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Kittles displays shooting touch, scores season-high 35

2/5/2003

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Once Kerry Kittles got going, nobody was
stopping him.

Kittles scored a season-high 35 points, leading the New Jersey
Nets to a 111-85 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday
night.

"I got into a pretty good rhythm early and hit some 3s," said
Kittles, who finished 12-of-16, including 5-of-8 from 3-point
range. "I was getting good looks."

The Atlantic Division-leading Nets have won six of seven after
losing their first three games on a West Coast trip. New Jersey
heads into the All-Star break tied with Indiana for the best record
in the Eastern Conference at 34-15.

Allen Iverson had 28 points and Keith Van Horn added 16 for the
Sixers, who have lost three of four and enter the break at 25-24.

"The second half was real disappointing," Sixers coach Larry
Brown said. "We didn't match their energy. They executed great.
They put on a clinic."

Jason Collins had 13, and Brian Scalabrine and Aaron Williams
each had 12 for the Nets.

Jason Kidd, who played despite a stomach flu, had eight points,
seven rebounds and six assists in 27 minutes.

"We really had it going tonight," Nets coach Byron Scott said.
"They beat us the first time and we really wanted this one."

The Nets broke open a close game early in the second quarter
with a 12-0 run. They outscored Philadelphia 24-3 over a stretch of
6:42 in the second to take a 51-31 lead.

After Van Horn's hook shot gave the Sixers a 28-27 lead, New
Jersey scored the next 12. Former Sixer Lucious Harris began the
run with a jumper and Richard Jefferson had a driving dunk.

The Sixers cut the deficit to 14 at halftime, and got to 57-45
on a layup by Van Horn to start the third. But the Nets scored 14
straight to put the game out of reach.

Kittles opened the run with a 3-pointer, a layup and a driving
layup. He capped the spurt with another 3 that made it 71-45 just
3:44 into the third.

New Jersey led by at least 20 the rest of the way.

"We were just trying to maintain our aggressiveness," Kittles
said.

Scott was quite pleased with Kittles' performance.

"He really stepped it up," Scott said. "He hit big shot after
big shot."

The Nets lost forward Kenyon Martin to a left knee sprain in the
first quarter. Martin didn't return, but said he'll be back after
the All-Star break.

"I could've stayed in if it was a playoff game," Martin said.

The injury-depleted Sixers got forward Kenny Thomas and swingman
Greg Buckner back from injuries, but it didn't help their
performance. After opening 10-0 at the First Union Center, the
Sixers have lost 11 of 16 at home, including nine of the last 11.

It was so bad for Philadelphia that team chairman Ed Snider left
his courtside seat and spent most of the second half deep in
conversation with general Billy King at King's seat in the stands.

"I just wasn't happy," Snider said. "Billy and I were
discussing what we're going to do about it. We want to make this
team better and we're going to do everything in our power to make
it better."

Game notes
Thomas returned after missing six games with a thigh bruise
and Buckner came back after sitting out four games with hip and
groin injuries. ... The Sixers beat the Nets 108-107 at the First
Union Center in their only other meeting Jan. 15. ... Nets guard
Chris Childs missed the game with a stomach virus. ... Sixers guard
Aaron McKie left in the third quarter with a right ankle injury and
didn't return. ... It was Van Horn's second game against his former
teammates. Van Horn came to Philadelphia with Todd MacCulloch in
the trade for Dikembe Mutombo last offseason. Neither Mutombo nor
MacCulloch played. Mutombo is out with a wrist injury, and
MacCulloch has been plagued by foot problems. ... The Nets were
26-of-28 from the foul line.

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