EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J., Dec. 10 (Ticker) -- Eric Williams
New Jersey Nets gave New Orleans Hornets coach Byron Scott
present in his return to the Meadowlands -- his longest losing
streak of the season.
Williams scored four of his 19 points in the overtime and
scored 12 of his 24 in the fourth quarter as
the Nets handed the hapless Hornets their ninth straight loss,
NBA TV highlights from |
New Orleans' slide matches the longest in franchise history,
done twice during the club's inaugural 1988-89 season in
Scott, who coached New Jersey to back-to-back Eastern Conference
titles in 2002 and 2003, was coaching against the Nets for
first time since his controversial firing 11 months ago. He was
greeted with some cheers.
"I know what type of guys those are and I know what type of game
they were going to bring," Scott said. "I was looking forward
to seeing them and wishing them well."
It looked like Scott would have a happy return before the Nets
scored the final seven points of regulation, forging an 86-86
tie when Jason Collins
followed Jefferson's airball with 62
"I knew if it got to overtime, we were going to be in trouble,"
Scott said. "That's the difference between a team that's been to
the Finals a couple of times and the team we have here."
"I think our guys showed great character and resilience, down
seven with two (minutes) and change to go," Nets coach Lawrence Frank
said. "We found some huge plays and we found a way."
Jefferson found the range in the fourth quarter, making 6-of-10
shots after playing only 15 minutes in the first three periods
due to foul trouble.
started overtime with a jumper for New Orleans, but
Williams followed with a game-tying hook shot and Jason Kidd
sank a short jumper to give New Jersey the lead for good at
90-88 with 3:26 left.
Williams added a finger roll with 91 seconds to go and -- after a
3-pointer by New Orleans' George Lynch
-- Travis Best
pair of free throws with 49 seconds to play.
Rookie Matt Freije
missed two scoring chances for the Hornets in
the final 26 seconds. He had a layup blocked by Collins and
missed a pair of free throws -- the second intentionally -- with
one second to go.
"We played well for 47 minutes," Dickau said. "I haven't been
around long, but I know it's tough to lose a game like that."
The Nets shot 54 percent (38-of-70), making a season-high nine
3-pointers, to overcome 30 turnovers. They kept control of the
ball late, committing only six miscues in the fourth quarter and
Kidd had eight points, eight assists and five rebounds in a
season-high 28 minutes in his third game since returning from
offseason knee surgery.
"I feel great," he said. "I don't think it was designed for me
to play 28 minutes, but in the flow of the game the coach asked
me and I said I wanted to keep playing. We'll see how I feel
Kidd and Scott both denounced the idea that they had problems
that led to the coach's dismissal from the Nets.
"There is not rift, but for some reason, whenever anyone gets
dismissed or traded, there has to be a problem," Kidd said.
"Everything (the media) tries to make it out to be, it's not,"
Scott said. "When I see him this summer, I'm going to whip his
butt in golf. We've never had a problem and I don't know how
many times I have to say it before you guys believe it."
New Jersey has won two of three games since Kidd's return and
has a four-game winning streak at Continental Airlines Arena.
"We're still trying to feel each other out," Kidd said. "No
matter how many minutes I play, the important thing is we got
Dickau scored a career-high 18 points and P.J. Brown
each had 14 for the Hornets, who had five players in double
figures but fell to an NBA worst 1-16.