Nets' Kidd stars in emotional, physical game

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- With teammate Kenyon Martin

imploring him to take over in the second half, Jason Kidd couldn't

be stopped -- not even by one of the NBA's best defensive players.

Jason Kidd, right, had little problems getting passes or shots off against the Pacers on Thursday.
Jason Kidd, right, had little problems getting passes or shots off against the Pacers on Thursday.

Kidd scored 18 of his 31 points in the fourth quarter while

being defended by Ron Artest and the New Jersey Nets rallied for a

98-91 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Thursday night.

"He was in attack mode,'' Nets coach Byron Scott said of Kidd

after the Nets rallied from a 15-point third-quarter deficit in yet

another chippy game between the two young, emotional Eastern

Conference foes.

"The only thing I asked the other guys to do was run with

him,'' Scott added. "Get out on the break with him. Give him some


Kidd had five points, seven assists and four rebounds in a so-so

first half that saw Indiana take a 55-45 lead.

Martin, who had 15 points in the half, knew that wasn't the way

the Nets were going to win, so he went up to Kidd in the locker at


"I told him at halftime that, 'I need you in the second

half,''' Martin recalled.

Kidd responded. He played all 24 minutes, hit 8-for-11 from the

field, 9-for-10 from the foul line and added five of his 12 assists and five of his nine rebounds.

"Any time a teammate comes up to you and asks something like

that, you have to respond,'' Kidd said. "And I did.''

Tempers flared repeatedly and the officiating crew called six

technicals and one flagrant foul. Artest, the Pacers' bad boy, got

the flagrant and a technical, and generally seemed a little out of


Martin finished with 19 points for the Nets, who limited Indiana

to 12-for-39 shooting (31 percent) in the second half.

"We understand what the problem is. The problem is Jason

Kidd,'' Pacers coach Isiah Thomas said. "Just because you know

what the problem is doesn't mean you can solve it. We'll keep

trying to figure out how to get him under control.''

Al Harrington came off the bench and had 22 points and 11

rebounds to lead the Pacers, who dropped their season-high third

straight game. Jermaine O'Neal and Brad Miller had 18 apiece and

Reggie Miller added 14.

"I understand that there's going to be some adversity in a

season, you're never going to have a smooth-going season where you

rise above and play good basketball for 82 games,'' Thomas said.

Indiana had a chance to tie it in the final minute after Artest

hit a 3-pointer and Reggie Miller made two free throws to close the

Nets' lead to 94-91.

After Richard Jefferson missed a shot for New Jersey, the Pacers

came down the floor and Reggie Miller ran around the 3-pointer

perimeter looking for a pass to attempt a tying shot, much like he

did in Game 5 of the Pacers-Nets first round playoff series last season.

Last spring, Miller banked in a phenomenal half-court shot to

tie the deciding game, which the Nets won in double overtime.

This time, New Jersey prevented Miller from touching the ball

and O'Neal ended up missing a shot down low.

Kidd then added two free throws with 17.7 seconds to play and

Harrington turned the ball over the Pacers' next possession.

The Nets never trailed in the fourth quarter after Kidd scored

eight points in a 25-9 spurt that gave New Jersey a 70-69 lead

entering the final period.

Every time the Pacers got close, Kidd found a way around Artest

for a basket or he was fouled and that gave New Jersey its second

straight win over Indiana this season.

"A couple of times Kidd was blowing right by me, not because

he's faster than me but because I haven't been guarding point

guards all year,'' Artest said. "It was my first game guarding a

point guard all year, but I can guard him."

When the teams meet in the first week of the season, there were

nine technical fouls, four flagrants and three ejections in the

Nets' 102-91 win.

Artest, arguably the NBA's best defensive player, got the

flagrant foul after grabbing a rebound and raising his elbow to the

head of Nets center Aaron Williams. Artest added a fourth-quarter

technical for throwing a ball into the back of referee Bennie


Artest, who said the incident with Adams was an accident, now

has five flagrant foul-related points. He will be suspended for a

game if he reaches six.

Kidd, Pacers point guard Jamaal Tinsley, Martin and Harrington

got the other technicals.

Game notes

The Nets honored their 1975-76 ABA championship team by

wearing jerseys from that era ... The game was the 200th between

the two former ABA members ... Nets president Rod Thorn said the

team entertained some trade talks on Thursday but there was

"nothing substantive at all.'' ... The Pacers activated Jonathan

Bender from the injured list before the game and placed G Fred

Jones on the list.