EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J., April 20 (Ticker) -- Kenyon Martin helped power the the New Jersey Nets to another comfortable win.

Martin collected 22 points and a playoff career-high 16 rebounds as the Nets ran roughshod over the New York Knicks for a 99-81 victory and a 2-0 lead in their Eastern Conference first-round series.

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Second-seeded New Jersey placed five players and extended its playoff winning streak over Eastern Conference foes to 12 games.

Martin led the way with a pair of baskets and two assists in a 14-2 tear that opened a 50-33 bulge with 2:31 left in the first half. The lead never dipped below 10 points after the break as New Jersey put another emphatic stamp on a cross-river rivalry that has been one-sided despite the hype surrounding it.

"We don't talk, we just go out and play basketball," Martin said. "All we've done is win games. We don't pay any attention to anything that's in the papers."

New Jersey relentlessly attacked the basket throughout, with Martin leading the way. The All-Star power forward had five dunks or layups among his nine baskets as the Nets shot 53.5 percent (38-of-71) from the field and had their way throughout.

"At the end of the day, you are who you are," Nets coach Lawrence Frank said. "Your true colors always show and that is who Kenyon is. That's what he does every day at practice and that is why he is such a special player. That is why he means so much to this team."

The shorthanded Knicks struggled without injured starters Allan Houston (knee) and Tim Thomas (back). Stephon Marbury scored 23 points but was held without a basket in the second half for the second straight game.

"Our mind-set has totally changed," Marbury said. "We have to play totally different from how we've been playing the last two games. We can't go into the game playing the way we have played."

Richard Jefferson and the Nets slammed the Knicks for the second straight game.
Jesse D. Garrabrant
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Richard Jefferson scored 20 points, Kerry Kittles added 16 and Jason Kidd finished with 15 and eight assists for New Jersey, which led by as many as 22 points in the final minutes.

"I think we had a comfortable lead when they made their runs," Jefferson said. "Kerry had a big second half, Kenyon was a monster on the boards, Jason was running around causing havoc. Our half-court defense has been great."

The sloppy game featured 44 turnovers, including 25 by New Jersey -- often over-aggressive in its zeal to get out in transition. But the fast tempo caused more problems for New York, which rushed shots and finished the game at just 34 percent (30-of-88).

"First of all, we have to shoot a whole lot better than 34 percent," New York coach Lenny Wilkens said. "Between our 2 (guard and 3 (small forward), I think we were 8-for-31 and you can't shoot 34 percent in the playoffs and have the other team shoot 53 percent."

The Nets' shooting percentages were considerably different, leading to a 42-30 advantage in points in the paint. Kidd and Kittles combined to make 12-of-22 shots in outplaying the Knicks backcourt. Marbury and Shandon Anderson made 10-of-35 shots.

The seventh-seeded Knicks host Game 3 on Thursday.