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Kidd records 75th career triple-double, Carter scores 25

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Though the long winning streak is over, the New Jersey Nets haven't lost momentum going into the playoffs.

New Jersey got 25 points from Vince Carter and yet another
triple-double from Jason Kidd in a 95-83 victory over its potential
first-round opponent, the Milwaukee Bucks, on Sunday.

With the victory -- their third straight over the Bucks -- the
Nets quickly rebounded from Saturday's loss to Cleveland that
snapped a 14-game winning streak.

"It was just us getting back up after being knocked down
yesterday," Nets coach Lawrence Frank said.

Kidd had 11 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists for the 75th
triple-double of his career and eighth of the season. He needs four
more to pass Wilt Chamberlain for No. 3 on the NBA's career list.

"It just shows we're a veteran ballclub," Kidd said. "There
was no hangover."

Milwaukee lost its fourth straight and fell three games below
.500, its low mark this season.

"We're not playing well right now," said guard Charlie Bell,
who started in place of T.J. Ford. "The only thing that's saving
us is Indiana, Philly, Chicago -- those teams aren't playing that
well either. We've still got a chance to turn it around. The time
is now."

New Jersey has clinched the Atlantic Division title and sits in
the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference. The Bucks currently are
the No. 6 seed but have two games remaining against Washington, the
current fifth seed.

"We didn't play hard enough or well enough to beat a team that
is one of the hottest teams in the league," Bucks coach Terry
Stotts said.

The Nets held to Bucks to 37.5 percent shooting and outrebounded
the Bucks 56-39 -- the most rebounds the Bucks have allowed this
season.

"We want to go into the playoffs on a high, playing the style
of basketball Coach expects us to play," Carter said.

Kidd hit three 3-pointers in a two-minute stretch in the third
quarter, capping a 19-4 run that gave the Nets a 72-52 lead with
3:05 remaining.

Kidd's first 3-pointer came after Ford nonchalantly reached for
an easy defensive rebound and whiffed, allowing New Jersey to
retain possession.

Ford had 19 points to lead the Bucks, but plays like that might
be why Stotts kept his point guard on the bench in the first
quarter.

Bell played most of the first quarter -- only the second time in
Ford's career that he was available to play but wasn't in the
starting lineup. Ford didn't start Milwaukee's Jan. 7 game at
Cleveland, his first game back after missing four games with a
sprained foot.

"Charlie's been playing well," Stotts said.

Ford said Stotts told him before the game that he wouldn't be
starting, but did not explain why.

"I just tried to be ready whenever he called my name," Ford
said.

Ford said the Bucks must regain confidence and improve their
defense before the playoffs begin.

"We're not getting it done," Ford said.

The Bucks got off to a slow start without Ford on Sunday,
falling behind 31-12 at the end of the first quarter.

Ford entered the game with 41 seconds remaining in the period
and played most of the second, helping the Bucks get back in the
game.

Ford had two steals, four assists and nine points in the second
quarter -- including seven points in an 11-2 Milwaukee run at the
end of the half, cutting the New Jersey lead to 49-42 at halftime.

Starter or not, Ford impressed Frank.

"T.J. Ford helped them change the game, both offensively and
defensively," he said.

Game notes
Nets guard Antoine Wright left the game in the second
quarter with a strained left quadriceps and missed the rest of the
game. ... Milwaukee had given up 100 points in eight of its
previous nine games. ... Sunday's attendance was 16,127.