Sunday , Apr , 29 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Nets hope to take 3-1 lead over Raptors

(Sports Network) – The New Jersey Nets hope to take a 3-1 lead over the
Toronto Raptors in their first-round playoff series, as the teams battle
tonight at Continental Airlines Arena.

This is a best-of-seven series. Game 5 is scheduled for Tuesday at Air Canada

After splitting the first two games of the series in Toronto, the Nets took a
2-1 lead at the Meadowlands. On Friday, Jason Kidd, playing despite a knee
injury, had a triple-double with 16 points, 16 rebounds and 19 assists to lead
New Jersey to a 102-89 victory over the Raptors at Continental Airlines Arena.

Vince Carter ended with 37 points on 15-of-23 from the field for New Jersey,
while Richard Jefferson contributed 18 points in the victory.

T.J. Ford scored 27 in Game 3’s loss for the Raptors, while Anthony Parker
netted 14 and Chris Bosh collected 11 points and 11 rebounds in defeat.

Kidd, who suffered a strained left knee in Game 2, is averaging an impressive
12.7 points, 12.3 rebounds and 13.7 assists in the series for New Jersey.

Toronto is 2-1 all-time in Game 4s in the playoffs, while the Nets have
won six of their last eight Game 4s. The Raptors are 3-10 on the road in the

The Raptors have returned to the playoffs after ending a four-year postseason
drought. They captured their first division title in franchise history
after winning the Atlantic, and are in the postseason for the fourth time.
Head coach Sam Mitchell, who was named NBA Coach of the Year, did a fantastic
job during the regular season, guiding the squad to a 47-35 record to match
the best finish in team history.

The Nets are in the playoffs for a team-best sixth consecutive season. New
Jersey defeated Indiana in six games in the last year’s opening round before
bowing out in five games against the eventual NBA champion Miami Heat in the
conference semifinals.