Clippers snap three-game slide

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Sidelined by a knee injury, Kerry Kittles
still got a big assist in the Los Angeles Clippers' victory over
his former New Jersey Nets teammates.

Kittles seemed to anticipate practically every move the Nets
made and the Clippers beat them 101-88 Thursday night to run New
Jersey's losing streak to seven straight.

"I know it had to be hard for him to sit back and watch and not
get to play against them," said Mikki Moore, who had 12 points in
the Clippers' balanced scoring. "But he got us prepared for them
and told us what we should do.

"You could hear him on the sidelines, calling out their plays
and helping us with that. Even if he's not on the court, he helps
this team. So this big win was basically on his shoulders."

Marko Jaric had 23 points -- including 4-of-5 shooting from
3-point range -- and six assists to help Los Angeles end a
three-game slide.

Elton Brand scored 17 points, Corey Maggette had 16 and Bobby
Simmons 13. The Clippers took the lead for good late in the first
half and were in front by at least six the rest of the way.

With Kittles feeding them advice, the Clippers held the Nets to
43-percent shooting while shooting 53 percent themselves.

Richard Jefferson scored 24 points for New Jersey, but just two
in the fourth quarter as Los Angeles put the game away.

Kittles told his new teammates what to expect.

"We knew that Jefferson was going to take the majority of the
shots, so he (Kittles) tried to tell us when it was isolated
(plays), and how to play when they stacked up one side and tried to
clear one side for him," Moore said.

"And when the big guys were in certain positions, he let us
know every time which way the ball was going to go. So it helped
out our defense a lot tonight."

Kittles, traded to the Clippers by the Nets for a second-round
draft pick during a dismantling of the three-time Atlantic Division
champion Nets, bruised his right knee during practice on Tuesday
and was a late scratch from what would have been the first game
against his former team.

He left the arena shortly after the victory and was unavailable
for comment.

Kittles missed the first 10 games of the season when his
recovery from June surgery on his right knee took longer than
expected. He made his Clippers debut last Sunday and scored two
points in 24 minutes of a 122-111 loss to Phoenix.

The Nets' slump is their worst since the 2000-01 season, when
they also dropped seven in a row from Jan. 23-Feb. 2.

"We can't allow a team to shoot over 50 percent and expect to
win," coach Lawrence Frank said after the Nets lost for the ninth
time in 11 games this season. "We just had a hard time containing
their middle penetration.

"We played some zone and gave up a couple of 3s and just didn't
get the job done defensively. They (the Clippers) are one of the
youngest teams in the league, and yet, they compete."

It was the fourth consecutive year the Nets and Clippers have
met in Los Angeles on Thanksgiving, with each team winning twice.

Jefferson kept New Jersey in the game in the third quarter with
15 points, but Jaric had 13 for Los Angeles and the Clippers were
in front 76-66 heading into the final period.

The Clippers outscored the Nets 10-1 over the final 3:03 of the
half to break away from a 38-38 tie.

Game notes
Los Angeles rookie C Chris Kaman made his first appearance
of the season after being sidelined by a sprained left ankle that
he hurt in an exhibition game on Oct. 27. He scored seven points
and had four rebounds in 16 minutes. ... The Nets also traded F
Kenyon Martin to Denver during the offseason. They're also without
G Jason Kidd, out with a knee injury.