EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J., Oct. 9 (AP) --
All-Star point guard Jason Kidd got lost on his way to the arena and never found his shot once he got there in his preseason debut with the New Jersey Nets.
Richard Jefferson slaps the ball away from Jamaal Magloire.
With that type of an introduction, the Nets did what has come so naturally over the last decade, they lost.
Kidd missed all nine of his shots from the field and Matt Bullard, playing in his first game for Charlotte, hit three straight fourth-quarter shots in leading the Hornets to a 91-84 victory Tuesday night.
"I thought the basket was moving," said Kidd, who was acquired from Phoenix in a blockbuster trade for fellow All-Star point guard Stephon Marbury in the offseason. "I wasn't going to let my shooting distract me from the other parts of my game."
Kidd finished with four points, seven rebounds and seven assists in 29 minutes. He missed all five of his 3-point attempts.
"I was happy with Jason's performance," Nets coach Byron Scott said. "Despite the shots, his stats were Jason-type stats."
Kidd's problems started before the game when he missed a turn and took 10 minutes to get from his hotel to the Continental Airlines Arena. The trip normally takes a minute or less.
Kidd showed flashes of brilliance before a crowd that was announced at 2,879. It looked much smaller.
In the third quarter, he led a fast break and tossed an alley-oop pass that Kenyon Martin slammed home.
"For a first game we looked like a team with a lot of talent that is going in the right direction," Kidd said.
Elden Campbell had 19 points and David Wesley added 13 to lead the Hornets, who have made the playoffs four of the last five years. Bullard's three straight baskets came in a 9-0 fourth-quarter run that put Charlotte ahead for good. He added a late 3-pointer to ice the game.
"I really liked our bench," Hornets coach Paul Silas said. "They got a lot of things done. We are deeper there and it's going to make us a better team."
Kerry Kittles had 15 points to lead the Nets, who have missed the playoffs six of the last seven years. Keith Van Horn added 14 points, while rookie Brandon Armstrong had 13 and Martin 12.
A layup by rookie center Jason Collins gave New Jersey its last lead, 70-69, in the opening seconds of the fourth quarter. Stacey Augmon hit two free throws to put Charlotte ahead for good and Bullard hit two baseline jumpers and a 3-pointer to stretch the lead to 78-70.
"Now I remember why I love this game so much," said Bullard, who was signed as a free agent after playing nine seasons with Houston. "It was great the way these guys welcomed me. Tonight it was fun."
The Nets got within 83-81 on a free throw by Richard Jefferson, but Kirk Haston made a reverse layup and a free throw and New Jersey never got closer than four points.
Kittles, who missed all of last season with a knee injury, was 6-of-10 from the field in 19 minutes. Van Horn, who never seemed to mix well with Marbury, was 6-of-12, while Armstrong, the 23rd pick overall in the draft, was 6-of-11.
Nets guard Lucious Harris bruised a hip in the third quarter and did not return.