EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- Jason Kidd helped the New Jersey
Nets get off to a fast start, and they never let up.
"The big thing is that we set the tone early," said Kidd who
had 22 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists in a 100-84 victory
over the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night. "We came out aggressive
and played like we had something to play for."
Vince Carter scored 30 points as the Nets completed a season
sweep of the Bulls. Jason Collins had 14 points and 11 rebounds and
Nenad Krstic added 11 points as the Nets posted their seventh
straight win over Chicago.
Carter enjoyed his third straight strong game against the Bulls
since joining the Nets. He led New Jersey with 31 and 25 points in
the prior victories.
"This was all about what we needed to do," said Carter. "We
came out aggressive and ready to play and ready to win."
The Bulls played without leading scorer Eddy Curry (15.6 points
per game) who missed the game with a left hamstring strain. They
struggled to pick up the slack, with the bench doing most of the
scoring as the starters combined for only 37 points.
Kidd scored on a layup 45 seconds into the game, and the Nets
were off and running. They quickly sprinted to a 15-2 lead as Kidd
set the pace with four points and a pair of assists.
The Bulls never recovered.
"I felt like our start was really poor," said Bulls coach
Scott Skiles. "We were never able to recover from it."
Carter led New Jersey with eight points as the Nets built a
28-11 lead after one quarter. The Nets shot 13-of-27 from the field
while Bulls were only 5-for-19.
Chicago scored the first nine points of the second quarter to
cut New Jersey's lead to eight points. Griffin had four points in
the Bulls run, but Chicago could not sustain the momentum as New
Jersey regained control on baskets by Travis Best, Brian Scalabrine
and Kidd to build a 34-20 lead.
New Jersey led 50-35 at the half as Carter added 10 more points
in the second quarter, and the Nets maintained a double-digit lead
through the third quarter that ended with New Jersey ahead 72-61.
The Bulls made a final push to start the fourth quarter as Pargo
started hitting long range shots. He connected on a 3-pointer and a
16-footer as the Bulls reduced the Nets lead to 79-72.
Kidd killed the rally with a pair of spectacular assists to
Carter for consecutive highlight baskets, an alley-oop and a dunk.
The Nets pulled away down the stretch on a trio of 3-pointers, two
by Carter and one by Kidd.
"It would have been really stealing if we had come back and won
that game," said Skiles. "They played better than us most of the
game and they deserved to win."
Nets owners Bruce Ratner and Jay-Z sat courtside with
Acting New Jersey Governor Richard Codey. ... With the win, the
Nets posted their third series sweep of the Bulls. New Jersey also
pulled off the sweep in 2001-02 and 2003-04. ... Cliff Robinson
wound up tangled up in the stands chasing a ball headed out of
bounds late in the second quarter. Robinson hurdled the end-zone
message board closest to the Nets bench and wound up with his foot
stuck in a folding chair about five rows deep...Carter has recorded
20 or more points in 28 of the last 30 games...Kidd got his 18th
double-double of the season...The Nets are 10-4 when they score 100
or more points.