Thursday , Feb , 19 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Mr. Perfect: Frank 10-0 with Nets

=== Mr. Perfect: Frank 10-0 with Nets ===

East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) – Jason Kidd posted his 58th career
triple-double with 15 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists, as the New Jersey
Nets and head coach Lawrence Frank extended their respective winning streaks
with a 98-92 victory over Atlanta at Continental Airlines Arena.

Frank set an NBA record for the best start by a coach with his 10th-straight
victory since replacing Byron Scott behind the bench last month. The Nets have
won 11 straight overall, tying a franchise record set by the 1982-83 squad.

They had won each of the previous 10 by double-digit margins, but were tested
for much of this one by the Hawks, who played for the first time with
recently-acquired forward Rasheed Wallace.

“We are happy we got the win,” Frank said. “We’re not looking to break
records, necessarily. We’re just looking to win every single game we play, and
at the end of the day, we’re committed to improve daily. All those milestones
and records are in the past. They’ll take care of themselves.”

Richard Jefferson led the Nets with 24 points, while Kenyon Martin scored 21
with 10 rebounds. Kerry Kittles and Rodney Rogers added 10 points apiece in
the win.

Wallace, acquired from Portland last week in a five-player deal before the
All-Star break, scored 20 points in his Atlanta debut, but was shut out in the
fourth quarter.

“I was upset with myself for the fact that there was a couple plays that I
thought I knew,” Wallace acknowledged afterwards. “I bumbled up a couple of
times.”

The Hawks, losers of two of their last three games, were led by 25 points from
Stephen Jackson and 22 from Jason Terry.

Atlanta rallied back from a halftime deficit to tie the game after three
quarters. The Hawks held a 79-76 lead with 8:00 remaining in the fourth, but
let the game slip away down the stretch.

Jason Collins tied things up for New Jersey with a pair of free throws to make
it 80-80 with 6:32 remaining. Jefferson then drilled a three to give the Nets
an 83-80 advantage, and they would never trail again.

The teams were tied again at 87 apiece on Terry’s three-pointer with 3:12
remaining, but New Jersey responded with a 6-0 burst and grabbed a 93-87
cushion on Kittles’ layup two minutes later.

Atlanta got as close as 93-89 at the other end, but the Nets later led by as
many as nine points on their way to another NBA record — most consecutive
wins following a five-game losing streak.

“There’s no answer today, we just gutted it out,” Jefferson said. “The bottom
line is we played hard just as long as we needed to get it done.”

The teams were tied at 20-20 after a tight first quarter, but the Nets pulled
ahead and led by as many as 10 in the second quarter on the way to a 43-39
halftime lead.

Martin led all players at the break with 12 points, and the Nets shot 39
percent in the opening 24 minutes. The Hawks were worse from the field,
hitting just 15 of their 45 first-half shots. They were led by Wallace’s 11
points.

ATL NJ