NBA Finals rematch at the Meadowlands
East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) – The San Antonio Spurs try to win back-
to-back games for the first time this season as they take on the New Jersey
Nets tonight at Continental Airlines Arena in a rematch of the 2003 NBA
The Spurs defeated the Nets in the NBA Finals in six games. Tim Duncan, who
collected 21 points, 20 rebounds, 10 assists and eight blocked shots in the
series finale, has played huge against the Nets in his career. However, Duncan
could be slowed tonight by a sprained left ankle.
Duncan may have to bang with Kenyon Martin, who could return tonight for the
Nets. Martin has played in just two games this season and has been out of
action since October 31 when he sprained his left ankle in a game against
Minnesota. Martin has missed the last five games and Nets head coach Byron
Scott is expected to make a decision late in the afternoon if Martin will be
ready to start tonight.
The Nets will have another big body to tangle with Duncan as Alonzo Mourning
will be used off the bench. New Jersey however figures to be without forward
Brian Scalabrine, who has a strained hip flexor. New Jersey also has Rodney
Rogers (dislocated left thumb), Lucious Harris (lower back pain) and Damone
Brown (back spasms) on the injured list.
The Spurs are coming off an 87-78 win over Utah Monday night and this evening
San Antonio begins a three-game road trip. Gregg Popovich’s team will play at
Philadelphia on Friday and will battle Washington on Saturday. Monday night,
Duncan had 16 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks. Tony Parker, who returned
from an ankle injury, had nine points in his season debut. Manu Ginobili led
San Antonio with 18 points.
Parker will be matched up with Nets star guard Jason Kidd tonight. Kidd’s team
has lost three of its last four games and is coming off a 98-84 defeat versus
Detroit on Sunday at Auburn Hills. The Nets managed only 37 points in the
second half. New Jersey had all five starters in double figures led by Kidd
with 18 points and 11 assists. Jason Collins had his second straight strong
effort, as he added a double-double of his own with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Kidd has played 33 games against the Spurs in his career, more than he’s
played against any other team. For his career, Kidd is averaging 14 points,
9.7 assists and 7.7 rebounds against the Spurs.
Since the start of the 2001-02 season, the Nets have won three of their last
four games against the Spurs in the regular season. The Nets have also won
three straight and five of their last six home games versus the Spurs.