Jefferson had 35 points and 11 rebounds to lead the New Jersey
Nets to a 102-92 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Friday night.
"He couldn't shoot from five feet. Everything was a dunk,"
Kidd said. "That's not disrespecting him, but he's put in the time
and effort in the gym and he showcased that again tonight, and he's
going to showcase it throughout the season."
With Vince Carter often doubled-teamed, Jefferson went 5-for-8
from behind the 3-point arc. He finished 9-for-17 from the field
and 12-for-14 from the free throw line.
"Every year in my career I've tried to get better at something.
I've tried to get better at my shooting, and every year my numbers
have gone up," said Jefferson, who averaged 9.9 points in his
rookie year and 22.2 last season.
The Nets rebounded from a bad loss to Milwaukee in their season
opener on Wednesday, leading by as many as 24 points against
Jefferson was ejected in the fourth quarter of Wednesday's game
after a scuffle with Milwaukee's Mo Williams.
"I was disappointed that I was thrown out, but I wasn't out
here trying to prove anything," said Jefferson, who had 15 points
in the first quarter.
Carter added 20 points in his second regular-season game in
Toronto since being traded to the Nets last December. Fans booed
the six-time All-Star every time he touched the ball.
"It's beautiful. It doesn't bother me at all. I enjoy it,"
Rookie Jose Calderon had 20 points and seven assists for the
Raptors, who shot 40 percent.
Toronto's Jalen Rose had eight points, and didn't play in the
"Richard Jefferson had a phenomenal game," Rose said. "He was
attacking the basket and knocking down shots."
Kidd's driving layup gave New Jersey a 24-point lead with 7:29
left in the third quarter.
Toronto's Mike James made a 3-pointer to cut the lead to nine
with 7:26 left, but Carter followed with a driving layup before
Jefferson made two 3-pointers and two free throws to give New
Jersey a 94-79 lead with 4:50 remaining.
His 3-pointer with 2:27 left made it 100-85.
"In the last six minutes we played through Vince, he forced
double-teams," New Jersey coach Lawrence Frank said.
Carter agreed when asked whether it was a strange strategy to
keep doubling him when Jefferson kept making open shots.
Jefferson had 12 of New Jersey's first 22 points as the Nets led
22-12 with two minutes left in the first quarter. New Jersey led
45-28 at halftime as Toronto shot 27 percent and was outrebounded
Jefferson's two free throws with 52 seconds left in the first
half gave New Jersey a 17-point lead.
Carter shrugged off his return to Toronto. "It's no big
deal after the first one. That's it. I couldn't care less now," he
said. ... Fans booed Toronto center Rafael Araujo, who missed two
shots badly and picked up two quick fouls in just five minutes.
Araujo was the eighth overall pick in the draft two years ago. ...
New Jersey outrebounded Toronto 46-35.