Final / OT

Regular Season Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series starts 11/1

Game 1: Saturday, November 1st
Game 2: Friday, December 19th
Game 3: Wednesday, January 14th
Game 4: Wednesday, March 31st

Nets 103

(43-31, 19-19 away)

Wizards 99

(23-52, 16-22 home)

    7:00 PM ET, March 31, 2004

    Verizon Center, Washington, DC

    1 2 3 4 OT T
    NJ 24 17 25 27 10103
    WSH 27 23 23 20 699

    Top Performers

    NJ: R. Jefferson 28 Pts, 14 Reb, 5 Ast, 2 Stl

    WSH: L. Hughes 22 Pts, 13 Reb, 3 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

    Jefferson scores 28 for N.J.

    WASHINGTON (AP) -- The New Jersey Nets can win without Jason Kidd and Kenyon Martin -- if their opponent is weak enough.

    With Kidd still sidelined and Martin unable to play more than a few ineffective minutes, the Nets fumbled and scraped and somehow broke a three-game losing streak with Wednesday night's 103-99 overtime victory over the Washington Wizards.

    Richard Jefferson, trying to hold down the fort while his teammates recover, led the Nets with 28 points and a season-high 14 rebounds. He also tied his career high with seven turnovers.

    "I didn't do a good job today," said Jefferson, who is averaging 26 points in seven games since Kidd and Martin were injured. "I had some careless passes. ... We are learning how to play with this unit."

    Lucious Harris added a season-high 24 points, and Kerry Kittles scored 18 and helped forced overtime with a 3-pointer and a blocked shot in the final minute of regulation.

    The Nets overcame a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit to provide an exciting finish to a game that included 46 turnovers and was missing major star-power.

    Martin returned after missing six games with a sore left knee, but he played just 12 minutes and committed four turnovers as a reserve in the first half.

    "It just didn't feel right out there, once we started going up and down," said Martin, who ruled himself out for Friday's game against New York. "The pain came back. That is what I wanted to see, just to give it a go."

    The Nets are 2-5 -- beating only Chicago and Washington -- since Kidd bruised his knee and Martin succumbed to tendinitis. They committed 21 turnovers in the first three quarters Wednesday, although they had just three in the fourth quarter and overtime.

    "Our guys showed a great amount of character and resiliency when things weren't going well," coach Lawrence Frank said.

    Washington's Jerry Stackhouse started for the first time since March 13, but he was gone in the first quarter after picking up two technical fouls, leaving the Wizards with just Gilbert Arenas and Larry Hughes as the only scoring threats. The pair took 47 of their team's 85 shots.

    Arenas finished with 29 points and seven turnovers. Hughes had 22 points and a career-high 13 rebounds. The Wizards have lost four straight, six of seven and are 1-20 against Atlantic Division teams.

    Washington had just one assist in the second half and made no field goals and just three free throws in the final four minutes of regulation.

    "We just aren't G-O-O-D enough," coach Eddie Jordan said. "We have a lot of heart to play hard, we're just not talented enough to win the game. We're short-handed. Gilbert has his touches, Larry gets his touches, and that's where we have to go. Nobody else can score for us. Nobody else can make a play for us, so that's where we are talent-wise."

    Kittles tied the game at 93 with a 3-pointer from the right baseline with 39 seconds remaining, then blocked Mitchell Butler's 3-point attempt to set up overtime.

    In the extra period, the Nets took their first lead since the first quarter and moved ahead by four on Jefferson's runner in the paint with 26 seconds remaining.

    The Wizards started their big three -- Stackhouse, Arenas and Larry Hughes -- for just the fourth time this season, but Stackhouse got his first technical for his reaction to his third personal foul, then was tossed for saying something from the bench shortly afterward.

    Stackhouse had been coming off the bench in recent games to ease the wear on his injured knee, but he started Wednesday because Kwame Brown was out with a sprained left ankle.

    Game notes

    New Jersey played their first overtime game of the season. ... The Nets swept the season series, 4-0, for the second time in four years. ... The Wizards activated forward Lonny Baxter from the injured list and placed forward Christian Laettner on the injured list with back spasms. Baxter had been sidelined since March 21 with right knee tendinitis. ... Wizards guard Juan Dixon missed his second consecutive game with a sprained ankle. ... Jazz great Herbie Hancock performed at halftime and afterward received the Jazz Masters Fellowship Award from the National Endowment of the Arts.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 103 99
    FGM-FGA 38-82 (.463) 29-85 (.341)
    3PM-3PA 3-15 (.200) 9-22 (.409)
    FTM-FTA 24-30 (.800) 32-41 (.780)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 9-49 12-46
    Assists 27 12
    Turnovers 24 22
    Steals 16 12
    Blocks 5 3
    Fast Break Points 7 6
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 29 (0/0) 25 (2/0)

    Top Performers

    New Jersey
    Richard Jefferson Jefferson
    Points: 28
    Reb: 14
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Larry Hughes Hughes
    Points: 22
    Reb: 13
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 1