EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J., April 19 (Ticker) -- Jason Kidd
first six points of the game, then got the rest of the New
Jersey Nets involved. Gary Payton
couldn't get himself or his
Kidd scored all 14 of his points in the first quarter and handed
out 14 assists as the Nets raced to an early lead and coasted
to a 109-96 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks in Game One of
their first-round Eastern Conference playoff series.
"Obviously this was a great start," Nets coach Byron Scott said.
"I thought for 40 minutes we played about as good basketball as
we've played all year on both ends of the court. I thought our
focus and intensity was back in the last couple of days of
practice and this is the result of that."
New Jersey had a chance to finish first in the East for the
second straight year, but lost four of its last five games and
finished one game behind the Central Division champion Detroit
The second-seeded Nets controlled the tempo from the outset and
led by as many as 31 points before resting their starters for
the majority of the fourth quarter.
Kidd did not allow Payton to slow New Jersey's transition game
as he opened the contest with consecutive fastbreak layups. He
added a nine-footer before finding Kerry Kittles
for a layup to
give the Nets an 8-0 lead 3:25 into the game.
"Everyone was excited to get the playoffs started," Kidd said.
"For me, I was just trying to be even keel and I got a layup and
a couple of shots to fall early and everyone else got into
their groove after that. I scored all of my points in the first
quarter and everyone else carried the load after that."
had 21 points and 15 rebounds for New Jersey,
which not only dominated in transition, but also overpowered
"Everybody knows what's at stake right now," Martin said.
"There's no tomorrow and we can't slack off. We have to play
each game like it is our last. I think we did that today."
Kittles contributed 18 points and reserve Lucious Harris
the Nets had seven players in double figures.
"We played a really good game on both ends of the court,"
Kittles said. "It was an excellent effort, we did a good job
offensively. Defensively we tried to contain those guys and we
got our transition game going early. We had everything working
tonight and we will try to do the same thing on Tuesday night."
recorded playoff career highs with 13 points and
12 rebounds, helping the Nets to a 48-28 advantage off the
"They did everything they were supposed to be able to do," Bucks
coach George Karl said. "They ran by us, they outrebounded us
and they penetrated. It was very disappointing how we responded
to the personality we knew we were going to be up against."
New Jersey shot 54 percent (45-of-83) and outscored Milwaukee on
the break, 21-5.
New Jersey native Tim Thomas
scored 25 points off the bench for
Milwaukee, which was outscored in the paint, 56-28. Thomas made
10-of-14 shots, including 5-of-6 from behind the arc, but 19 of
his points came in the fourth quarter.
Former Net Sam Cassell
added a quiet 16 points and Desmond Mason
14 for the Bucks, who shot 51 percent (40-of-78).
Mason had eight rebounds, but center Ervin Johnson
had just two
and was 0-for-2 from the floor while picking up four fouls in 16
Payton missed his first eight shots and scored all eight of his
points in the final 4:12, when Milwaukee closed with a 23-6 run.
Acquired with Mason in a huge midseason trade that sent Ray
Allen to Seattle, Payton had scored at leats 10 points in 56
straight playoff games.
"It wasn't frustrating. I just had a bad game," Payton said. "I
take responsibility when I have a bad game and today I had one.
This is a long series. On Tuesday, I'm going to come back and
play just as hard. I know I won't have two games like that. Our
whole team didn't play well. We dug a hole for ourselves. They
outrebounded us by 20 rebounds, that's crazy."
, who took Thomas' spot in the starting lineup,
had eight points and three rebounds in 17 minutes and could not
After using a 20-second timeout to temper New Jersey's momentum,
Haislip hit a layup to cut the deficit to 8-2 with 8:54 to go
in the opening quarter. But the Bucks got no closer as Collins
and Haislip exchanged baskets before Kidd nailed a 3-pointer for
a 16-6 lead with 6:26 left.
New Jersey shot a torrid 65 percent (13-of-20) in the first 12
minutes, when it held a 29-20 lead.
Harris opened the second quarter with a 21-footer and the Nets
did net the margin fall under double digits thereafter. Martin
and Harris each scored four points in a 14-2 run that pushed the
advantage to 55-33, when Harris made 1-of-2 free throws 41
seconds before halftime.
The Nets experienced a scary moment with 9:38 left in the third,
when Martin limped off the court holding his left leg. But the
6-9, 234-pounder returned just over a minute later and had
seven points and four boards for the period.
"I'm a little sore, I'll probably be sorer later on," Martin
said. "I will be all right for Tuesday. I rolled my ankle and I
did not know what happened. I don't know whether I got hit or
not. The only reason I would not have come back would be is if
it was broken and I knew it wasn't."