Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series starts 11/9

Game 1: Sunday, November 9th
Game 2: Friday, December 26th
Game 3: Tuesday, February 10th
Game 4: Thursday, March 18th

Nets 82

(15-13, 7-7 away)

Pistons 79

(16-13, 9-5 home)

8:00 PM ET, December 26, 2003

The Palace of Auburn Hills, Detroit, MI

1 2 3 4 T
NJ 22 12 20 2882
DET 12 15 31 2179

Top Performers

New Jersey: J. Kidd 24 Pts, 11 Reb, 12 Ast, 2 Stl

Detroit: B. Wallace 12 Pts, 18 Reb, 5 Ast, 2 Stl, 3 Blk

Kidd's free throws preserve win

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- Jason Kidd did it all -- including making his free throws when it mattered most.

Kidd had 24 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds for his NBA-leading fifth triple-double, and the New Jersey Nets held on for a 82-79 win over the Detroit Pistons on Friday night.

"I'm not trying to fill up the stat sheet," Kidd said. "I'm just trying to make the play that presents itself."

Kidd made all six of his free throws in the final 1:13, and Chauncey Billups missed two 3-pointers in the final seconds.

Kidd shot 7-of-18, including 4-of-5 on 3-pointers. Richard Jefferson scored 27 for the Atlantic Division-leading Nets, who have won eight of 10.

"This may have been the best win of the season for us," New Jersey coach Byron Scott said.

The reeling Pistons have lost seven of nine.

"We get more and more frustrated every day," Ben Wallace said.

Detroit's Richard Hamilton scored 20 and Billups had 15, but the backcourt duo made just 13 of 34 shots. Wallace grabbed 18 rebounds and scored 12 points for his 11th double-double with a season-high five assists.

Corliss Williamson scored eight of his 14 points in the third quarter and Detroit harassed the Nets on defense to come back after trailing by double digits in each of the first three quarters.

Detroit took the lead for the first time with 23.8 seconds left in the third quarter. The Pistons started the final quarter with a 58-54 lead thanks to a 20-6 run.

After three ties and a slew of lead changes, Kidd gave the Nets three-point leads with 1:13 and 16.8 seconds left. Wallace's putback made it 80-79 with 10.7 seconds left, then Kidd made two more free throws.

"I thought we had pretty good shots in the fourth quarter," Detroit coach Larry Brown said. "We just couldn't stop them."

The Nets made 56.3 percent of their shots in the final quarter while Detroit shot 42.1 percent in the quarter.

New Jersey's Kenyon Martin had 11 points and 11 rebounds, and Kerry Kittles scored 10 points.

Detroit got back into the game after an awful start.

The Pistons had more turnovers (four) than points (two) with four minutes left in the first quarter after missing 10 of their first 11 shots. New Jersey led by as many as 13 while holding Detroit to a season-low 12 points in the first quarter.

New Jersey started the second quarter with a 22-12 lead.

Kidd made both of his 3-point attempts in the first quarter, and scored eight of his 24 points.

"From the start of the game, you could tell Jason was into this one," Scott said. "He had his mind to where he was going to do anything possible to make sure we were going to win this game."

The Pistons trailed just 34-27 at halftime despite shooting 30 percent and not taking one free throw.

Game notes

New Jersey's Aaron Williams missed his fourth straight game with a groin injury, and is expected to miss Saturday's game at Indiana. ... Singer Kid Rock watched from a courtside seat with actress Jamie Pressly. .... The Nets are 2-20 at The Palace during the regular season since 1991-92.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 82 79
FGM-FGA 31-80 (.388) 31-82 (.378)
3PM-3PA 4-13 (.308) 5-18 (.278)
FTM-FTA 16-26 (.615) 12-18 (.667)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 17-53 11-44
Assists 27 20
Turnovers 11 12
Steals 6 4
Blocks 4 10
Fast Break Points 8 5
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 19 (0/0) 22 (0/0)

Top Performers

New Jersey
Jason Kidd Kidd
Points: 24
Reb: 11
Ast: 12
Stl: 2
Blk: 0
Ben Wallace Wallace
Points: 12
Reb: 18
Ast: 5
Stl: 2
Blk: 3