Kidd's heady play lifts Knicks

NEW YORK -- Jason Kidd gave the sellout crowd at Madison Square Garden on Sunday night perhaps the closest thing to hockey they're going to see over the next few months.

After sustaining a blow to the head following a collision with Ty Lawson in the first half, the veteran emerged for the warmups prior to the second half wearing a Rangers helmet.

"I got creative," Kidd said. "They're not using them right now so I thought we would put that on for compression purposes."

The blow to the head didn't slow Kidd down as he scored 17 points and dished out a game-high seven assists to help the Knicks to a 112-106 win over the Nuggets. Kidd, who showed up in the locker room with the helmet on and had a noticeable welt, said afterward his head was fine.

"I needed something to keep the swelling down because my teammates were killing me about how big my head was getting," Kidd said. "That was the only thing we could think of."

About midway through the second quarter, Kidd got the ball on the wing and pump faked like he was going to shoot. Lawson took the bait and dove into Kidd, colliding with him while Kidd took the shot. Kidd would make both free throws but was on the bench shortly after and could be seen holding an ice pack on his head. He eventually returned in the half.

This incident comes a few weeks after Kidd received seven stitches in his head. Indiana guard Lance Stephenson fell for the fake in November and as he came crashing down on Kidd, his teeth dug into the veteran point guard's head. Kidd didn't wear a hockey helmet in that game, instead opting for a white headband.

"It was right by the cut too so that made me nervous it got re-opened," Kidd said. "But it's just part of the game and I have to be a little more cautious about the pump fake. Everybody's flying at it. Just have to protect myself."

In the fourth quarter, the Knicks trusted Kidd to run the point and the veteran made the savvy plays to help the team overcome an eight-point deficit. Kidd hasn't played point that often this season, because of point guard Raymond Felton, but coach Mike Woodson gave the keys to Kidd in this contest.

He only had four points in the fourth, but he had six assists in that stanza alone. Those six assists in the 10:32 he played in the fourth quarter matched the amount any other player had in the game. Kidd only had one turnover and was perfect from the free-throw line on the night.

"I thought Jason settled us down and got us into a lot of good things and we played off of him," Woodson said. "I expect that from him because that's what he's done pretty much his whole career."

After his second collision within the span of a month, Kidd jokes that December isn't treating him any better than November, when his back spasms flared up and he had to get his stitches. While Kidd might have a good head fake, the 39-year-old doesn't understand why these collisions keep happening to him.

"I thought the scouting report said I can't shoot?" Kidd said. "So I don't know why everybody is going for the pump fake."