Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 11/14

Game 1: Friday, November 14th
Game 2: Sunday, January 4th
Game 3: Friday, March 19th
Game 4: Friday, April 2nd

Knicks 80

(2-6, 1-4 away)

Nets 85

(4-5, 2-3 home)

    Coverage: MSG

    7:30 PM ET, November 14, 2003

    IZOD Center, East Rutherford, NJ

    1 2 3 4 T
    NY 18 13 28 2180
    NJ 22 15 22 2685

    Top Performers

    NY: A. Houston 31 Pts, 2 Reb, 2 Ast, 3 Stl

    NJ: J. Kidd 19 Pts, 2 Reb, 10 Ast, 2 Stl

    Kidd plays fewer minutes in win

    EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- Taking a couple of minutes of playing time away from Jason Kidd helped Byron Scott and the New Jersey Nets.

    A more-rested Kidd scored 11 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter, and the Nets avoided another early season embarrassment by beating the struggling New York Knicks 85-80 Friday night.

    Kidd's performance came after Scott promised to cut his All-Star point guard's minutes, which were averaging more than 41. The total went down to 36 on Friday.

    "When you play 40-something minutes, as much you want to compete, sometimes that can dilute things," said Kidd, who also had three of his 10 assists in the final quarter. "When you can be around 36 to 38 minutes, that helps. Your legs are fresher, defensively and offensively."

    Kidd shot 3-of-5 from the field down the stretch and 4-of-6 from the free throw line.

    Kenyon Martin added 21 points and 10 rebounds as the two-time defending Eastern Conference champions snapped a two-game losing streak and three-game skid at home by handing the Knicks their third straight loss.

    "He (Scott) took me and Jason out early, so that helped a little bit toward the end of the game," Martin said. "We got that early break. It was needed with a back-to-back."

    Kerry Kittles added 15 points, including a late 3-pointer that helped break the game open. Rookie guard Zoran Planinic got Kidd's minutes and scored nine points.

    Planinic had scored four points in 37 minutes in his first seven games.

    "Before I was trying to please everybody," said Planinic, the Croatian who was the Nets' first-round draft pick. "Other guards pressured me. The easiest way is to go by them. I didn't do that before."

    Allan Houston almost single-handedly kept the Knicks in the game in the second half, scoring 20 of his 31 points. Kurt Thomas added 14 points and 14 rebounds, while Keith Van Horn had nine points and 11 rebounds against one of his former teams.

    Kidd got the Nets going early in the fourth quarter after Clarence Weatherspoon slammed home a dunk off a baseline drive and added two free throws to give New York its final lead, 63-60.

    Kidd tied the game with a second-chance 3-pointer off a feed from Planinic. After two free throws by Alonzo Mourning gave New Jersey the lead, Kidd fed Martin for two pick-and-roll layups. Two free throws by Jefferson stretched the lead to 71-63 before the Knicks drew to 74-73 on a 3-pointer by Howard Eisley, who had nine points and six assists in his first start of the season.

    Kidd, however, hit a jumper, two free throws and scored a layup off an assist by Kittles to give New Jersey an 80-73 lead. The Knicks never got closer than five points the rest of the way.

    "You fight so hard to get back into the game, then when you need to do the most you have to find ways to win games instead of to lose games," said Houston, who was 11-of-20 from the field, including 4-of-6 from long range.

    In recent years, the Nets were good when the Knicks were bad and vice versa. This year, the metropolitan area is in trouble -- at least the way things look now.

    The second quarter was a perfect example. The teams combined for 28 points on 13-for-34 shooting while turning the ball over 15 times.< ^Notes@: Knicks C Dikembe Mutombo, who left the game early in the first quarter with a strained groin, managed to get called for an offensive foul jumping on the opening tipoff. ...Nets G Robert Pack did not play in his first game back with the team. ... The Knicks had 23 turnovers, three more than the Nets.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 80 85
    FGM-FGA 27-72 (.375) 30-69 (.435)
    3PM-3PA 6-17 (.353) 4-7 (.571)
    FTM-FTA 20-22 (.909) 21-34 (.618)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 9-43 10-39
    Assists 18 24
    Turnovers 23 20
    Steals 12 12
    Blocks 6 2
    Fast Break Points 3 6
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 31 (0/0) 19 (0/0)

    Top Performers

    New York
    New Jersey
    Allan Houston Houston
    Points: 31
    Reb: 2
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 3
    Blk: 0
    Jason Kidd Kidd
    Points: 19
    Reb: 2
    Ast: 10
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0