EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- Jason Kidd showed LeBron James how
it's done on both ends of the court, and threw in a lesson in
Kidd had 26 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds and played a
major part in limiting James to 14 points in the New Jersey Nets'
97-82 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night.
The highlight of the show came when Kidd faked a behind-the-back
pass on a third-quarter fast break and pulled the ball back for a
"It was one of the best plays of the year, by far," James said
after his worst game in almost a month. "It will be on the Top
James performance was among his worst 10.
"I wasn't as aggressive as I have been in the last 12 games,"
said James, who had four points and three assists in the second
half. "It was very cold out there, but that's no excuse. I should
have been more aggressive and I should have attacked more."
His point total was his lowest since scoring eight against
Atlanta on Dec. 6. The top pick in the NBA draft had scored at
least 17 points in his previous 12 games and had averaged 27.3
since Dec. 11. But James couldn't make anything happen with Kidd,
Richard Jefferson and Kerry Kittles challenging him every time he
touched the ball.
James threw up two airballs, missed two free throws, had two
shots blocked -- the first by Kidd -- and struggled with his shot,
going 6-of-19. He also had nine assists and four rebounds.
While cheered when introduced, the crowd started booing James
every time he touched the ball and shouted "Air-ball" when he
failed to hit anything.
James impressed Kidd, though.
"The special thing is he doesn't have to beat you by scoring,"
Kidd said after the Nets won for the 11th time in 14 games. "He is
6-foot-8, 240, and to be 19-years old and have the composure he has
-- He is special."
Jefferson and Kittles added 20 points apiece and Kenyon Martin
dominated inside, collecting 16 points, 13 rebounds, three blocks
and five steals.
Carlos Boozer had his sixth straight double-double for the
Cavaliers with 16 points and 13 assists.
New Jersey shot 24-of-39 in the second half, with Kidd going
7-of-8 while scoring 17 points.
After being down by four at the half, the Nets took the lead in
the third quarter and broke the game open in the fourth after Kevin
Ollie hit a three-point play to get the Cavaliers within 74-72.
Martin ignited a 12-0 run with a three-point play and Kidd, who
was 9-of-18 from the field, hit consecutive jumpers in transition
to push the lead to 81-72.
"He's crazy man," Martin said of Kidd. "LeBron has probably
never seen anything like that. He tends to do things that people
don't even think about."
Lucious Harris added a jumper and Jefferson followed with a
3-pointer that started the blowout.
Nets backup center Aaron Williams missed his eighth
straight game with a groin injury. ...Cavs coach Paul Silas expects
C DeSagana Diop should come off the injured list next week. ...The
Nets have won five straight here against Cleveland. ... Kittles
moved into fourth place on the Nets all-time scoring (6,418) and
field goal (2,474) list. He past Mike Gminski in points and Derrick
Coleman in field goals. ...New Jersey tied a season high with seven