Nets blow by inept Blazers
East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) - Vince Carter scored a game-high 26 points and Portland set several records for offensive futility during a five- point fourth quarter, as New Jersey defeated the Trail Blazers, 78-65, at Continental Airlines Arena.
Richard Jefferson posted 22 points and nine rebounds while Nenad Krstic added 20 points and five rebounds in New Jersey's third consecutive victory. The Nets opened a three-game homestand by moving four games in front of idle Philadelphia in the Atlantic Division.
Surprisingly, New Jersey came out on top without a single point from Jason Kidd, who missed all five field-goal attempts and did not attempt a free throw. Kidd did finish with seven assists, six rebounds and four steals, but failed to tally a point for the first time in a regular-season game since March 22, 2000 when he played for Phoenix.
Kidd's points were not needed because of Portland's inability to make shots. Zach Randolph needed 21 shots to score his team-high 24 points and Darius Miles added 14 points off the bench. Steve Blake added 12 as Portland lost its second straight. Portland is just 2-12 since February 15.
"I think it's a combination of our guys effort and them playing the second half of a back-to-back which probably caught up with their legs a little bit," New Jersey head coach Lawrence Frank said.
The Trail Blazers made just 1-of-11 shots in the final period in scoring a franchise-low five points in a quarter. The previous low was seven points scored in the second period during a December 6, 1991 game at Philadelphia.
It was also the fewest points given up in any quarter by the Nets, who had yielded six points to Boston during a January 9, 1990 contest and to Chicago during a November 21, 2001 game.
New Jersey entered the final period trailing 60-57, but scored the period's first seven points to seize control. Krstic tallied the first four and Lamond Murray's three opened a 64-60 lead.
Portland continued its struggles and eventually trailed 71-61 on Krstic's jumper with 4:37 left, as New Jersey scored 14 of the first 15 points in the fourth stanza.
Jefferson's three-pointer followed by Carter's highlight reel slam made the score 78-63 and capped a forgettable final period for the Trail Blazers
Portland led 24-23 after the first stanza but fell behind 42-40 at the half.
New Jersey improved to 20-9 at home this season...Portland fell to 6-27 on the road...The Trail Blazers failed to reach 70 points in back-to-back games for the first time in franchise history. They were routed, 95-66, by Chicago on Tuesday...Martell Webster tallied 11 points in the loss.NJN POR