EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J., Oct. 30 (AP)
-- One game into the Jason Kidd
era, there's cause for celebration on the New Jersey Nets.
Jalen Rose's career-high 43 points off 18 field goals came in a losing effort against the Nets.
NBA.comTV highlights from Pacers-Nets:
Kidd had 14 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists and made good on his promise to make the Nets better in leading New Jersey to 103-97 win over the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday night.
"Last year we probably would have lost this game by double digits,'' said Nets coach Byron Scott. "This team is totally different. They have a positive outlook on themselves and our season. There was no quit.''
That has to do with Kidd, the three-time first-team All-Star. He's a leader and he took over when the Nets needed it.
Keith Van Horn added 26 points and Kerry Kittles had 20 in his first game in more than a year as the Nets overcame both a career-best 43-point game by Jalen Rose and a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit.
Kidd, acquired from Phoenix in a blockbuster deal for fellow All-Star point guard Stephon Marbury, also stepped up on defense.
"What he did toward the end of the fourth quarter was he told our team that we weren't going to lose the game,'' said Scott, who brought a bottle of Dom Perignon on the team flight to Boston after the game. "He hit some big shots, came up with some big rebounds and did a great job on Jalen Rose.''
The latter part probably was the most impressive. On a night that Rose hit his first 11 shots and made a career-high 18 baskets, Kidd limited him to two baskets in the final nine minutes.
"He just said I got him and that was it,'' Scott said.
Kidd preferred to look at what the team did.
"I think we are too young to understand to give up,'' Kidd said. "The game isn't over till it's over. This team showed a lot of character for early in the season.''
Rookie Richard Jefferson added 12 points and Aaron Williams 10 in a reserve role for the Nets. Reggie Miller added 20 points for the Pacers.
"This was like a horror show to start, but you can't leave your seat until the game is over,'' said Kidd, who also had four steals, a block and only three turnovers. "You never know what is going to happen.''
The Nets, 26-56 last season in missing the playoffs for the sixth time in seven seasons, won this game by outscoring the Pacers 35-18 in the fourth quarter.
Van Horn, who had 12 points in the quarter, hit two straight 3-pointers to ignite the Nets after they fell behind 83-70 in the opening minutes of the period.
The 3-pointers ignited a 27-10 spurt. The Pacers, who saw Rose hit his first 11 shots from the field, lost the lead for the first time in the quarter when Kittles hit a jumper with 5:58 to go.
Travis Best hit a 3-pointer to put Indiana back in front 91-89, but Van Horn nailed another 3-pointer with 5:21 to play and the Nets never looked back.
Indiana got within 97-95 on two free throws by Miller with 47.4 seconds to go, but Kidd came off a screen and nailed a jumper to put the game out of reach.
Rose hit a career-best 18 field goals in almost single-handedly beating the Nets. His previous career high was 42 points and 17 field goals in a game last season against Toronto.
"Jalen was awesome tonight,'' said Pacers coach Isiah Thomas. "We wasted a wonderful performance. He was spectacular. I think this will be a spectacular year for Jalen. We just have to shore up those spots that were bothersome last year. Again it's offensive glass.''
Indiana connected on 21 of its first 29 from the field in opening a 45-28 lead with 7:34 left in the first half.
Seconds after Rose missed his first shot, the Nets got going.
Kittles scored seven points and Van Horn added six in a 17-8 run that got New Jersey within 53-45 at the half. A 13-3 run at the start of the second half gave the Nets their first lead at 58-56 on a basket by Van Horn.
Indiana grabbed the lead right back, closing the half with a 23-10 spurt that featured nine points by Miller and eight by Rose.
However, the Nets and Kidd had one rally left.
NOTES: NBA Commissioner David Stern took part in halftime ceremony honoring the police, firefighters and emergency personnel who took part in the World Trade Center rescue operations. ... Jared Glick, whose brother Jeremy died trying to retake a jetliner from terrorists, made the ceremonial opening tipoff before the game. ... The Nets signed forward Reggie Slater an hour before the game. ... Pacers point guard Jamaal Tinsley is the first rookie to start for Indiana since Vern Fleming in 1984. Fleming is now an assistant coach for the Pacers.