EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- In a league dominated by
sky-scraping athletes, Lawrence Frank scored one for short people.
Frank set the NBA record for the best start to a coaching career
by winning his 10th straight game and Jason Kidd posted his 58th
career triple-double to lead the New Jersey Nets to a 98-92 win
over the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night.
"We're happy we got the win," said the 33-year-old Frank, who
wasn't good enough to make his high school team, in large part
because he was too small at 5-foot-7. "That record, they can trot
out anything. It's the smallest feat of an NBA head coach."
"It's unbelievable," said Kidd, who finished with 15 points, a
team-high 13 rebounds and 10 assists. "You couldn't ask for a
better script or you might say it's impossible. With coach Frank
and this team, nothing is impossible."
The win was the Nets' 11th straight overall, tying the franchise
record set in 1982-83.
"I'm happy for him," Nets All-Star forward Kenyon Martin said
after a 21-point, 10-rebound performance. "We're going to keep
this thing going on for him."
The win came in what might have been Rasheed Wallace's first and
last game with the Hawks. He was acquired before the All-Star break
amid speculation he will move again before Thursday's NBA trading
"I'm getting sick of (reporters) asking about it. I'm getting
sick of my family and friends', 'Yo, what are they going to do?"
-- Wallace said after scoring 20 points in a team-high 42 minutes.
"In a couple more hours it'll be over with, so that's all I'm
looking forward to."
Nets forward Richard Jefferson had 16 of his 23 points in the
second half, and Rodney Rogers scored all 10 of his points in the
final quarter, including two free throws that gave New Jersey an
89-87 lead with 2:50 to play.
Martin stretched the margin to four points with a putback after
Joel Przybilla missed a layup at the other end. Kerry Kittles made
it 93-87 with a rebound follow.
One streak that did come to an end for New Jersey was its run of
10 straight wins by 10 or more points.
"Everybody thinks that just because we're the Hawks we're going
to roll over and die," said Wallace, who added six rebounds.
"Maybe that was the thing before, but not now."
Frank and the Nets seemed to be in a little trouble late in the
third quarter when Jackson hit two 3-pointers and scored eight
straight points to give the Hawks a 68-63 lead.
However, Jefferson hit a jumper and Kidd picked up a loose ball
in the closing seconds and hit a half-court floater to tie the
Neither team led by more than four points in the fourth quarter
until the closing minutes.
"We're not looking to break records, we're just looking to
win," said Frank, who spent four years as a manager at Indiana,
working under Bobby Knight. "At the end of the day, if we are
committed to improving daily, all of those milestones and records
of the past will take care of themselves."
Przybilla had four points on 2 of 11 shooting in his debut
with the Hawks. ... The Hawks became the first team to outscore the
Nets (29-25) in the third quarter since Frank took over. ... Rogers
and Przybilla got matching technicals in the fourth quarter. ...
Wallace was 8 of 24. ... Larry Bird had 59 career triple-doubles.