Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 11/10

Game 1: Saturday, November 10th
Game 2: Friday, December 7th
Game 3: Wednesday, December 26th
Game 4: Tuesday, March 19th

Nets 91

(17-9, 8-6 away)

Cavaliers 89

(11-17, 7-8 home)

    7:00 PM ET, December 26, 2001

    Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH

    1 2 3 4 T
    NJ 31 24 17 1991
    CLE 19 16 26 2889

    Top Performers

    NJ: J. Kidd 27 Pts, 13 Reb, 7 Ast, 2 Stl

    Cle: A. Miller 14 Pts, 7 Reb, 13 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

    Both Kidd, Miller near triple-doubles in PG duel

    CLEVELAND (AP) -- Jason Kidd's team is having a better season than Andre Miller's team, and Kidd had the better night Wednesday.

    Andre Miller

    Jason Kidd

    Kidd outdueled Miller in a matchup of premier point guards, scoring 27 points to lead the New Jersey Nets to a 91-89 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

    Kidd also had 13 rebounds and seven assists in 41 minutes. He twice stopped Cleveland rallies with 3-pointers, and is now 6-0 in head-to-head matchups with Miller -- including 3-0 this season.

    "I played him more than I wanted," Nets coach Byron Scott said. "I had to ride that horse. He did everything for us."

    After the Cavaliers whittled a 25-point deficit to 86-84, Kidd sank a 3-pointer from the right wing with 1:08 to play for an 89-84 lead.

    "They had us going backwards and I was trying to be aggressive," Kidd said. "If they had given me a layup, I would have taken it."

    Kidd also hit a 3 with 8.1 seconds left in the third quarter to end a 19-3 run by the Cavaliers.

    "They'll say what a great effort we had, but that's garbage," Cavaliers coach John Lucas said. "We want to win these games. We're not great, but we're better than that. We didn't play smart."

    Miller, who entered the game leading the NBA in assists at 11.1 a game, had 14 points, 13 assists and seven rebounds. His tenacious play nearly tied the score in the final seconds.

    "Every play down the stretch is crucial," Jumaine Jones said. "We didn't make enough of them."

    Miller hustled for the rebound of a missed shot by teammate Ricky Davis with 14 seconds left. Miller missed a short jumper, but again scrapped for the ball, stole it from the Nets' Jason Collins, and passed to Jones, who misfired on a 3-point attempt.

    Nets coach Byron Scott admitted he breathed a sigh of relief.

    "Very much so," he said. "It could have easily gotten away from us."

    Kidd turned the game around early.

    Trailing 13-4, Scott called a timeout. Ten seconds later, Kidd hit a 15-foot jumper to spark New Jersey on a 10-0 run that turned into a 43-11 run by midway through the second quarter.

    Kidd scored six straight points, then twice passed to Kerry Kittles for easy layups and a 14-13 lead.

    Kidd finished the first quarter with a flair. He snared a rebound with four seconds left, split defenders Bimbo Coles and Davis at midcourt and buried a 21-footer as the buzzer sounded.

    He had 15 points, six rebounds and four assists in the quarter as the Nets took a 31-19 lead.

    "Jason Kidd willed this game," Lucas said.

    The Nets were without forward Kenyon Martin, their second-leading scorer who served a one game suspension by the NBA. Martin also was fined $7,500 for a flagrant foul against Karl Malone of the Utah Jazz last Saturday.

    Chris Mihm had 19 points and center Zydrunas Ilgauskas had 15 points and 12 rebounds as Cleveland took advantage of Martin's absence.

    Richard Jefferson, making his first career start in place of Martin, had 16 points.

    Game notes
    The Cavs were without forward Lamond Murray, who averages 16 points a game. He has not practiced since straining his lower back Saturday against Indiana and is day to day. ... The Nets had used the same five starters in their first 25 games, a team record. ... Nets guard Brandon Armstrong did not play because of a strained lower back. ... The Cavs blocked 16 shots, including a career-high six by Jones. ... Cleveland leads the all-time series 67-49, including 42-16 at home.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 91 89
    FGM-FGA 39-89 (.438) 36-96 (.375)
    3PM-3PA 3-10 (.300) 5-17 (.294)
    FTM-FTA 10-16 (.625) 12-18 (.667)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 17-49 21-54
    Assists 23 23
    Turnovers 17 10
    Steals 4 11
    Blocks 7 16
    Fast Break Points 12 8
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 15 (0/0) 18 (0/0)

    Top Performers

    New Jersey
    Jason Kidd Kidd
    Points: 27
    Reb: 13
    Ast: 7
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Andre Miller Miller
    Points: 14
    Reb: 7
    Ast: 13
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 1