Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 12/14

Game 1: Friday, December 14th
Game 2: Tuesday, January 8th
Game 3: Saturday, January 26th
Game 4: Friday, March 15th

Nets 95


Heat 86

(4-17, 3-9 home)

    7:30 PM ET, December 14, 2001

    AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, FL

    1 2 3 4 T
    NJ 26 22 31 1695
    MIA 20 32 18 1686

    Top Performers

    NJ: K. Kittles 27 Pts, 5 Reb, 2 Ast, 4 Stl

    Mia: J. Jackson 24 Pts, 6 Reb, 2 Ast

    Atlantic-leading Nets keep rolling along

    MIAMI (AP) -- Once Kenyon Martin started dunking, there was little Alonzo Mourning and the Miami Heat could do.

    Kerry Kittles scored a season-high 27 points and Martin put on a dunking show and added 25 as the New Jersey Nets defeated the turnover-prone Miami Heat 95-86 friday night.

    Kittles made 10 of 18 shots and Martin shot 12-of-19 with six dunks as the Nets won for the fourth time in five games.

    Martin's signature dunk of the night came in the second quarter, a two-handed slam over the 6-foot-10 Mourning. By the time Martin was finished, the Nets had maintained their hold on first place in the Atlantic Division.

    "If I get the ball, I don't even think about it," Martin said. "If I see that I have a lane, I'm going for it. It's pretty much a done deal if I get a running start."

    While Kittles did most of his damage from the outside, there was nothing subtle about Martin's game. He attacked the rim with authority and made it fun for his teammates and coach to watch.

    "Kenyon made some unbelievable plays tonight," Nets coach Byron Scott said. "The play where he went right at Alonzo was unbelievable. He was spectacular. He is a very emotional player, he has had some good practices of late, and tonight he had a break-out game."

    Martin and Kittles helped the Nets run over and past the Heat, who matched a season-high with 22 turnovers and dropped to 4-17. The Heat are 2-3 since snapping a 12-game losing skid.

    "We got out-played, out-coached, out-moved, out-dunked and out-ran," Miami coach Pat Riley said. "My guys didn't quit. They just got out-classed. I got out-classed, period.

    "That team (New Jersey) has passion, they stay with their offense, they run breaks, they dunk over the top, they get second shots and hit threes. They're a great team right now."

    The Heat came back from an 11-point deficit in the first quarter and took a 52-48 halftime lead. But New Jersey outscored Miami 31-18 in the third period, aided by eight Heat turnovers, to open a 79-70 lead. Kittles and Jason Kidd combined for 15 points in the period.

    Kittles' 3-pointer snapped a 56-56 tie, and the Nets then went on an 18-10 run to build a 77-66 lead with 1:10 left in the quarter.

    Miami could get no closer than seven points in the fourth quarter.

    Kidd had 13 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds for New Jersey.

    "The first five minutes of the second half are the most important of the game," Martin said. "We did what we had to do. They had 52 in the first half and 34 in the second. That was the difference in the game."

    Jim Jackson scored 24 points to lead the Heat, who have lost eight of their last nine games at home. Brian Grant added 12 points and 10 rebounds.

    "A team like New Jersey wants to play in the open court," Jackson said. "If you give them turnovers and fast-break points, they're going to kill you."

    Game notes
    The Heat activated swingman Kendall Gill one day after releasing Sam Mack. Gill scored three points in 10 minutes. Gill was placed on the injured list Nov. 10 with a fractured pinky finger on his left hand suffered Nov. 6 against Seattle. He missed 16 games. ... Count Kidd among those who feel badly for what Heat center Alonzo Mourning is going through with his kidney disease. "He's a competitor, a warrior who comes to play every night," Kidd said. ...Besides Gill, Heat players Chris Gatling, Vladimir Stepania and Jackson once played for the Nets. ...Martin scored the Nets' first eight points in the second quarter and wound up with 12 points in the period. ...Miami's 52 points in the first half matched a season high. ...Miami's LaPhonso Ellis picked up a flagrant foul against rookie center Jason Collins late in the fourth quarter.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 95 86
    FGM-FGA 39-85 (.459) 36-70 (.514)
    3PM-3PA 4-14 (.286) 4-6 (.667)
    FTM-FTA 13-20 (.650) 10-14 (.714)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 12-37 8-39
    Assists 28 18
    Turnovers 9 22
    Steals 9 5
    Blocks 3 7
    Fast Break Points 15 8
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 15 (1/0) 19 (0/1)

    Top Performers

    New Jersey
    Kerry Kittles Kittles
    Points: 27
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 4
    Blk: 0
    Jim Jackson Jackson
    Points: 24
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0