Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 3)

Series starts 12/23

Game 1: Tuesday, December 23rd
Game 2: Friday, March 12th
Game 3: Tuesday, March 23rd

Bulls 76

(18-47, 6-26 away)

Nets 88

(40-24, 23-9 home)

    7:30 PM ET, March 12, 2004

    IZOD Center, East Rutherford, NJ

    1 2 3 4 T
    CHI 10 22 26 1876
    NJ 26 16 17 2988

    Top Performers

    Chi: J. Crawford 25 Pts, 1 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Stl

    NJ: R. Jefferson 27 Pts, 8 Reb, 6 Ast, 2 Stl

    Kidd ties Bird for triple-double mark

    EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- Jason Kidd put himself in some pretty lofty company with his 59th career triple-double.

    Kidd tied Larry Bird for fourth-most in NBA history, and the New Jersey Nets beat the Chicago Bulls 88-76 Friday night after blowing a 20-point lead.

    "He is one of the greatest players of all time," Nets forward Richard Jefferson said after Kidd moved within 19 of Wilt Chamberlain for third place.

    Oscar Robertson has the triple-double record of 181. Magic Johnson is second with 138.

    "Sometimes, it's hard to look at someone's career while they are still playing, while they are still pretty much in their prime," Jefferson said. "He is going to be third all time."

    The 30-year-old Kidd wasn't so sure.

    "It's a great honor," Kidd said. "When you look at those four guys that are up there, it's quite an honor. Those guys aren't too shabby. Someone asked me if I thought I could catch Wilt. Yes, if I get new legs and stay 30."

    Kidd finished with 13 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds as the Nets won consecutive games for the first time since Feb. 24 -- the final victory in their 14-game winning streak that ended the next night in Minnesota.

    Jefferson added 27 points as the Nets had to play the second half without All-Star power forward Kenyon Martin, who sprained his left ankle in the first quarter.

    Jamal Crawford scored 24 of his 25 points in the second half to help turn a laugher into a game that had Nets' fans booing late in the third quarter.

    Kirk Hinrich added 12 for the Bulls, who have lost five straight, nine of 11 overall and 26 of 32 road games. Tyson Chandler had 13 rebounds.

    The Bulls, who were held to 65 points in a loss to Detroit on Wednesday, came out just as cold, going 1-of-16 from the field in falling behind 24-4. Even a slam dunk attempt by a wide-open Chandler, who stands 7-foot-1, banged off the back of the iron.

    "It was terrible," Bulls center Eddy Curry said. "When you are out there going through that you wonder `When is it going to stop?" These guys are coming down making baskets and we can't get a look at the rim."

    While the Nets smiled and laughed, the Bulls never stopped playing.

    "It was only going to get worse if we didn't put forth some effort, get a few stops and fight to the end," Curry said.

    They used a 6-2 run at the end of a 10-point first quarter to cut the deficit to 16. They got within 10 at halftime, then had a 24-13 run to start the third quarter, grabbing a 56-55 lead on a 3-pointer by Linton Johnson with two minutes left in the period.

    That's when the Nets fans starting booing, and it woke the team up.

    "It's a game of runs," Kidd said. "We started off with a bang. Unfortunately, we couldn't end it right there. You have to give Chicago a lot of credit. They kept playing hard. They didn't let that big lead we got off to run them off."

    A 20-foot jumper by Brian Scalabrine, who got more playing time with Martin hurt, gave New Jersey a 59-58 lead after three quarters.

    Scalabrine and Kerry Kittles, who had 16 points, each hit 3-pointers in a 10-2 run that gave the Nets a 69-60 lead in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter.

    The closest Chicago got the rest of the way was five points.

    Martin was hurt in the opening minutes of the first quarter on a layup attempt. He went to the bench for two minutes and then returned. Martin had 10 points and four rebounds in 18 minutes.

    Game notes

    The Nets have won 21 of 24 at home since opening 2-6. ... Johnson also had 10 rebounds for Chicago. ... Scalabrine finished with 11 points and eight rebounds in 23 minutes. ...

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 76 88
    FGM-FGA 28-76 (.368) 38-81 (.469)
    3PM-3PA 6-17 (.353) 5-18 (.278)
    FTM-FTA 14-18 (.778) 7-11 (.636)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 9-41 8-44
    Assists 15 30
    Turnovers 18 17
    Steals 9 10
    Blocks 6 3
    Fast Break Points 3 11
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 13 (0/0) 22 (1/0)

    Top Performers

    New Jersey
    Jamal Crawford Crawford
    Points: 25
    Reb: 1
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Richard Jefferson Jefferson
    Points: 27
    Reb: 8
    Ast: 6
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0