New Jersey wins series 4-1 (Game 3 of 5)

New Jersey wins series 4-1

Game 1: Sunday, May 5th
Game 2: Tuesday, May 7th
Game 3: Thursday, May 9th
Game 4: Sunday, May 12th
Game 5: Wednesday, May 15th

Nets 97

(52-30, 19-22 away)

Hornets 115

(44-38, 21-20 home)

    7:00 PM ET, May 9, 2002

    Charlotte Coliseum, Charlotte, NC

    1 2 3 4 T
    NJ 12 33 24 2897
    CHA 26 25 33 31115

    Top Performers

    NJ: J. Kidd 13 Pts, 7 Reb, 6 Ast, 1 Stl

    Cha: B. Davis 26 Pts, 7 Reb, 8 Ast, 7 Stl

    Wesley recovers, Kidd does not as Hornets roll

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- David Wesley had a big red knot on his forehead and a splitting headache. He had ice packs on both knees and his right elbow while both of his feet soaked in water.

     David Wesley

    As long as the Charlotte Hornets won, it was all worth it.

    Wesley shook off a head-to-head collision with Jason Kidd, then lifted Charlotte back into the Eastern Conference semifinals by scoring 22 points and providing an emotional spark in the Hornets' 115-97 victory over the New Jersey Nets on Thursday night.

    "I've got a headache and I'm feeling kind of numb," he said. "But I knew I could continue to play, and with the season on the line, there was no way I wouldn't."

    Baron Davis scored 26 points, Jamaal Magloire added 16 points and six blocked shots, and George Lynch had 12 points and 12 rebounds for the Hornets, who trail the Nets 2-1 in the best-of-seven series. Game 4 is Sunday in Charlotte.

    Kidd, who needed stitches to close a gash over his right eye following the collision with Wesley late in the first half, scored just 13 points. He played just five minutes and scored four points after smacking his head.

    New Jersey's trainers said "they lost count" of how many stitches Kidd needed and the guard did not answer questions after the game. He was escorted out of the locker room and walked with his head down straight to the bus.

    "Jason's injury did have an impact on the game and it was a negative one," said Kenyon Martin, who also scored 13 points. "When your leader goes down, it's kind of hard to swallow."

    Richard Jefferson led the Nets with 16 points, while Keith Van Horn had 12 and Kerry Kittles 11.

    The game was played on the eve of the NBA owners' scheduled vote on Charlotte's relocation request and it is an expected formality, with approval of the Hornets' move to New Orleans all but guaranteed.

    The pending departure of the 14-year-old franchise failed to increase the crowd as just 11,363 turned out in one of the Hornets' final games in Charlotte.

    But those on hand were loud and even rowdy at times, standing and waving towels while coaxing on the Hornets.

    "We don't need 23,000 in here," Wesley said. "The fans who do come are behind us 100 percent. I think they sense the ending coming and they come here and show appreciation for the 14 years we've given them."

    The fans gave Wesley, at five years the longest tenured Hornet and Charlotte's captain, two standing ovations. One came late in the game when he turned to the fans and began clapping as New Jersey shot meaningless free throws.

    The first ovation came when he left the court after the frightening collision with Kidd.

    Kidd was dribbling the ball up court when Davis poked it away from behind. As Kidd reached to his left to get it back, Wesley stepped in front of him and the two hit heads.

    Both fell to the floor grabbing their heads and the Hornets had to call a timeout to stop play and trainers rushed onto the floor to help them.

    Kidd, blood streaming down his face, walked to the locker room with a towel covering his face. Wesley was on the court for several minutes before being helped to his feet and then needed assistance walking off.

    Kidd, who remained in the locker room at the start of the second half, returned to the game with 8:56 left in the third quarter, two bandages covering his eyebrow.

    Wesley started the second half -- getting hugs from his mother and his teammates before play resumed -- and proved he was fine by draining an 18-foot jumper from the left corner just over a minute into the third quarter.

    "He's a little battering ram," Brown said. "It was very scary, he's one of our leaders. But he got up like a warrior and bounced right back."

    Wesley's basket came during a stretch of seven straight Charlotte points -- two of the baskets were fast-break layups by Davis that Kidd would have tried to defend if he'd been in the game -- that gave the Hornets a 58-48 lead.

    Even after Kidd came back, the Nets couldn't.

    They cut the score to 61-55 on Kidd's driving layup, his only basket of the third quarter, but Davis answered with a 3-pointer that sparked a 15-5 run.

    "Jason's the leader, when the leader goes down you're going to struggle," Hornets coach Paul Silas said. "When he came back in, he didn't respond too well and they couldn't get any rhythm with him out of there."

    New Jersey had several breakdowns during the stretch -- Kidd and Williams had two turnovers, the Nets committed four fouls and Magloire blocked two shots -- that helped the Hornets build a 76-60 lead with 2:26 left in the third.

    Kidd had to leave the game again when blood began trickling down his face and he didn't come back until the fourth quarter was under way. By that time, the Nets trailed 90-74 and couldn't climb back.

    Game notes

    Hornets leading scorer Jamal Mashburn missed his sixth straight game with lingering effects from a virus and was a no-show on the sidelines after Silas made attendance optional but did say "his presence sure would help uplift us." Several Hornets wore armbands with Mashburn's jersey No. 24 on them. ... Nets reserve Lucious Harris, who scored 24 points in Game 2, was held scoreless in the first half and finished with just two points. ... New Jersey's bench outscored Charlotte 44-33, increasing the three game total to 115-75.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 97 115
    FGM-FGA 34-81 (.420) 41-75 (.547)
    3PM-3PA 3-16 (.188) 4-10 (.400)
    FTM-FTA 26-34 (.765) 29-37 (.784)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 14-36 13-45
    Assists 21 25
    Turnovers 15 15
    Steals 11 11
    Blocks 3 8
    Fast Break Points 3 4
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 27 (0/0) 26 (0/0)

    Top Performers

    New Jersey
    Jason Kidd Kidd
    Points: 13
    Reb: 7
    Ast: 6
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0
    Baron Davis Davis
    Points: 26
    Reb: 7
    Ast: 8
    Stl: 7
    Blk: 0