Wednesday , Mar , 17 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Nets get big win over Western Conference foe

East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) – Kerry Kittles poured in 24 points and
grabbed nine rebounds to lead New Jersey to a 94-77 win over Sacramento in a
battle between two of the best teams in the NBA at Continental Airlines Arena.

Rodney Rogers added 20 points and Richard Jefferson contributed 19 for the
Nets, who have won three of their last four games. Jason Kidd added a game-
high 13 assists and grabbed eight rebounds in the win.

“We just came out there and competed and we showed we can play with the best
in this league,” said Kidd.

Mike Bibby scored 17 points for the Kings, who lost for only the second time
in their last six contests. Chris Webber had 15 points and nine rebounds in
the setback.

New Jersey connected on 49 percent of its shots (39-of-79) and made 8-of-16
from three-point range. Sacramento hit just 31-of-82 field-goal attempts (38
percent) and only 4-of-12 from behind the arc (33 percent).

“We have no excuses tonight,” said Sacramento head coach Rick Adelman. “They
just handed us a good old whipping.”

New Jersey raced out to a 15-5 advantage on Kittles’ jumper with just under
five minutes left in the first quarter. The teams played even for the next few
minutes, but the Nets then ended the period on a 7-0 run, keyed by Rogers’
three-pointer, to claim a commanding 26-9 edge after one.

The Kings shot just 3-of-18 from the field and scored a season-low nine
points in the opening quarter.

“We got off to a good start, which in the past we haven’t done against
Sacramento or any other good team,” Kidd said. “We’ve always come from behind.
It helped us to get off to a good start.”

In the second, New Jersey widened the gap to 43-15 on Rogers’ jumper with just
under eight minutes left in the quarter. The Nets enjoyed a 54-35 lead at
halftime.

Rogers led the way with 16 points for New Jersey, which shot 56 percent in the
first half (22-of-39). Peja Stojakovic and Webber each netted 11 for the
Kings, who made only 33 percent of their shots in the opening 24 minutes (13-
of-40).

The Nets opened the third on an 8-0 run, capped by Kittles’ basket, and held a
62-35 advantage less than two minutes into the quarter. The lead reached 30
points at 71-41 on Jefferson’s three-point play later in the period, but the
Kings whittled their deficit down to 75-55 after three quarters.

Sacramento never threatened in the fourth quarter and trailed by as many as 23
points in the final period.

NJ SAC