Nets Get 11th Straight Home Win
New Jersey 99, New Orleans/Oklahoma City 91
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J., Feb. 6 (Ticker) -- The New Jersey Nets are making their home court a place where winning streaks go to die.
Richard Jefferson scored 16 of his 26 points in the second half as the Nets won their 11th straight home game with a 99-91 victory over New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets, whose four-game winning streak came to an end.
"Our goal and our focus is to bring the same attitude regardless (of the opponent)," Nets guard Vince Carter said. "We just try to take teams out early and throw them out of our building by any means."
Carter scored 21 points and Jason Kidd fell just shy of a triple-double with 14 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds for the Nets, who bounced back from a sloppy second quarter with 60 points on 62 percent (23-of-37) shooting in the second half.
"It was brought to our attention what we weren't doing right in the first half," Carter said. "We stepped up our defense, started attacking and just put the pressure on them."
"We didn't come out with any fire, any emotion or any intensity and they took advantage of it," Hornets coach Byron Scott said. "We came out very lackadaisical. We just didn't play the second half the way we are capable of playing. We were soft and they did whatever they wanted."
New Jersey erased a 12-point deficit in the third quarter before seizing control in the fourth. The Nets trailed, 74-70, with 10:50 to go before making seven of their next eight shots during a decisive 19-2 run.
Cliff Robinson scored seven points during the surge, including a three-point play, and Jefferson added a layup and two free throws before Kidd's 3-pointer gave the Nets an 89-76 bulge with 5:46 remaining.
"As flat as we were in the first half, we finally got the energy in the second half," Kidd said. "We got stops, started running and it led to easy shots."
Moments later, Nenad Krstic sank a hook shot and a jumper, Kidd hit a long jumper and Robinson made a driving layup to give the Nets their largest lead, 97-81, with 2:54 left.
New Jersey also made 11-of-12 free throws in the final 24 minutes and held a 22-14 rebounding edge while committing only two turnovers - both in the third quarter.
Krstic scored 16 points after missing Saturday's game due to illness and Robinson finished with 11 for the Nets, who moved within two of matching the franchise record for consecutive home wins, last set from November 18-December 30, 2002.
New Jersey had trouble with Speedy Claxton, who led the Hornets with 23 points, but contained star rookie Chris Paul, the reigning the Western Conference Player of the Week.
Paul scored just six points on 2-of-12 shooting but collected 13 assists and seven rebounds. He was shaken up after landing on his lower back while driving to the basket late in the fourth quarter and had ice on his back after the game.
"It just stung real bad," Paul said. "I fell right on my tailbone. I just couldn't make shots, but I think Speedy made up for it."
Rasual Butler scored a season-high 18 points off the bench and David West added 14 for the Hornets, who have lost five straight meetings with the Nets.
The Hornets took a 51-39 halftime lead after making 10-of-17 shots in the second quarter, led by Claxton, who had 10 points in the period. The Nets endured a miserable period, shooting 5-of-20, with Carter, Jefferson and Kidd combining to miss all 10 shots.