Nets get help from unlikely sources

CHICAGO (AP) -- Lucious Harris took one look at the shot clock
and let the ball fly, not able to even see the 3-pointer swish
through the net as he fell to the floor.

Of all the shots he took Tuesday night, that game-tying,
buzzer-beater at the end of the first quarter might have been the

Harris had 20 of his season-high 22 points in the first half,
and the New Jersey Nets recovered from a sluggish start to beat the
Chicago Bulls 107-93.

"I think it propelled us and gave us the energy we were missing
in the early part of the game," said Harris, who was 7-for-7 in
the first half, including 4-of-4 from 3-point range.

"It was great to go in and start a fire."

Start a fire, he did. Jason Kidd just missed a double-double
with 17 points and nine assists, Richard Jefferson added 16, and
Keith Van Horn had 12 for the Nets, who snapped a three-game road
losing streak.

Ron Mercer led the Bulls with 18, and Brad Miller and Greg
Anthony added 15 each.

"The guys that we didn't expect to hurt us really got us,"
Bulls coach Tim Floyd said. "We didn't count on a guy like Harris
getting 20 in a half."

At least it wasn't as ugly as the teams' last meeting. When the
two played in New Jersey last month, the Nets beat Chicago 100-68 --
the worst loss in team history. The Bulls scored just six points in
the third quarter, a record low.

On Tuesday, the Bulls were at least still in it in the fourth

"Our effort overall was good," said Anthony, who also had six
assists. "This was just a night they shot the ball a lot better
than we would have liked."

Kidd's 19-footer with 2:14 left in the third gave New Jersey an
85-68 lead, its largest to that point. But Aaron Williams was
called for goaltending, Anthony hit an 11-foot jumper and Tyson
Chandler scored on a layup in the last 90 seconds.

When Mercer scored on an outside jumper with 10:10 left to play,
it got the Bulls within 87-78, the first time they'd been within
double digits since the second quarter.

But the Bulls never got any closer.

"This game proved the lesson about coming out prepared against
teams like this," New Jersey coach Byron Scott said. "Our
objective is to beat teams we should."

Chicago got off to a quick start, holding New Jersey without a
basket for almost 2 1/2 minutes midway through the first quarter as
they took a 19-9 lead with 5:39 left. But the Nets don't lead the
Atlantic Division for nothing.

When Williams spun away from Charles Oakley and stuffed the
ball, it brought the Nets within one, 25-24, with 48 seconds left
in the quarter. And they weren't done, with Harris drilling the 3
as the buzzer sounded to tie it up.

"It was not a fling!" Kidd said. "It gave us a wake-up call
that we were lucky to be tied going into the second quarter. It
helped us to then come out and hold them scoreless early in the
second quarter."

Harris got it started again, hitting another 3 as New Jersey
opened with a 14-0 run.

"I wouldn't say a zone, I would say I was getting open and
every shot felt good," Harris said. "And hey, I will take it."

New Jersey was equally impressive on defense, holding the Bulls
to just 27 percent shooting in the second quarter and keeping them
from scoring until Kevin Ollie's driving layup with 7:09 left.

Fred Hoiberg rallied the Bulls with a 20-foot jumper with 5:07
left, starting a 7-0 run that cut New Jersey's lead to 47-40 with
3:56 left.

"Anytime you win on the road," Kidd said, "is like winning
two games."

Game notes
When Miller missed a free throw in the second quarter, it
snapped a streak of 17 straight. ... Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf
made a second straight appearance at the United Center. ... The
Nets travel to Miami next, where Scott will be reunited with Pat
Riley. "I don't know if I'd say I look forward to going up against
him, I look forward to seeing him," said Scott, who won three NBA
championships with Riley during the Lakers "Showtime" era. "I
want to see him, say hello to him and see how he's doing." ...
Martin tied his career high with six assists.