Nets stay alive despite six points in final quarter
Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) – Jason Kidd scored 20 points, grabbed nine
rebounds and dished out six assists, as the New Jersey Nets, despite six
fourth-quarter points, staved off elimination and defeated the Cleveland
Cavaliers, 83-72, in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series at
Quicken Loans Arena.
Richard Jefferson added 15 points, Mikki Moore had 14 and Bostjan Nachbar
tallied 13 for the Nets. Vince Carter recorded 12 points, 10 assists and six
boards for New Jersey, which will try to even this series at home in Game 6 on
LeBron James had 20 points and nine boards for Cleveland, which trailed by as
many as 22 points in the third quarter. Zydrunas Ilgauskas added 16 points for
the Cavs, who also struggled in the final quarter, scoring just 13 points.
Leading 47-39 at halftime, the Nets used a 17-6 run to open the third quarter
to take a 19-point lead. Jefferson scored seven points during the surge,
capping it with a three-pointer at the 6:38 mark for a 64-45 cushion.
The lead later ballooned to 22 points, 70-48, when Carter drained a runner
with 3:13 left and New Jersey eventually cruised into the fourth with a 77-59
The Nets, though, left it in cruise control in the fourth when they should
have kept it in gear. New Jersey didn’t hit a shot from the floor in the
fourth quarter until Carter drained an 11-foot jumper with 4:06 left and
during that time the Cavs cut their deficit to just nine points.
Larry Hughes’ three-pointer with 4:32 left capped an 11-2 run since the
beginning of the quarter, drawing Cleveland within 79-70.
The Cavs, though, wouldn’t get any closer, as they too had trouble connecting
from the floor.
Although the Nets hit just one shot from the field and scored a playoff
franchise-low six fourth-quarter points, Cleveland hit only three fourth-
quarter shots and didn’t hit any after James’ lay-up with 2:16 left.