EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ, May 7 (Ticker) -- The New Jersey Nets believe that Jason Kidd should be the NBA's Most Valuable Player. But they are more than a one-player team.

Lucious Harris scored a playoff career-high 24 points to lead a huge effort by the bench as the Nets posted a 102-88 victory over the Charlotte Hornets to grab a 2-0 lead in their Eastern Conference semifinal series.

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Kidd never found his touch as he made 5-of-18 shots for 11 points and added six assists. But Harris made his first six attempts and rookie Richard Jefferson finished with 10 points as New Jersey's reserves scored 40 points. Meanwhile, the Nets held Charlotte's star point guard Baron Davis to just one fourth quarter point to seal the deal.

"We have a very good basketball team," Nets coach Byron Scott said. "It's not just about Jason Kidd. We have other guys who have been stepping up all season long. For Jason not to have one of his best games and we still win by double digits says a lot about the other guys on the team."

Todd MacCulloch was massive in the third quarter, scoring all six of his points to help the Nets regain momentum.
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Charlotte took a 64-59 lead with 5:11 left in the third quarter when Jamaal Magloire threw in a hook. Todd MacCulloch, playing with four fouls, scored six straight points in a 10-0 run that gave New Jersey the lead for good at 69-64 with just under three minutes left.

Jefferson had a steal that led to a layup by Kidd for an 80-72 advantage heading into the fourth quarter. Scott's substitution pattern had Kidd on the bench to start the final period, but the unit led by backup Anthony Johnson actually extended the advantage to 86-77 before Kidd returned with just under seven minutes left.

"My teammates picked it up for me," Kidd said. "That's how it's been all season. Writers who have followed us all season understand you probably couldn't pick who was going to step up. The thing that makes our team so exciting is that it can be anybody."

Elden Campbell sandwiched a pair of baskets around a dunk by George Lynch to pull the Hornets within 86-83 with 5:49 remaining. Harris followed with a jumper, layup and another basket to trigger a 10-0 run that put away the game.

"It felt good, what can I say?" Harris said. "We have been out here a lot of years losing and this year it's over, it's a new team."

Harris made 10-of-11 shots and also pulled down a playoff career-high seven rebounds. Jefferson grabbed six boards and reserve forward Aaron Williams had five as the Nets' bench grabbed 23 rebounds to eight for the Hornets.

"We call him (Harris) the big guard, he gets a lot of rebounds," Kidd joked. "He is a big part of our team. Everybody chipped in and we welcomed RJ to the playoffs. He finally showed up."

The Nets have won three straight playoff games for the first time in team history. They have won four in a row at home while the Hornets fell to 0-4 this season at the Continental Airlines Arena.

Davis scored 21 points to lead Charlotte but managed just seven in the second half. David Wesley had 14 of his 17 points in the first half.

"Basically in the fourth quarter, we haven't been able to score points," Davis said. "We also didn't have it defensively and we let their bench score 40 points. That's really not us. I don't think we competed tonight."

The Hornets had felt that the addition of Magloire, who served a league-imposed suspension in Game One, would give their frontcourt a tremendous advantage. But New Jersey dominated inside with a 50-36 advantage in points in the paint.

"Clearly, we have to do a better job matching their frontcourt," Charlotte coach Paul Silas said. "They killed us in the first half. That's twice in a row that they outrebounded us in the first half."

The Nets' starting frontcourt tandem of Keith Van Horn and Kenyon Martin turned in a better effort than Game One, in which the duo combined for 21 points on 7-of-22 shooting. Van Horn led the starters with 20 points and 11 rebounds while Martin scored 15 points.

Davis had another troubling game for the Hornets. He made 3-of-11 shots in the second half, finished just 1-of-6 at the free-throw line after failing to attempt a shot in the final 5:45 of Sunday's loss.

Campbell scored 15 points and Magloire netted 13 in 16 foul-plagued minutes. Magloire committed a pair of ill-advised offensive fouls in the fourth quarter.

Charlotte, which again played without the ailing Jamal Mashburn, did not help itself at the line as it made went 15-of-26. The Hornets also had problems with their transition defense as New Jersey held a 15-6 advantage in fast-break points.

"I thought we came out ready to play and I think we showed we wanted this game for four quarters," Van Horn said.

Last season, Charlotte dropped the first two games of its Eastern Conference semifinal series with Milwaukee before winning the next three. If the Hornets do not win two games, Game Four on Sunday could be their last in Charlotte with a move to New Orleans pending.

"We were in the same situation last year against Milwaukee," Davis said. "We were down 0-2 and went home and won the next two. We know what we have to do."

Game 3 is Thursday in Charlotte.