Nets respond to Scott's criticism, clobber Cavs

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- After ripping his New Jersey Nets, Byron Scott watched them do the same thing to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Kenyon Martin had 21 points and 10 rebounds and the Nets, after
being scolded by Scott, hit 14 of their first 15 shots in a 120-79
victory over Cleveland on Friday night.

"We had a good meeting,'' said Jason Kidd, who scored 11 of his 16 points in the big first quarter in which the Nets shot 80 percent. "Coach expressed how he felt. We all knew we weren't playing our best basketball. Cleveland was the victim tonight.''

The Nets had been the victim on Wednesday, being embarrassed in
a loss to Boston.

After waiting two days, Scott ripped his team following their shootaround on Friday morning.

The energetic Nets responded by hitting 16 of 20 shots in the
first quarter, including 12 in a row in one span.

"We need to do that all the time if we are going to win a championship,'' Scott said. "We can't wait until we get embarrassed and then respond. We have to understand that every team is going to try to beat us and if they do, it is just a notch on their belt.''

Cleveland never had that chance, especially after the Nets
missed only four shots in taking a 37-22 first-quarter lead. The
margin grew to 21 in the second quarter and eventually as high as
44 as New Jersey sent Cleveland to its ninth straight loss.

"We happened to be just what the doctor ordered for the Nets to get their confidence back,'' coach John Lucas said. "They really came and played very well. We were very undermanned and we didn't play well.''

The Nets' points, margin of victory (41) and final shooting
percentage (53.7 percent) were all season-highs. The loss was also
Cleveland's worst of the season. The previous worst was 27.

Richard Jefferson and Dikembe Mutombo added 12 points apiece for
New Jersey. Backups Anthony Johnson (13) and rookie Tamar Slay (11)
also had season-highs as eight Nets scored in double figures.

Smush Parker had 18 points and Carlos Boozer added 16 points and 11 rebounds for the error-prone Cavaliers, who had 31 turnovers contributing to 47 New Jersey points. Cleveland played without forward Tyrone Hill (flu).

The Nets' start was spectacular.

Kidd got things going with a fast-break layup and Martin hit a
hook shot. After Kerry Kittles missed a 20-foot jumper, New Jersey
hit every shot from the field over the next 7:36. Jefferson started
the run with a 15-foot jumper and Martin ended it with a 9-footer
with 2:48 to go in the quarter.

Game notes
Scott arrived at the Continental Airlines Arena about an
hour before game time after being stuck in a traffic jam that
extended his 20-minute trip to an hour. ... Dajuan Wagner, the
rookie from Camden, N.J., still has not played because of a bladder
infection. ... Martin finished 8-for-11 from the field. ... Every
Net scored.


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