Daily Confidential

A cracked rib didn't stop Jason Kidd from having one of his better games of the season on Friday. The New York Knicks haven't had much luck slowing Kidd's New Jersey Nets down lately, either.

Kidd and the Nets look for their 18th win in the last 22 meetings with the Knicks when the Atlantic Division rivals play in New Jersey on Sunday.

The Nets revealed Thursday that their star point guard, already hampered by a sore back, also has a cracked rib. Kidd wore a protective vest during Friday's 109-96 victory over the Sacramento Kings.

"I don't feel discomfort," he said. "The adrenaline a lot of times can carry you through. It's just in the morning that you feel it the most."

Kidd didn't seem to be feeling much pain, as he finished with 22 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists for his 84th career triple-double to help New Jersey end a three-game losing streak. It was also his ninth triple-double of the season, tying a personal high. He also had nine triple-doubles in the 2003-04 and 1995-96 seasons.

Since Kidd arrived in New Jersey (26-30) for the 2001-02 season, the Nets are 17-4 against the Knicks (25-31) in the regular season, and 21-4 including a four-game sweep in the first round of the 2003-04 playoffs.

New Jersey won the only previous matchup between the teams this season, 101-100 at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 19, when Clifford Robinson tipped in a missed shot with 2.8 seconds. Kidd had 23 points, seven rebounds and nine assists.

The Knicks have alternated wins and losses in their last seven games, including a controversial 95-93 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday. The game was tied and appeared headed to overtime, but officials called a loose-ball foul on Bucks center Andrew Bogut. After a video review put 0.8 seconds back on the clock, Channing Frye hit two free throws for the win.

"My reason for going over to the replay was to determine that the foul that was blown during the game, to make sure there was time on the clock when the foul occurred," official Ken Mauer said.

Jamal Crawford and Stephon Marbury each scored 22 points to lead five Knicks in double figure. Quentin Richardson added 14 while Eddy Curry had 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Reserve forward David Lee scored 10 points for New York, but left the game in the third quarter due to a sprained ankle and muscle strain. He status for Sunday is uncertain for Lee, who is averaging 11.2 points off the bench.

"It's tough," Marbury said. "I noticed when he wasn't in the game right away."

New Jersey leads New York by one game for second place in the Atlantic Division, but trails the Orlando Magic and Miami Heat by one game for the final Eastern Conference playoff spots.

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