Kidd leads Nets past Clippers
East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) – Jason Kidd poured in 23 points and
dished out 13 assists, and the New Jersey Nets defeated the LA Clippers,
101-95, at Continental Airlines Arena.
Vince Carter scored 22 points, and Richard Jefferson had 18 points and a
career-high 12 rebounds for the Nets, who have won three of their last four
games and hold the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race, moving
a half-game ahead of the Orlando Magic and New York Knicks.
Cuttino Mobley finished with 27 points — including 13 in the third quarter —
for the Clippers, who have lost six of their last seven games and fell a full
game behind Golden State for the last playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Corey Maggette scored 23 points and had nine rebounds, Elton Brand finished
with 17 points, and Tim Thomas came off the bench to score 12 points for Los
New Jersey opened the third quarter on a 7-0 run and led 55-47. Jefferson’s
jumper at 7:32 made it 58-51 in favor of the Nets before a 13-5 run by the
Clippers put them back in the lead. Mobley led the way with 11 points in the
burst — including three consecutive treys — and the Clippers had a 64-63
advantage at 5:01.
The teams were tied at 70 after three frames.
The game was a shootout in the fourth quarter, as the Clipper lead stood at
one with 7 1/2 to play in the contest before Carter drained a long three to
put New Jersey up 80-78 at 6:55.
The momentum seemed to be shifting in the favor of the Nets as time dwindled
down, but the Clippers once again made it a two-point game approaching the
three-minute mark. Carter’s shot from the paint gave New Jersey a four-point
cushion, but Mobley landed a shot from three-point range to make it 90-89.
The Nets went up by five inside of 1 1/2 to play, but Brand got the tip on a
shot by Cassell, and the New Jersey edge was down to three with just over a
minute to play. Carter drove inside and connected on a layup for the Nets to
put the margin to 96-91 and the Clippers never got closer than three the rest
of the way.
New Jersey started strong and held an 18-10 edge on Kidd’s three-point shot at
9:56 in the first, but a 9-0 run by the Clippers, capped by a Cassell free
throw, gave Los Angeles the lead.
Carter followed with a pair of driving layups on consecutive possessions for
New Jersey, then added a free throw after drawing the foul, and the Nets
carried a 23-21 margin into the second quarter.
The Clippers went up 32-27, as Mobley’s shot off the glass capped an 8-0 run
at 9:34, but New Jersey responded with a 9-2 burst to re-take the lead with
7:31 remaining in the half.
The back-and-forth action continued down the stretch, and the Nets led 48-45
Miiki Moore scored 13 points for the Nets…New Jersey’s Cliff Robinson missed
the game with a strained right knee…The Clippers have won the two of the
last three games in the series, including the first meeting between the teams
this season, a 102-101 win at Staples Center on January 25. The season series
is now tied, 1-1…It was the tenth time this season Mobley has scored more
than 20 points…The Nets have won their last six games when they have managed
to score at least 100 points. They are 28-8 on the campaign when they manage
to hit the century mark.