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Nets win fourth straight

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- Kerry Kittles' slump is over.

Snapping out of a funk that's plagued him the past two weeks,
Kittles drained three 3-pointers in the final four minutes while
scoring 22 points to lead the Nets to their fourth straight victory
-- 99-95 over the tenacious Orlando Magic on Friday night.

"He won the ball game," teammate Jason Kidd said. "Kerry made
some big 3s, stopped their run and extended our lead. That's what
he does best."

With the Nets trailing 83-79, Kittles drilled his first 3 with
3:34 remaining. That started a burst of seven straight points for
New Jersey over the next minute.

After Orlando rallied to go ahead by a point, Kittles hit his
second 3 with 1:34 to go. Drew Gooden tied the game at 89 with a
jump hook, but Kittles' third 3 put the Nets ahead to stay with
1:02 left.

"My stroke felt real good," said Kittles, who had 18 points in
the second half.

Kittles shot 9-for-12, including 4-for-5 on 3-pointers. In
Kittles' previous seven games, he was averaging less than nine
points while shooting below 40 percent, including 21 percent on
3-pointers.

"I would like to see this on a day-to-day basis with Kerry,"
Nets coach Byron Scott said.

Richard Jefferson added 19 points while Kenyon Martin had 16
points and 15 rebounds for his seventh double-double of the season.

Kidd scored eight points on season-worst 1-for-10 shooting. But
he had eight rebounds and a season-high 15 assists, his outlet
passes feeding the Nets' 23 fast-break points.

"We have a thing on our team: 'Do what you do," said
Jefferson, who has 50 points in his last two games. "Me and Kenyon
run and rebound; Kerry, you hit 3s; J-Kidd, you pass the ball.
That's our theme."

Orlando, which had a modest two-game winning streak after 19
straight losses, got 20 points and a season-best six assists from
Juwan Howard. Tracy McGrady shook off an early foot injury to add
20 points and nine rebounds, and Gooden had 19 points and 13
rebounds off the bench.

The Magic allowed New Jersey 62 second-half points on 51 percent
shooting. Unable to stop the Nets' transition game, Orlando
surrendered 16 fast-break points after halftime.

"You want to give your defense a chance to work for you, and
when you're giving up transition points that's impossible,"
Orlando coach Johnny Davis said. "We should've done a much better
job on defense and making them work their halfcourt offense."

Said McGrady: "Jason Kidd, Kerry Kittles, Richard Jefferson --
it's a track meet."

As awful as Orlando's season has been, the Magic received their
biggest scare when McGrady hurt his right foot late in the second
quarter.

The NBA's second-leading scorer sprained the middle part of his
right foot with 3:21 remaining before halftime when the Jefferson
collided with him during a scramble for a rebound.

"It's on the inside of my foot, and it's a throbbing sensation
up in there," McGrady said. "It was painful but I was able to
tolerate it, so that's why I played."

McGrady's free throws after the foul put the Magic ahead 35-28.
Orlando soon led by 11 but settled for a 45-37 advantage at the
break. Earlier, New Jersey center Jason Collins sprained an ankle
and missed the rest of the game.

Collins had eight points and four rebounds in 11 minutes.

Game notes
Orlando point guard Tyronn Lue suffered a strained left
groin late in the third quarter and didn't return. He had six
points and four assists. ... Howard had a streak of 29 straight
free throws snapped with 1:26 left in the third quarter. Darrell
Armstrong owns the Orlando record, making 47 straight in 1999-2000.
... The Nets can go over .500 with a win at Memphis on Saturday
night. The Nets haven't had a winning record since Dec. 1, when
they won at Washington to go 2-1. ... Before the game, New Jersey
activated forward Damone Brown and guard Tamar Slay from the
injured list. To make room on the roster, guards Brandon Armstrong
and Zoran Planinic were placed on the injured list. ... Former
Magic forward Monty Williams was among the 14,092 in attendance.
Williams is on the Philadelphia 76ers' roster, but knee problems
have kept him on the injured list all season and his career may be
over.

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