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Nets' rout of Magic 13th straight at home

4/6/2002

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- Maybe New Jersey Nets coach Byron
Scott had the right idea when he questioned the intensity level of
forward Keith Van Horn.

Whatever Scott said seemed to have worked Friday night as Van
Horn rebounded from his worst performance of the season with 20
points and a season-high 15 rebounds, leading the Nets to a 110-85
win over the Orlando Magic.

Van Horn said that he didn't want to comment on what Scott had
said Wednesday, but admitted he played with a little more fire.

"I wanted to come out with a strong effort," said Van Horn,
who scored 10 of his points during the third quarter and seven
during an 18-2 run in the second quarter that put the game away.

"I really wanted to redeem myself from the other night. I think
we all came out with aggressiveness from the start," said Van
Horn, who scored only two points Wednesday against the Lakers.

Scott said that he liked what he saw from Van Horn from the
opening tip.

"I thought Keith was really aggressive from the start,
especially on the defensive end, getting up on guys," said Scott,
whose team tied the franchise's NBA record for victories in a
season with 49, matching the mark set in 1982-83.

"It's no coincidence that if you get going on the defensive
end, the offense seems to follow. Keith didn't have to prove
anything to me. He was just more aggressive than he had been and
stayed focused."

Jason Kidd had 14 points and 10 assists as the Nets extended
their franchise-record home winning streak to 13 games.

Only Sacramento (33-4) has a better home mark than the Nets
(32-6).

Kidd spearheaded a spectacular 18-2 second-quarter run that put
the game out of reach, scoring five points and making four dazzling
passes that led to easy baskets.

He thought that Scott's harsh words may have sent a message to
Van Horn.

"He challenged Keith and Keith responded," Kidd said. "Coach
did the right thing in getting under Keith's skin and get him
going."

Kenyon Martin scored 19 points and reserve Lucious Harris added
15 for the Nets.

Tracy McGrady scored 21 points and Troy Hudson added 20 for the
Magic, who remained in fourth place in the Eastern Conference
standings.

The Nets maintained a three-game lead over Detroit atop the
standings with six games remaining.

Orlando looked sluggish from the outset, playing its second game
on consecutive nights after having defeated Cleveland at home
Thursday.

"We definitely came in here tired," said McGrady, who didn't
play at all in the fourth quarter. "It's definitely a challenge
for this club to see if we can play a good team on back-to-back
nights. It was a big challenge for us tonight. I thought we could
fight through it."

Orlando is now 5-13 on the back half of back-to-back games.

The Nets never trailed, scoring the game's first points and
jumping out to a 20-8 lead with 3:52 remaining in the first
quarter. Kidd and Martin scored six points each in the early run,
and the Nets held a 27-19 lead after the first quarter. Kidd made
three 3-pointers in the first quarter.

The Magic crept within six, 38-32 with 5:24 remaining in the
first half, on a 3-pointer by McGrady. However the Nets went on
their 18-2 run over the next 4:40.

Kidd scored five points on two drives to the basket, then made
three straight sparkling passes that led to easy baskets for Van
Horn, Kittles and Martin.

Kittles then slammed home an alley-oop from Van Horn, capping
the run and giving the Nets a 56-34 lead with 1:07 remaining in the
half.

Scott credited the Nets' defensive effort. "That was some of
the best defense we've played," Scott said. "Our guys came out on
a mission. Because of our defense, we were able to play our game
and run the floor."

The Nets now have a chance to clinch the franchise's first
divisional championship Sunday with a win against the Celtics at
home.

"Hopefully, we can come out with the same attitude," Scott
said. "It's nice to get the 49th win, but we still have some
bigger things left. We're not going to stop at 49."

The Nets maintained a comfortable lead in the third quarter,
thanks to 10 points from Van Horn. Their biggest lead came with
6:01 remaining, 102-71 on a three-point play by rookie Richard
Jefferson.

Game notes
Patrick Ewing was greeted by a standing ovation from the
sellout crowd when he entered the game with 6:19 remaining in the
second quarter. Ewing, whose playing time has been extremely
limited of late, saw only two minutes of action. His lone shot
attempt was blocked by Nets' center Todd MacCulloch. ... Although
the Nets tied their NBA record for victories in a season, the true
franchise record is the 58 wins the Nets enjoyed in 1974-75 -- the
last year the team played in the ABA. Led by Julius Erving, the
Nets won at least 55 games in three straight ABA seasons (1973-75).
... Before the season, Kidd predicted that the Nets would win at
least 40 games. Asked if he thought the team could win 50, Kidd
replied, "If I would have said that we could have won 50 back
then, I would have had to be drug tested." ... The Nets can clinch
the Atlantic Division title with a win against Boston on Sunday.
... The sellout crowd of 20,049 was the Nets' third straight and
the seventh of the season.