Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 11/9

Game 1: Saturday, November 9th
Game 2: Monday, December 23rd
Game 3: Friday, February 14th
Game 4: Friday, April 11th

Nets 93

(5-2, 1-2 away)

Bulls 100

(3-4, 2-2 home)

    7:30 PM ET, November 9, 2002

    United Center, Chicago, IL

    1 2 3 4 T
    NJ 24 23 17 2993
    CHI 26 26 18 30100

    Top Performers

    New Jersey: J. Kidd 25 Pts, 11 Reb, 12 Ast, 2 Stl

    Chicago: J. Williams 26 Pts, 14 Reb, 13 Ast, 2 Stl

    Williams, Kidd both record a triple-double

    CHICAGO (AP) -- An hour before Saturday night's game, Chicago Bulls coach Bill Cartwright called Jay Williams into his office and shut the door.

    Jay Williams

    Jay Williams easily had the best game of his young career Saturday night.

    His rookie point guard had been struggling the last few games, worrying so much about creating shots for everyone else that he was forgetting the game that got him here.

    "He said, 'I just want you to play,''' Williams said.

    He definitely got the message. In his best NBA game yet, the No. 2 pick of the draft had a triple-double and made a 3-pointer with 34 seconds left to seal the Chicago Bulls' 100-93 victory over the New Jersey Nets.

    "Lately it was hard. I was trying to be the team orchestrator,'' said Williams, who got the game ball. ''(The talk) kind of took a big burden off my chest. I just went out and played.''

    He finished with 26 points, 13 assists and 14 rebounds, Chicago's first triple-double since Michael Jordan had one in April 1997. Jalen Rose also had 26 for the Bulls, who snapped a four-game losing streak.

    Jason Kidd scored 15 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter, but it wasn't enough as the Eastern Conference champs lost for only the second time this season. Kidd also had a triple-double with 12 assists and 11 rebounds.

    "It's early in the season and we are still trying to find our identity,'' Kidd said. "We haven't played a great game yet.''

    But Kidd did his best to keep New Jersey in it. After trailing by as many as 12 in the fourth quarter, he made two sets of free throws to pull New Jersey within 95-91 with 56 seconds left.

    Williams, the No. 2 pick in the draft, coolly answered back with a 3-pointer from just beyond the arc. After Kenyon Martin scored on a jumper, Williams drew a foul and made both free throws. As the ball swished through the net on the second shot to make it 100-93, the United Center crowd gave a loud roar.

    The Nets missed badly on two long shots before Williams grabbed the ball with about 10 seconds left. With Bulls fans screaming and his teammates jumping up and down on the bench, Williams calmly dribbled the ball at midcourt until time ran out.

    "I'm excited for Jay Williams, the way he stepped up,'' Rose said. "I'm not only happy for him, I'm proud of him. It's hard when you're a top pick and you're not playing the way you know you can. I think he felt a lot more confident today. He really came out and played the game of his life.''

    Donyell Marshall added 14 points and 15 rebounds off the bench for the Bulls. Martin led the Nets with a season-high 29 points.

    The Bulls had spent the last two games bumbling and fumbling around and getting blown out. But they finally got their act together, hustling for rebounds, taking care of the ball and being aggressive offensively instead of waiting for what opponents gave them.

    It paid off, as they took the lead early in the first quarter and never trailed again.

    "You can't come out and be lackadaisical and have no intensity and play with no emotion and no effort for the first half and think you are going to beat teams at the end. It's not going to happen,'' Nets coach Byron Scott said. "Hopefully this is a rude awakening for them.''

    The Bulls led 70-64 after three. Williams opened the fourth with a 3-pointer and then scored on a driving layup to put them ahead by 11, their largest lead of the game.

    But the Nets weren't done yet. Kidd hit a 3 and followed it up with a free throw to pull the Nets to 85-83 with 4:06 to play -- the closest they'd been since the start of the second quarter. Thirty seconds later, he tied it up with another pair of free throws.

    Rose and Marshall each made a pair of free throws to give the Bulls the lead back. Rose followed with a 3-pointer that made it 92-85 with 2:36 to play. The Nets immediately called a timeout, and the rowdy United Center crowd got to its feet to give the Bulls a standing ovation.

    Two minutes later, the fans were screaming again as Williams sealed it with a 3.

    "It was weird. When I was in the attack mode, it was like everything seemed so much easier,'' Williams said. "It was good. It was like, `I can play.'''

    Game notes

    Kidd's triple-double was the 47th of his career and the first of this season. ... Chicago had its first sellout, with 22,126 fans. ... Bulls coach Bill Cartwright got a technical foul with 8:31 left in the third for arguing a no-call. ... Bulls G Jamal Crawford missed the game to be with his ill grandmother, who lives in his hometown of Seattle.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 93 100
    FGM-FGA 35-88 (.398) 37-86 (.430)
    3PM-3PA 3-13 (.231) 7-16 (.438)
    FTM-FTA 20-25 (.800) 19-27 (.704)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 14-49 14-48
    Assists 28 21
    Turnovers 11 15
    Steals 4 5
    Blocks 4 2
    Fast Break Points 9 6
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 23 (1/0) 21 (1/0)

    Top Performers

    New Jersey
    Jason Kidd Kidd
    Points: 25
    Reb: 11
    Ast: 12
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Jay Williams Williams
    Points: 26
    Reb: 14
    Ast: 13
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0