Nets outscore Minnesota 42-16 in the paint

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- Jason Kidd lifted the New Jersey Nets after Kenyon Martin was carried off the floor.

Kidd picked up his game after Martin went down with an ugly
ankle sprain and finished with 21 points, 14 assists and 11
rebounds in leading the Nets to an 84-61 victory over the Minnesota
Timberwolves on Friday night.

"I thought I could help rebound," Kidd said after his 51st
career triple-double. "I continued to push the ball and look for
the open guy. I wasn't looking so much to score more, but I was
trying to be more aggressive. We have to take it upon ourselves to
pick it up."

Coming off the floor after winning their home opener, the Nets
were very concerned about Martin, their power forward who fell
awkwardly early in the third quarter attempting to block a shot by
Latrell Sprewell.

However, 15 minutes after the game they learned that X-rays of
Martin's ankle were negative.

"Anytime it's a sprain, it's a lot a better than being broke,"
Kidd said. "The depth of our team will be tested early. We'll see
how we fare."

Martin, the Nets' emotional leader, went down with 10:05 left in
the third when he landed on Sprewell's foot. His weight went one
way and his ankle bent back toward the basket.

"I felt him on my ankle and then I looked and saw him
grimacing," Sprewell said.

Martin immediately fell to the court and slammed his fist into
the floor three or four times, He had to be helped to the locker
room by teammates Aaron Williams and Brian Scalabrine.

Richard Jefferson added 26 points for the Nets, who will now remember the game for holding Minnesota to a franchise low in points.

"We really shut them down," Nets center Jason Collins said after helping to hold Minnesota to 33 percent shooting from the field.

Kevin Garnett had 23 points to lead the Timberwolves, whose previous team low was 66 against Atlanta in 1997.

"It's the second game of the season and we have guys still
learning the offense," Garnett said.

The Timberwolves, limited to 10 first-quarter points, got within
49-44 when Garnett hit a jumper with 7:12 to play.

Kidd then hit two free throws, fed Jefferson for a dunk, made
one of two free throws after grabbing a rebound and fed Alonzo
Mourning for a dunk to push the lead back to 56-44.

Kidd had 13 points, eight assists and seven rebounds in the
second half.

Martin finished with 11 points, and Mourning had 10. New Jersey
outscored Minnesota 42-16 in the paint.

The Nets dominated the opening half on both ends of the floor in
taking a 44-30 lead.

The opening five minutes set the tone for the game. Kerry
Kittles hit a backdoor layup, and Jefferson scored on an alley-oop
in a game-opening 12-2 spurt from which Minnesota never recovered.

New Jersey was able to convert both inside and out, and the
Timberwolves struggled for every basket, scoring just 10 points
while hitting 24 percent from the field.

The Nets led by as many as 18 points in the half, and only the
injury to Martin made things a little interesting in the second

Game notes
New York Yankees second baseman Alfonso Soriano, who struck
out a record 26 times in the postseason, was booed when his picture
was shown on the overhead screen in the second quarter. Soriano
also got a thrill in the third quarter when Garnett leaped over him chasing a loose ball. ... Nets backup F Rodney Rogers didn't play
because of a cut on his thumb sustained in the season opener.


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