New Jersey wins series 4-0 (Game 1 of 4)

New Jersey wins series 4-0

Game 1: Saturday, April 17th
Game 2: Tuesday, April 20th
Game 3: Thursday, April 22nd
Game 4: Sunday, April 25th

Knicks 83

(39-43, 16-25 away)

Nets 107

(47-35, 28-13 home)

4:30 PM ET, April 17, 2004

IZOD Center, East Rutherford, NJ

1 2 3 4 T
NY 24 31 13 1583
NJ 30 32 24 21107

Top Performers

New York: N. Mohammed 16 Pts, 7 Reb, 4 Stl, 1 Blk

New Jersey: J. Kidd 14 Pts, 5 Reb, 13 Ast, 2 Stl

Knicks held to 28 points in second half

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- The New York Knicks took a pounding from the New Jersey Nets after making the mistake of pushing Jason Kidd around.

The beating was so bad, Knicks forward Tim Thomas left the arena in an ambulance and was to spend the night in a hospital after being flagrantly fouled by Jason Collins in the Nets' 107-83 victory Saturday.

"We lost round one, and we got our butts beat," Knicks point guard Stephon Marbury said. "It kind of looked ugly. If you were watching a boxing match and saw that first round, you'd probably think that guy was going to get killed."

Or knocked out, which is what happened to Thomas.

Driving to the basket midway through the fourth quarter, Thomas was hit hard across the body and in the face by Collins. He landed on his lower back, rolled over in pain and stayed down for a while before walking off with assistance.

X-rays were negative. Thomas was diagnosed with multiple contusions of the lower back, and he was wheeled out of the arena face down on a stretcher.

His status for Game 2 on Tuesday night is questionable.

Penny Hardaway and Kurt Thomas of New York did not think the foul was dirty, though Dikembe Mutombo disagreed.

"The best way to describe it was `Unnecessary.' You up more than 15 points and you are about to win your first game at home, why do you need it? Why do you need to foul someone that way?" Mutombo said.

Several of the Knicks were more surprised at the second-quarter play involving Kidd and New York backup guard Frank Williams, the one that seemed to kick Kidd into high gear.

Marbury, who only had 13 points and two assists, was on the bench with 7:34 to go in the quarter when the game turned.

Williams tried to take an offensive foul from Kidd as he led the fast break. Kidd fed Martin for a slam, and Williams and Kidd collided after the pass. Williams went down and Kidd stood over him and appeared to say something.

With the Knicks inbounding, Williams shoved Kidd to the floor. He got a technical, and the officials gave Kidd a technical for taunting.

Kidd called it a misunderstanding.

"I didn't quite understand getting the T," Kidd said. "They called taunting on me and I have to respect what the officials saw. That play had no twist or turn in the game. It was just one of many plays that took place in that game."

Williams would not repeat what Kidd said to him.

"No matter who is there on the court, you can't let anyone come in and try to walk on you," Williams said. "You have to defend yourself."

Television replays showed Nets forward Richard Jefferson taking a step onto the court from the Nets bench during the altercation -- possibly a violation of an NBA rule the Knicks became familiar with during their playoff rivalry with Miami during the late 1990s.

Right after the shove, Kidd ran down a rebound to set up Aaron Williams' jumper, and he hit a 3-pointer right after that.

With the Knicks still within 59-55 late in the second quarter and the clock winding down, Kidd drove to the right baseline and drew a crowd of defenders. The All-Star point guard jumped and threw a long pass to Brian Scalabrine, who nailed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Kidd raced to the little-used forward and jumped into his arms, almost as if the shot was a game-winner instead of one that gave New Jersey a 62-55 halftime lead.

New Jersey put the game away in the opening minutes of the second half, and Kidd was spectacular again.

With 10:15 to go, he stole the ball from Kurt Thomas and led a fast break with Marbury alone on defense. Instead of making a layup, Kidd realized Kenyon Martin was behind him and threw a pass off the backboard for an emphatic dunk that got the near-sellout crowd on its feet and sent the Knicks to the bench for another worthless timeout.

New York missed its first 11 shots in the third quarter before Michael Sweetney scored inside with 5:49 left in the quarter.

Kerry Kittles hit his first six shots and scored 20 points as the two-time defending Eastern Conference champions shot nearly 60 percent in the first half and used their defense to put the game away in the second half, holding New York to 28 points.

Jefferson added 21 points and Martin had 16 for the Nets, who outscored New York 28-4 on the fast break -- including 14-2 in the first quarter.

Hardaway had 18 points and Nazr Mohammed 16 for the Knicks, who are making their first playoff appearance since 2001. New York had several players score in spurts, but no one carried the team.

Game notes

Knicks G Allan Houston did not play because of a knee problem . ... Scalabrine, who was questionable because of a hamstring injury, played just four minutes and hit all three of his shots. ... Nets C Alonzo Mourning, who had a kidney transplant in December, was at the game. ... Spike Lee found a courtside seat for the game. ... The Nets wore red socks.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 83 107
FGM-FGA 29-77 (.377) 36-72 (.500)
3PM-3PA 2-9 (.222) 5-17 (.294)
FTM-FTA 23-28 (.821) 30-38 (.789)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 13-36 9-38
Assists 18 25
Turnovers 19 16
Steals 9 10
Blocks 6 5
Fast Break Points 1 11
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 32 (0/0) 24 (1/1)

Top Performers

New York
New Jersey
Nazr Mohammed Mohammed
Points: 16
Reb: 7
Ast: 0
Stl: 4
Blk: 1
Jason Kidd Kidd
Points: 14
Reb: 5
Ast: 13
Stl: 2
Blk: 0