EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J., Feb. 24 (Ticker)
-- Jason Kidd
had 15 of his 21 points in the second half and Lucious Harris
provided a key spark off the bench as the New Jersey Nets rallied from 23 points down and stunned the Charlotte Hornets, 95-93.
Kidd added nine assists and five rebounds over the final 24 minutes as the Nets chipped away at a seemingly insurmountable lead. Charlotte, which has dropped all three meetings with New Jersey this season, led 68-45 with 8:39 left in the third quarter.
The Nets still trailed 84-68 with 10:13 left in the contest when a basket by Kenyon Martin ignited a 21-2 burst. Harris had six points in the spurt, Kidd five and Martin four.
NBA TV highlights|
Kenyon Martin and the Nets soared back from a 23-point deficit to beat the Hornets.
Noren Trotman/NBAE/Getty Images
After Kidd's driving layup with 3:09 left and the Nets up 89-86, the Hornets did not fold and drew even 91-91, with less than a minute to play. But rookie Richard Jefferson
fed Harris for a layup with 46 seconds to go to give the Nets the lead for good.
Martin came up with a block on the Hornets' next possession and Kidd made 1-of-2 free throws with 18 seconds left to extend New Jersey's lead to 94-91. Elden Campbell hit a short hook three seconds later to get Charlotte within a point but Kidd made another free throw with 13 seconds to go.
Charlotte called timeout but seemed poorly organized, and when Baron Davis' shot with 1.3 seconds missed, Campbell backtapped the ball out instead of trying to go right up for the tying basket.
"It was so quick," Kidd said of the last play. "After Davis missed, I was just hoping the clock would hurry up and run out. When he (Campbell) threw the ball out, I think he thought he had a little more time to get another three off."
"I guess not," Hornets coach Paul Silas said of Campbell being aware that a basket would tie the game. "He must not have realized it because he would have laid the ball up in the hoop. You have to be aware of what is going on with 13 seconds to go. We as a team have to be aware of what is happening."
Kenyon Martin scored 13 points and Kerry Kittles, Keith Van Horn and Jefferson had 10 points apiece for the Nets, who have won six straight. At 38-17, New Jersey is off to the best start in franchise history.
"We believe in one another, we didn't veer from our game plan, we just had to find some energy," Kidd said. "In the first half, we were sleepwalking, we looked like a completely different team in the second half. Our up-and-down tempo got us back in the ballgame, and also we had to get stops."
"We knew we had to come back in the second half with some energy and to give our all and try to pull out the victory," Harris said.
Davis had 29 points, seven assists and six rebounds for Charlotte.
Charlotte scored 12 of the final 14 points of the first quarter to take a 28-18 lead after 12 minutes. Former Net P.J. Brown and Jamal Mashburn had eight points apiece in the opening quarter.
The Hornets led 38-25 following a free throw by Campbell with 8:15 left in the second quarter. Charlotte pushed its advantage to 52-32 on a 17-footer by George Lynch with 3:14 to go and the lead was 18 heading into the half.
Mashburn had 16 points and Davis 14 in the opening half as Charlotte shot 62 percent (23-of-37) and held a 24-14 rebounding edge.
The Hornets continued to roll early in the third quarter and took a 68-45 lead when Davis buried a 3-pointer with 8:39 to go. But the Nets began their comeback and were able to get within 14 by the end of the quarter.
"The crowd was with us the whole second half," Jefferson said. "They definitely lifted us up, and gave us that extra boost of energy. The whole game we knew what we were capable of doing. At the end of the third quarter, we got it down to 14. We just decided to cut into it a little more."
"I think in the second half we just started to play basketball," Nets coach Byron Scott said. "We really got into the game. ... In the third quarter we really came out and were a lot more physical. Our mindset was totally differrent than it was at the start of the game."
The Nets took a season series from the Hornets for the first time since the 1995-96 season.