Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 3/2

Game 1: Tuesday, March 2nd
Game 2: Wednesday, March 10th

Nuggets 97


Nets 98

(39-24, 22-9 home)

    7:30 PM ET, March 10, 2004

    IZOD Center, East Rutherford, NJ

    1 2 3 4 T
    DEN 27 14 27 2997
    NJ 25 27 25 2198

    Top Performers

    Den: A. Miller 22 Pts, 2 Reb, 6 Ast, 1 Stl

    NJ: K. Martin 28 Pts, 9 Reb, 3 Ast, 2 Stl, 2 Blk

    Martin, Jefferson the 1-2 punch for Nets

    EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- Jason Kidd had low expectations in his first game back after missing four with a bone bruise in his left knee.

    "I just tried to make it up and down the court," Kidd said.

    He did more than that, finishing with eight points and 13 assists in the New Jersey Nets' 98-97 win over the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday night.

    "I was just trying to get back into the rhythm of things," Kidd said. "I hope my teammates weren't expecting a lot from me tonight."

    Kidd, whose playing status was a question mark until the starting lineups were introduced, played 39 minutes. Some rust was evident as he committed six turnovers.

    While Kidd didn't have a vintage performance, the Nets were happy to have their All-Star point guard back.

    "I thought he looked like himself," Nets coach Lawrence Frank said. "He did a tremendous job and it didn't look like he was gasping for air. It was a game-time decision when there was wasn't much swelling [in the knee]."

    Kenyon Martin scored 28 points and Richard Jefferson added 26 for the Nets.

    Carmelo Anthony led the Nuggets with 24 points. Andre Miller had 22 and Nene and Voshon Lenard each had 15.

    The Nets seemed to have the game under control when they took a 93-81 lead with 4:15 remaining after five straight points by Jason Collins.

    But the Nuggets came back with 13-3 run to cut their deficit to two with 1:06 left. Nene led the way with seven points. After Marcus Camby blocked Kerry Kittles' shot, Earl Boykins missed a jumper that would have tied it.

    Martin hit a pair of free throws with 35 seconds left for a four-point lead, and Anthony missed a 3-pointer before Camby missed a tip. Kidd missed two free throws with 16 seconds remaining, but all the Nuggets could manage after that was a 3-pointer by Lenard as time expired.

    "The only thing frustrating is when we play hard to the end and we still come up short," Anthony said. "That's the only thing we should be frustrated about. As far as playing hard, I don't think anybody is hanging their heads."

    Miller scored 14 points in the first quarter to help Denver take a 27-25 lead.

    Martin helped spark the Nets in the second quarter as New Jersey built a 52-41 lead at the half.

    Martin picked up a technical foul when he continued to argue an earlier out-of-bounds call. The Nets stole the ball on the next possession and Martin, taking a behind-the-back pass from Kidd, slammed home a highlight-reel dunk that gave the Nets a 44-37 lead.

    Anthony scored the first four points of the third quarter to set the tone for the half. The Nets never relinquished the lead but the Nuggets kept pecking away, narrowing the New Jersey lead to 70-66 on a 19-foot jumper by Anthony with 2:34 left.

    New Jersey reeled off the next seven points with Brian Scalabrine hitting a 3-pointer to cap the run.

    Game notes

    New Jersey has won five straight and six of last seven meetings with Denver. ... The game was the second of a three-game road trip for the Nuggets that started Tuesday with their 30-point rout of the Washington Wizards. The trip concludes Friday at Milwaukee. ... Anthony and Jefferson were called for double technical fouls for a heated verbal exchange under the Nets' basket. ... Kidd took a season-low eight field-goal attempts. ... Frank improved his record to 17-4 as Nets head coach and has yet to lose consecutive games.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 97 98
    FGM-FGA 39-86 (.453) 38-67 (.567)
    3PM-3PA 3-8 (.375) 4-8 (.500)
    FTM-FTA 16-18 (.889) 18-23 (.783)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 13-36 4-30
    Assists 21 27
    Turnovers 12 20
    Steals 12 7
    Blocks 4 3
    Fast Break Points 6 5
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 20 (1/0) 19 (2/0)

    Top Performers

    New Jersey
    Andre Miller Miller
    Points: 22
    Reb: 2
    Ast: 6
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0
    Kenyon Martin Martin
    Points: 28
    Reb: 9
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 2