Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 11/4

Game 1: Monday, November 4th
Game 2: Saturday, November 23rd

Nets 106

(4-0, 3-0 home)

    7:30 PM ET, November 4, 2002

    IZOD Center, East Rutherford, NJ

    1 2 3 4 T
    MIN 25 14 22 2182
    NJ 22 22 39 23106

    Top Performers

    Min: K. Garnett 23 Pts, 10 Reb, 5 Ast, 4 Stl

    NJ: R. Jefferson 22 Pts, 4 Reb, 3 Ast, 3 Stl

    Nets trounce T-Wolves behind Jefferson, tough defense

    EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- The way the New Jersey Nets are playing, Jason Kidd's prediction of 60 wins this season might be too low.

    Richard Jefferson

    Richard Jefferson matched his career high with 22 points and the undefeated Nets forced the Minnesota Timberwolves into a team-record 29 turnovers in a 106-82 victory Monday night.

    ''They're good,'' said Kevin Garnett, who led Minnesota with 23 points and 10 rebounds. ''I'm not going to sit here and (knock) them. I'm not going to take that away from them. They were the better team tonight.''

    In winning their fourth straight and moving within a victory of their best start, the Nets were far better than Minnesota on both ends of the court.

    Not only did New Jersey win, Kidd only had to play 30 minutes, scoring 10 points and 12 assists.

    Jefferson, who was 8-for-13 from the field, and the Nets defense went a long way in allowing Kidd to rest the entire fourth quarter.

    ''I knew what I was capable of doing,'' said Jefferson, who became a starter after Keith Van Horn was traded in the offseason. ''My teammates and coaches knew what I was capable of doing. That's why they put me in that position. I'm not doing anything amazing.''

    That's debatable. Jefferson made a host of highlight-reel plays, the best being a windmill jam over 7-foot center Rasho Nesterovic after a second-quarter baseline drive.

    ''I don't give him too much credit, but when I go home and relax I'll go 'Phew!''' veteran Nets guard Lucious Harris said. ''You keep giving him credit, you don't know how big his head will be.''

    The emotional Jefferson bumped chests with teammates after the play, and that seemed to tick off Garnett. They were called for coincidental technical fouls just before halftime after exchanging words after Jefferson missed a free throw.

    Both players downplayed the technicals, saying they were just being competitive.

    Jefferson scored 17 points in the third quarter, when the Nets outscored Minnesota 39-22 to take an 83-61 lead.

    The high-flying Jefferson hit two spectacular reverse layups and put an exclamation mark on the big quarter with one-handed windmill dunk on a fast break.

    ''He's always been fearless,'' Kidd said. ''I think he is growing as a player and a person. We expect good things from R.J.''

    Harris added 16 points, Kerry Kittles 14 and Kenyon Martin 13 for the defending Eastern Conference champions.

    Garnett didn't have much help with Wally Szczerbiak still sidelined with a dislocated toe. Troy Hudson and Reggie Slater added 10 points apiece for the Timberwolves, who were outscored 61-36 combined in the second and third quarters.

    The Timberwolves' previous high for turnovers this season was 16. Minnesota had that many in the first half. The turnovers led to 39 New Jersey points.

    Game notes

    Minnesota's previous record for turnovers was 28, set most recently against Sacramento in 1994. ... Nothing went right for the Timberwolves. Kendall Gill's 3-pointer at the end of the third quarter was not allowed, and videotape replay confirmed the call was correct. ... Garbage time allowed Nets backups Anthony Johnson and Brian Scalabrine to score for the first time this season. Johnson had nine points. ... The Nets had 15 turnovers.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 82 106
    FGM-FGA 28-65 (.431) 39-85 (.459)
    3PM-3PA 1-5 (.200) 6-18 (.333)
    FTM-FTA 25-29 (.862) 22-26 (.846)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 6-38 10-40
    Assists 21 31
    Turnovers 29 15
    Steals 7 14
    Blocks 7 4
    Fast Break Points 8 6
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 21 (4/0) 21 (3/0)

    Top Performers

    New Jersey
    Kevin Garnett Garnett
    Points: 23
    Reb: 10
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 4
    Blk: 0
    Richard Jefferson Jefferson
    Points: 22
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 3
    Blk: 0