EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- The New Jersey Nets don't like
getting beat, and they try to make sure whoever does pays a price
the next time around.
The bill came due for the Phoenix Suns on Monday night.
Jason Kidd had 20 points, seven assists and six rebounds and the
Nets made amends for a dismal game in Phoenix less than two weeks
ago by ripping the Suns 106-93.
"We understand that we let one get away,'' said Nets forward
Richard Jefferson, who added 19 points. "We believe we're the
better team and that we should come out get the victory tonight.''
After a somewhat slow start, the Eastern Conference champion
Nets dominated the final three quarters. They wiped out an early
12-point deficit and built a 26-point lead before clearing the
It was a performance opposite their 82-75 loss in Phoenix on
Nov. 27. That point total was the lowest of the year for New
Jersey, as was their 29.5 percent shooting from the field.
"I hate that we lost to them in Phoenix,'' said Rodney Rogers,
who added 18 points against his former teammates. "I definitely
wanted to beat them in Phoenix. I hate that we had to split.''
Six players scored in double figures for the Nets, who shot
43-for-88 from the field (48.9 percent), including 14-for-25 in the
third quarter when they took control by outscoring Phoenix 34-13.
Rookie Amare Stoudemire had 19 points and 14 rebounds for the
Suns, who have lost five straight away from America West Arena and
are 1-7 on the road this season.
"We didn't play bad because of them, we played bad because of
us,'' said Suns point guard Stephon Marbury, who added 16 points.
"The first half, that's how we're supposed to play basketball. We
looked like two different teams.''
Kidd and the Nets defense had a lot to do with that.
"Both teams didn't make any shots in Phoenix,'' said Kidd, who
has turned the Nets into a contender since being acquired from
Phoenix for Marbury. "Both teams made shots here and it was a
question of who was going to make a stand first. I'm happy it was
us that slowed those guys down.''
Marbury sat in the locker room for almost 20 minutes before
talking to the media. He said he bruised his right thigh in a loss
to Memphis on Sunday, and he felt he probably should not have
played against New Jersey.
Phoenix built a 12-point lead early in the second quarter, but
New Jersey started pushing the ball inside midway through the
second quarter and it tied the game at 49 at halftime.
New Jersey led 83-62 after three quarter and the final 12
minutes were garbage time as the Nets won for the 10th time in 11
Kidd and company didn't get going until the starters were put
back on the floor with 6:14 left in the half. The ball suddenly
found its way inside and Kidd, Martin and Jefferson each scored six
points in a 20-11 run that tied the game at 49 at the half.
Nets G Chris Childs, who was suspended before the season
because of a weight problem may start practicing this week. ...The
win was Byron Scott's 92nd, moving him into sole possession of
second place on the Nets' all-time list behind Kevin Loughery
(129). ... While the Suns have won 15 of 21 against the Nets, they
have lost the last three at the Continental Airlines Arena. ...All
of the Nets 14 wins have been by at least seven points. ... Marbury
needed 30 tickets for family.
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