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Martin and Kidd lead way for Nets

12/30/2002

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The New Jersey Nets came into their game
against the Milwaukee Bucks focused on improving their play away
from home.

Kenyon Martin scored 24 points and Jason Kidd added 23 as the
Nets completed a home-and-home sweep of the Bucks with a 104-96
victory Saturday night.

"We need to start playing better on the road and I think our
guys realized that and came out with an aggressive mindset,''
Martin said.

Lucious Harris, who scored 25 points in Friday's 110-90 win over
the Bucks, had 17, Richard Jefferson 16 and Jason Collins 11 as all
five starters reached double figures for the Nets, who are only 5-8
on the road.

"We've played well on the road, and we've just had some tough
losses,'' Kidd said. "Tonight, I think we came out with the
attitude that sooner or later we've got to start winning some games
on the road.''

Milwaukee's Michael Redd came away thoroughly impressed with the
Nets.

"You have to give them credit, they're the best team in the
East,'' said Redd, who was 9-for-10 and finished with 21 points to
lead the Bucks.

Sam Cassell added 20 points, Ray Allen 19 and Tim Thomas 12, but
the trio combined for 15-of-44 shooting and the Bucks had
difficulty preventing New Jersey from getting inside during the
entire second half.

"That's their game,'' Milwaukee coach George Karl said. "And
right now, they're in a very good rhythm.''

New Jersey led 55-53 before tormenting the Bucks inside for an
11-2 run that boosted the lead to 11. It was 75-64 going into the
fourth quarter.

Milwaukee was within four with just under five minutes left, but
the Nets responded with baskets by Martin and Jefferson to take a
92-84 lead. Allen's 3-pointer and two free throws by Cassell made
it 92-89 at 3:01.

A runner by Martin and dunk by Jefferson put the Nets ahead by
seven at 2:22. After two free throws by Cassell, New Jersey
outscored the Bucks 8-5 in the final two minutes.

"They did a great job exposing some of the things we do on
defense,'' Redd said.

The Nets controlled the first quarter, bolting to a 25-10 lead
after less than 10 minutes. It was 32-16 after one quarter, with
the Nets shooting 60 percent. But the Bucks opened the second with
a 9-0 run, eventually closing within two before the Nets used an
8-0 run to lead 49-43 at halftime.

Kidd had 13 points, Martin 12 and Harris 11 in the first half as
the Nets trailed twice -- 2-0 and 4-2.

"Right now, we're not making enough shots,'' Karl said. "Right
now, we're shooting too low a percentage to beat a good team.''

New Jersey coach Byron Scott likes what he's seen in December.
The Nets are 22-9 and in first place in the Atlantic Division.

"We've obviously grown the last month or so,'' Scott said.
"Our goal is to get better each month, and I think we've
accomplished that.''

Game notes
The Nets, unbeaten in their last 12 home games, are 10-4
against the Western Conference. They lost 99-93 at Milwaukee on
Nov. 6. ... The Bucks lead the all-time series 64-52. ... The Bucks
are 8-4 when scoring 100 or more points, 4-8 when they score
between 90-99 and 0-5 when they score 89 or less. ... Allen missed
the final five minutes of the third quarter and almost three
minutes at the start of the fourth when he returned to the locker
room to get his ankles retaped.