EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ, Nov. 13 (Ticker) -- Richard Jefferson
needed to bounce back and did so in a big way.
Jefferson responded to a sub-par outing with a career-high 27
points to lift the New Jersey Nets to a 91-82 victory over the
San Antonio Spurs.
NBA TV highlights from|
Jefferson managed just six points in Saturday's loss at Chicago
but came through with a big effort against San Antonio. The
Nets improved to 6-0 when Jefferson reaches double figures.
"Richard played well," Nets coach Byron Scott said. "I told
someone else that this was going to be a good game for him. His
teammates were asking him when he was going to show up and he
came out ready to play."
"First and foremost, I am glad we won," Jefferson said. "To add
a career high, that means a lot. When a good team comes into
your house, you are supposed to hold home court."
New Jersey is 5-0 at home this year after going 33-8 last
season, the best mark in the Eastern Conference.
Two free throws by Jefferson late in the third quarter gave New
Jersey the lead for good. The Nets opened the fourth period
with a pair of free throws by Jason Kidd
and a jumper by Lucious
for a 68-61 lead with 11:15 remaining.
The Spurs pulled within 74-70 on a dunk by Malik Rose
left before the Nets went on a 10-2 run. Harris had a pair of
baskets in the run, including one to cap it for an 84-72 cushion
with just under four minutes to go.
New Jersey dominated on the fast break by outscoring San
"New Jersey did a great job knocking down shots in the second
half," San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. "We shot very
poorly and they hurt us on the fast break."
Kidd finished with 18 points, eight assists and eight rebounds.
, who edged Kidd for the MVP award last season, scored
21 points to lead San Antonio.
But Kidd's greatest contribution may have been a night he spent
with Jefferson, who made 9-of-15 shots. Kidd had dinner with
the first-year starter in an effort to boost Jefferson's morale.
"RJ gave us a lot of energy tonight," Kidd said. "He had been
struggling a bit, so I had him over for dinner. As teammates, we
didn't lose any confidence in him. It seems like he's back on
Duncan managed to make just 8-of-19 shots as he contended with
, who got the primary defensive assignment. New
Jersey's double-teaming also helped as Duncan was limited to
three assists. Duncan also was ineffective at the foul line,
making half his 10 attempts.
"We missed a bunch of shots tonight and we gave them a lot of
transition baskets," Duncan said. "The Nets did a great job of
defending me and our team just can't make shots right now. I
don't know what's going on."
Martin managed just eight points and three rebounds, but that
only told part of the story, according to Scott.
"I think K-Mart did a great job, though he got into foul
trouble," Scott said. "He sacrificed his game tonight on the
offensive side to really concentrate on doing the best he could
on keeping Tim away from the basket. He met the challenge
tonight and did a heckuva job."
Harris came off the bench to score a season-high 15 points for
New Jersey, which shot 55 percent (17-of-31) in the second half.
Harris added nine rebounds as the Nets held a 48-40 edge on
The Spurs made six of their first eight 3-point shots but missed
five of their last six. San Antonio shot just 34 percent
(13-of-38) in the second half, including a 1-of-8 showing by
Former Net Stephen Jackson
had a huge night with a season-high
20 points on 7-of-14 shooting and Parker added 15. Parker also
had seven of the Spurs' 21 turnovers, which the Nets converted
into 25 points.