So with the Raptors dressing only the league-minimum eight
players and missing All-Star Vince Carter and starting guard
Voshon Lenard, the Nets had their way in an 88-77 win Friday night.
"You feel sorry for the injuries that they have,'' said
Jason Kidd, who scored 18 points and had five assists.
"They're missing their star player and had other guys out. I
wish they were healthy, because no one likes to win this way, but a
win is a win and the games have to be played,'' he said.
The Nets raced out to a 27-point lead with 10:14 remaining
before coach Byron Scott emptied the bench.
"It was a perfect scenario,'' said Scott, whose team defeated
Toronto for the fifth straight time at home. "We had a big lead,
so we tried to run things with our other guys while we were able to
rest our starters.''
Richard Jefferson added 15 points and eight rebounds, and wasn't
about to feel sorry for the Raptors.
"We're all playing hurt and banged up, too,'' said Jefferson,
who has been nursing a sprained big toe. "We're just as beat up as
anyone. We're not feeling sorry for anyone. We were not going to
lose this game.''
Kenyon Martin added 13 points and eight rebounds, while Kerry
Kittles scored 11 points off the bench for New Jersey, which tied
Indiana for the top record in the Eastern Conference with the
The Nets (28-11) improved their home record to 19-2.
The Nets took the lead for good early in the second quarter,
thanks to a jump shot from Jefferson that gave the Nets a 24-22
Jefferson's shot started the Nets on an 18-6 run that gave them
a 40-28 advantage that they gradually increased from that point on.
"We started to get some stops defensively and then we finally
put the ball in the basket,'' Kidd said. "Once we took control of
the game, we took care of business.''
The Raptors, who lost for the 14th time in their last 16 games,
received a game-high 20 points from Morris Peterson, who knew that
the Raptors were up against it from the outset.
"When you've got only eight guys and you play three games in
four days, you're going to be a little tired,'' Peterson said. "We
played hard but we had a lot of turnovers (a season-high 30). That
was the big difference. We have to take better care of the ball. We
can't have that. Right now, one mistake can cost us, let alone
Antonio Davis and Jelani McCoy added 11 points each for the
Raptors. After Jefferson scored the first six points of the fourth
quarter to blow the game wide open, Toronto then outscored the Nets
19-4 over the final four minutes of the game.
The victory was the Nets' 19th win of the season by 10
points or more. Only Dallas (22) has won more games by double
digits. ... The Raptors have eight players officially listed as
injured. ... Nets reserve forward Brian Scalabrine played a
season-high 35 minutes and scored eight points. "I'm going to
sleep well tonight,'' he said. ... The Nets now embark on a
five-game road trip against Western Conference teams. ... Nets
reserve forward Rodney Rogers missed his first game of the year
with a strained left calf that he injured against Philadelphia on
Wednesday night. "At first, I thought it was a lot worse,'' Rogers
said. "Let's see what happens.'' No timetable has been set for his