Friday , Feb , 23 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Kings, Nets meet at Meadowlands

(Sports Network) – The New Jersey Nets continue their five-game homestand
tonight — with Jason Kidd and Vince Carter both still on the roster — when
the club welcomes the Sacramento Kings to Continental Airlines Arena.

The NBA trading deadline came and went Thursday afternoon and the Nets elected
not to pull the trigger on a deal, although various reports had the team
shopping both Kidd and Carter.

Instead, the club will continue its attempt at a playoff spot with the duo but
without forward Richard Jefferson, who is still out indefinitely because of
right ankle surgery.

New Jersey has lost three in a row and seven of 10 overall but finds itself
just 4 1/2 games back of Toronto for the lead in the Atlantic Division. The
Nets, though, are ninth overall in the East and 1 1/2 games back of the eight
spot despite being in second place in their division.

New Jersey dropped its third in a row on Wednesday, when the New
Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets posted a 111-107 victory on the first game of
the Nets’ current homestand.

Carter had a season-high 46 points, while Bostjan Nachbar tallied 15 points
and Mikki Moore had 10.

Kidd returned to the lineup after missing New Jersey’s last two games and the
All-Star game with a strained lower back. He had just six points and was a
dismal 2-of-14 from the floor.

The Nets are just 14-14 this season at the Continental Airlines Arena, where
they have lost four of their past five games. The squad will also host New
York, Washington and Boston.

The Kings, meanwhile, suffered a tough setback on Thursday in the first tilt
of a four-game road trip.

Gilbert Arenas scored 43 points and Washington overcame a monumental collapse
in the fourth quarter and a waived- off jumper at the buzzer by Sacramento’s
John Salmons to post a 109-106 win at the Verizon Center.

The Kings overcame a 17-point final quarter deficit and trailed by just one at
107-106 when Salmons nailed a three-pointer with 1.4 seconds to go. After a
pair of free throws for the Wizards, Brad Miller hit Salmons with a long
inbounds pass and Salmons nailed a three-point try. However, it was eventually
ruled that Salmons didn’t get his shot off before time expired.

Ron Artest scored 32 and Mike Bibby had 30 for the Kings, who lost for the
fourth time in five games. Miller had 13 rebounds.

The Kings are 7-18 as the visitor this year and will play five of their next
six on the road. They will travel to Indiana and Philadelphia on their current
swing.

Sacramento and New Jersey will battle for the second and final time this
season. The Kings took the first matchup by a slim 88-87 margin on January 22
at home.

In that game, Bibby scored Sacramento’s final 15 points, hitting the go-ahead
jumper with 10.3 seconds left, as the Kings completed a rally from a 20-point
third-quarter deficit.

The Kings have won three straight in the series.

NJN SAC