New Orleans (24-23) with 23 points off the bench -- though he was scoreless in the fourth quarter -- on a night when the Hornets' starters combined for just 43.

    The Nets fell behind by as many as 12 points in the first half after shooting 5-for-20 in the second quarter. The 6-foot Paul and the 5-foot-11 Claxton double-teamed and pestered 6-foot-7 Vince Carter (21 points) and the rest of the Nets, who had trouble hitting wide-open shots. On the offensive end, both New Orleans guards seemed to penetrate the lane effortlessly.

    "You have to give New Orleans credit, they doubled Vince and he made the right play to kick it out," said Frank. "We just couldn't get the job done. But in the second half we did a good job of adjusting. When the outside shot isn't going, you have to resort to getting into the paint."

    Trailing 71-68 to start the final period, the Nets went to Jefferson, Kidd and Carter and took control of the game as New Orleans' lack of a big scorer began to show. Jefferson had four points and Kidd and Carter both hit 3-pointers in a 21-4 spurt, and center Nenad Krstic, back after missing Saturday's win over Miami with the flu, contributed eight points in the quarter before fouling out with 4:07 left.

    "We showed why road games have been tough for us throughout this year," said Paul. "That's where we've got to get better. It's a learning experience." ^Notes:@ Paul went down hard and appeared to hit his tailbone with 4:07 left in the game, but he remained in the game ... Hornets coach Byron Scott, who was fired by the Nets midway through the 2003-2004 season, fell to 0-3 against his former team ... In response to a comment in a recent newspaper article by Scott that he was the victim of a "mutiny" by Nets players two seasons ago, Kidd said after the game, "The numbers speak for themselves. If there was a mutiny, maybe it was the right time for a change." The Nets were 22-20 when Scott was let go ... The Hornets extended the deadline to Tuesday at noon to finalize the trade to bring center Steven Hunter from the 76ers. Hunter missed 39 games in 2002 with a torn right anterior cruciate ligament.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 91 99
    FGM-FGA 32-74 (.432) 36-74 (.486)
    3PM-3PA 5-10 (.500) 5-23 (.217)
    FTM-FTA 22-26 (.846) 22-26 (.846)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 5-35 4-39
    Assists 22 32
    Turnovers 9 9
    Steals 6 4
    Blocks 2 2
    Fast Break Points 4 24
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 24 (0/0) 21 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 12 16

    Top Performers

    No/oklahoma City
    New Jersey
    Speedy Claxton Claxton
    Points: 23
    Reb: 2
    Ast: 6
    Stl: 3
    Blk: 0
    Richard Jefferson Jefferson
    Points: 26
    Reb: 9
    Ast: 7
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0