EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ, Dec. 29 (Ticker) --
After a superb start, Kerry Kittles
took a break until the New Jersey Nets really needed him.
Kittles sent the game to overtime with a clutch 3-pointer and made two huge baskets in the final two minutes of the extra period to lead the Nets to a 98-93 victory over the Indiana Pacers.
Kittles scored 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting in a dominant first-quarter performance and sank a jumper late in the second period. But he was not heard from again until the closing minutes.
Indiana led, 88-81, with 2:32 remaining in regulation before Todd MacCulloch
made 1-of-2 free throws. Keith Van Horn nailed a 3-pointer with 90 seconds left and Kittles hit another 64 seconds later to tie it.
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Keith Van Horn and the Nets took the season series from Indiana for the first time since 1995-96.
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"With the game on the line, Keith hit a big three and we ran a play for Kerry," Nets coach Byron Scott said. "When we needed to execute down the stretch, we did a good job."
MacCulloch's layup 96 seconds into overtime put the Nets ahead for good, 92-91, and Kittles followed with a dunk and a layup.
jumper brought Indiana within 96-93 with 81 seconds remaining. Van Horn and Jason Kidd
missed 3-pointers on New Jersey's next possession, but Travis Best
misfired from beyond the arc with 12 seconds left.
"My heart is getting weaker," Scott said. "I don't know how we won that game. From seven or eight minutes left in the fourth quarter, just looking at my guys' faces, I pretty much thought we were going to let this one get away."
sealed the win with a pair of free throws as New Jersey extended its winning streak to three games.
Kittles finished with 22 points and MacCulloch added 21 and eight rebounds. Van Horn had 14 points and nine rebounds and Harris contributed 13 points as the Nets took the season series, 3-1.
Kidd collected eight points, 14 assists and a season-high 15 rebounds for New Jersey, which had a 55-43 rebounding advantage and grabbed 22 offensive boards en route to 28 second-chance points.
had 25 points and 11 rebounds and Reggie Miller
scored 21 for Indiana, which had a four-game winning streak snapped.
"We made a lot of mental errors down the stretch," Miller said. "We could have done a better job."
Harrington collected 18 points and 16 rebounds off the Pacers' bench and Jalen Rose
scored 13 points.
"We've got to find a way to close games out," Rose said. "We've got to do the little things. We've tried to hit a stride here lately, but anytime you go into overtime it's anybody's game."
Kittles scored 13 points in the opening eight minutes and the Nets had a 30-18 lead before Indiana finished the first quarter with five straight points.
Harrington scorted five points during a 12-3 run as the Pacers rallied to tie it, 39-39, on a 3-pointer by Rose with 4:20 to go. New Jersey scored 12 of the half's final 16 points and took a 51-45 lead into the break.
The Nets led by as many as 11 points in the third quarter, but O'Neal scored 12 in the period as Indiana pulled within 73-69 entering the fourth.
The Pacers started the fourth quarter with a 17-6 burst, highlighted by seven points from Harrington. O'Neal's jumper gave them an 86-79 lead with 3:21 remaining.