Wednesday , Feb , 25 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Raptors extinct as New Jersey nets 14th straight

East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) – Kenyon Martin scored 25 points and
pulled down 15 rebounds to improve New Jersey’s franchise-best win streak to
14 games with an 86-74 win over the Toronto Raptors at the Meadowlands.

The Nets also improved to 13-0 under head coach Lawrence Frank, giving him the
best start ever by any new manager/coach in professional sports history. The
Boston Red Sox won their first 12 games under interim manager Joe Morgan in
1988 and James Price also started 12-0 with the New York Gothams in 1884.

The 14 consecutive wins also set a season-high for the NBA this season. The
last team to win 14 games in a row was the Dallas Mavericks in the 2002-03
season.

“It’s a disease,” said point guard Jason Kidd. “It just spreads throughout,
and nobody wants to lose. You gain a lot of confidence from winning. We want
to go out there and win every game.”

Kidd added 17 points and dished out seven assists for the Nets, who also have
taken eight straight at home. Kerry Kittles chipped in with 15, while
Rodney Rogers had 12, all in the second quarter.

The 12 points in the second quarter by Rogers established a personal season
high.

Roger Mason, a late replacement in the starting lineup for an injured Alvin
Williams, paced the Raptors with 18 points as Toronto saw its losing streak
extended to six games. Milt Palacio and Donyell Marshall each had 13 points in
a losing cause.

After a low-scoring first quarter ended with the Nets ahead 19-15, Rogers
carried New Jersey on a 17-3 rally in the second with 12 points, including
eight in a row to close out scoring at 38-20 with just under four minutes left
before halftime.

The Nets led 47-32 heading into the locker room.

Martin ended the first half with 11 points, one shy of Rogers’ game high.
Marshall had eight to lead the Raptors.

Martin came back with a strong performance in the third frame netting 12
points in the stanza. He made a layup with 1:28 left to give New Jersey its
biggest cushion of 19 points thus far, 71-52. The Nets held a 73-57 advantage
after three quarters.

The Raptors scored 11 consecutive points to start out the final stanza, the
last four by Jerome Moiso, to pull within five at 73-68 just past the eight-
minute mark.

“I don’t know if we relaxed,” said Frank. “I just think Toronto picked up
the intensity…they kept coming at us. They played extremely hard and didn’t
show any quit and that is a credit to their team and coaching staff.”

New Jersey answered right back with a 13-3 burst over the next six minutes,
most of which were played with Martin on the bench with five fouls, to bring
the difference back to 15 points. Kittles drained a three with 2:40 remaining
to make it 86-71, sealing the record-setting win.

There were just four three-pointers made in the contest, three by Toronto, and
New Jersey outrebounded the Raptors by a 45-30 margin.

NJ TOR