Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 11/27

Game 1: Thursday, November 27th
Game 2: Tuesday, January 6th

Nets 102

(7-7, 5-2 away)

Clippers 96

(4-7, 2-3 home)

7:00 PM ET, November 27, 2003

STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA

1 2 3 4 T
NJ 19 26 27 30102
LAC 25 12 29 3096

Top Performers

New Jersey: K. Kittles 22 Pts, 6 Reb, 3 Ast

Los Angeles: C. Maggette 20 Pts, 6 Reb, 3 Ast

Kidd has 18 points, 10 assists

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Jason Kidd and the New Jersey Nets are returning to championship form.

The two-time defending Eastern Conference champion Nets beat the Los Angeles Clippers 102-96 on Thursday night to run their road record to 5-2.

"Beginning up in Seattle, we started playing the way we know we can," said Kidd, who had 18 points and 10 assists. "We are picking it up on both ends of the floor.

"Our defense was very good, holding them to just a few points during that second quarter run."

The Nets outscored Los Angeles 26-12 in the second quarter and held the Clippers to 3-for-22 shooting. New Jersey led 45-37 at the half and didn't trail the rest of the way.

The Nets were coming off a 93-70 win in Seattle on Tuesday night. They held the SuperSonics to 25 points in the second half.

"We're getting there," New Jersey coach Byron Scott said. "We're starting to play with a little more confidence and I think the purpose is there, the urgency is there.

"We need to pay a little more attention to detail."

Kerry Kittles scored 22 points and Jason Collins added 18 against the Clippers, who kept it close before losing their fifth in a row.

Corey Maggette had 20 points, and Chris Wilcox had 15 points and 10 rebounds for Los Angeles. Quentin Richardson had 17 points after shooting 0-for-7 in the first half. He finished 5-of-15.

"They are a veteran team and it showed tonight," Richardson said.

The Clippers closed within 80-75 on Doug Overton's layup midway through the fourth quarter. But Kenyon Martin made two free throws and hit a short jumper as the Nets opened the lead again.

The Nets sealed the win by going 14-of-15 from the free throw line in the final 5:13.

New Jersey was ahead 72-66 going into the fourth quarter, pulling away after Los Angeles drew even at 52 on Maggette's two free throws with 5:26 left in the third period. That foul was Martin's fourth and second in a span of 14 seconds, forcing him to sit out the rest of the third quarter.

Maggette scored 13 points in the quarter.

Down 29-21 early in the second period, New Jersey reeled off a 22-2 run to go up 43-31 with 2:57 remaining in the half.

Richardson, playing despite a sprained left ankle, missed all five of his shots in the second quarter.

Wilcox made all four shots he took from the floor and scored nine points in the first quarter to help the Clippers grab a 25-19 lead.

The Nets were the cold shooters in the first quarter, making just seven of 23 shots as they fell behind. Collins' six points was their high for the period.

Game notes

Los Angeles F Elton Brand missed his 10th consecutive game with a stress fracture in his right foot. Brand said before the game that he expects to begin practicing again by next Tuesday or Wednesday. ... Scott believes the Nets are capable of making it to the NBA Finals for a third consecutive year despite Alonzo Mourning's retirement. "The thing that helps us is that these guys are still together, but the experience level is a factor now. I definitely think we can get back there. I think we can still win it." ... The Clippers wore throwback uniforms, their 1979 white outfits with power blue and orange accents, and nautical flags down each side of their shorts, their uniform when the played in San Diego. Melvin Ely got into the theme, sporting a large afro. "He is the real version of the 1979 throwback guy, with the 'fro and high socks and everything to go with the uniform," Maggette said, chuckling.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 102 96
FGM-FGA 32-77 (.416) 33-86 (.384)
3PM-3PA 4-10 (.400) 4-15 (.267)
FTM-FTA 34-43 (.791) 26-30 (.867)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 14-44 18-53
Assists 24 15
Turnovers 13 18
Steals 11 7
Blocks 5 3
Fast Break Points 6 1
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 23 (2/0) 32 (0/0)

Top Performers

New Jersey
Los Angeles
Kerry Kittles Kittles
Points: 22
Reb: 6
Ast: 3
Stl: 0
Blk: 0
Corey Maggette Maggette
Points: 20
Reb: 6
Ast: 3
Stl: 0
Blk: 0