Final

Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 11/30

Game 1: Saturday, November 30th
Nets93Final
Trail Blazers86
Game 2: Wednesday, December 11th
Trail Blazers104Final
Nets105

Nets 93

(11-6, 4-5 away)

Trail Blazers 86

(7-8, 5-3 home)

    7:00 PM ET, November 30, 2002

    Moda Center, Portland, OR

    1 2 3 4 T
    NJ 17 28 32 1693
    POR 21 20 16 2986

    Top Performers

    NJ: J. Kidd 28 Pts, 4 Reb, 8 Ast, 2 Stl

    Por: B. Wells 20 Pts, 4 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Stl

    Kidd comes up big in final minute for Nets

    PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- After trailing by as many as 13 and then leading by as many as 25, Jason Kidd snuffed out a fourth-quarter rally by Portland.

    Jason Kidd
    Kidd

    Kidd scored six points in a final 9-2 run as the New Jersey Nets beat the Trail Blazers 93-86 Saturday night.

    ''A win is a win no matter if you win by two, one, or if you win by 30,'' said Kidd, who finished with 28 points and eight assists.

    The defending Eastern Conference champions had dropped their six previous games in Portland, last winning 99-98 back on Jan. 30, 1995.

    New Jersey had dropped its last two games, including a 126-118 overtime loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday.

    ''The last two games we just weren't able to close it out, we weren't able to make the big shot, and we weren't able to make free throws,'' Nets coach Byron Scott said. ''Tonight we did and the ball bounced our way a little bit. And we made some big shots.''

    The Nets, already playing without center Dikembe Mutombo, lost guard Kerry Kittles in the third quarter with an injury to his left knee.

    Kittles limped downcourt before he was helped to the locker room. The Nets said X-rays were negative and Kittles was day-to-day with a sprain.

    The game marked the return of Blazers' reserve forward Ruben Patterson, who was arrested Monday on felony domestic abuse charges and did not play Tuesday night in the Trail Blazers 77-71 victory over Houston.

    Patterson came into the game to start the second quarter and made his presence known with a layup and a free throw that made it 30-17 -- capping a 9-0 Blazers' run.

    But the Nets chipped away at the lead, and Kidd single-handedly took New Jersey from a 35-31 deficit to 38-35 lead with a 19-foot jumper, a driving layup and a 3-pointer with 3:38 to go before the half.

    Kittles' 3-pointer with 42 seconds left gave the Nets a 45-41 lead at the half.

    The Nets padded their lead throughout the third quarter, going up 75-50 on Rodney Rogers' 3-pointer with 2:40 to go.

    The Blazers made it a game in the fourth quarter, when Damon Stoudamire scored eight points in a 13-3 Portland run that narrowed the deficit to 82-79.

    Stoudamire's 3-pointer with 2:24 left tied it at 84-84, but Nets' final 9-2 run sealed it.

    ''The one thing we can learn is that the game is never over,'' Kidd said. ''We all understood that, we kept our composure and we got a win on the road.''

    Patterson's arrest came less than a week after teammates Rasheed Wallace and Stoudamire were cited for misdemeanor marijuana possession in Washington state.

    Stoudamire, who had 14 points in 16 minutes -- all in the second half -- had been benched in three of Portland's previous five games.

    ''I've been doing what I need to do so when my number is called I'll be ready,'' Stoudamire said. ''It felt good.''

    Mutombo injured his right wrist Thursday night against the Los Angeles Clippers and was a late scratch. Jason Collins filled in for Mutombo, who has averaged 7.3 points and 7.1 rebounds this season.

    The Blazers were led by Bonzi Wells, who scored 20 points. Richard Jefferson had 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Nets.

    Game notes


    It was not known whether Mutombo would play Sunday night against the Seattle SuperSonics. ''He'll have treatment tonight and treatment tomorrow morning,'' coach Byron Scott said. ''It will probably be the same situation -- we'll just have to wait and see.'' ... Blazers coach Maurice Cheeks went and sat in the row of seats behind the bench when his team went on its fourth-quarter run. ''That was a good lucky seat. I told the usher I was going to sit in it and bring us some luck,'' Cheeks said.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    NJ
    POR
    Points 93 86
    FGM-FGA 31-65 (.477) 34-84 (.405)
    3PM-3PA 5-12 (.417) 8-14 (.571)
    FTM-FTA 26-31 (.839) 10-20 (.500)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 5-41 12-38
    Assists 19 21
    Turnovers 19 15
    Steals 8 13
    Blocks 8 3
    Fast Break Points 7 5
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 23 (1/0) 28 (2/0)

    Top Performers

    New Jersey
    Portland
    Jason Kidd Kidd
    Points: 28
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 8
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Bonzi Wells Wells
    Points: 20
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0