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With Kidd's help, Martin has big game in return

1/4/2002

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- Jason Kidd was the star of the New
Jersey Nets' victory despite making just one of his 11 shots.

Kidd had 18 assists, seven rebounds, four steals and just one
turnover to lead the Nets to an 88-75 victory over the Detroit
Pistons on Thursday night.

"That's just how Jason is -- a great team player," Nets coach
Byron Scott said. "He's one of the few guys in this league that
can beat you without scoring. He had 18 assists and played great
defense. He threw a couple passes that I couldn't believe got
through, but he did it."

One of Kidd's main targets was Kenyon Martin, who scored 21
points. Martin returned from a one-game suspension by the NBA after
committing a flagrant foul on Karl Malone in Utah's victory Sunday.

"Kenyon told me before the game that he was ready, and that's
always a good sign," said Kidd, who scored four points. "I
believe my role is to get the other guys the ball, no matter how it
happens."

Martin enjoyed just being back on the floor.

"It was a great feeling to be out there with the fellas," he
said. "Jason was great tonight finding open guys and just being
Jason, and I was just being Kenyon."

Kerry Kittles added 15 points, and Aaron Williams 12 for the
Nets, who won for the second consecutive night and are off to the best
start in franchise history with an 18-9 record.

Jerry Stackhouse scored 16 points, but shot just 7-for-20, for
the Pistons, who returned home after an 0-5 West Coast road trip.
Cliff Robinson added 14 points, and Ben Wallace had 15 rebounds for
Detroit, which has lost six in a row and set a season low for
points scored.

"New Jersey is a really good team, and they played an
exceptional game," Pistons coach Rick Carlisle said. "Our effort
wasn't nearly what it needed to be to beat a team like the Nets.
That's the disappointing part of this."

The Nets, who led 44-39 at halftime, broke it open with a 12-2
run to start the second half. Kittles and Martin each scored five
points during the run to put New Jersey up 56-41.

Detroit narrowed the gap to 62-52, but couldn't keep up with the
Nets' Kidd-led fastbreak, and New Jersey increased its lead to
74-57 after three quarters.

New Jersey had 20 fastbreak points to just three for Detroit
through three quarters, and had a 44-10 edge on points in the
paint.

"We just didn't do any of the things that got us the wins at
the beginning of the season," Robinson said. "They came out
playing really well at the start of the second half, and instead of
working hard, we started looking for calls and bounces. That's
disappointing."

The Nets led by as many as 21 in the fourth quarter.

"They just kicked our butt in every facet of the game,"
Stackhouse said. "They just beat us -- plain and simple. We've got
to find our way back, but once you start spiraling like this, it
gets hard, because you lose confidence in yourselves."

Game notes
The Cincinnati and Toledo football teams, which are playing
in the Motor City Bowl on Saturday, were in attendance. ... The Bearcats
provided a large cheering section for Martin, who starred at
Cincinnati before being drafted by the Nets in 2000. ... Detroit's
last six-game losing streak came Jan. 4-16, 2001. ... The victory ended
New Jersey's six-game losing streak against Detroit, and was their
first triumph in the Palace since Feb. 5, 1994, a span of 14 games.