According to Jason Kidd, a migraine headache sidelined him and not a self-imposed "strike" to demand a trade.
The All-Star point guard is expected to be back on the court Friday night when the New Jersey Nets try to beat the Houston Rockets at home for the first time in over 4 1/2 years.
Kidd did not play in the Nets' 100-93 loss to New York on Wednesday and insisted it was a migraine that ruled him out. Reports surfaced that he was "on strike" and either looking to be traded to Cleveland or demanding to renegotiate his contract.
"I didn't miss a game due to unhappiness, that's the first thing to clear up," said Kidd, who claimed the headache stemmed from being hit in the mouth during a 100-79 win at Cleveland on Tuesday. "I am having one of my best seasons. Why would I want to be asked to be traded? And as a team we are doing better than last year.
"It's not something that needs to be a big deal, but somehow it has turned into a bigger deal than it is. We'll move forward and hopefully the migraine will go away. I am human, at the end of the day, I am human."
Kidd's average of 10.4 assists trails only Steve Nash's league-leading 11.8. He also leads New Jersey (9-10) with 8.7 rebounds per game and is third on the team with 11.3 points.
Despite Kidd's impressive numbers, the Nets have struggled to find consistency, alternating wins and losses in the last six games while hovering around the .500 mark.
"I am not frustrated," Kidd said. "I think we are all disappointed with the way we have been playing as a team. We have been very inconsistent and that falls on my shoulders. I am the captain. You have to try to get guys to play at higher level. Maybe, it's not me, but it's my fault in that sense and I take that responsibility."
He'll try to help New Jersey end a four-game home losing streak to Houston (10-9), dating back to a 110-86 win on March 31, 2003. Kidd had 30 points and 12 boards in that victory, but has averaged 15.7 points, 6.3 rebounds and 6.3 assists in three home matchups since.
Richard Jefferson is coming off another strong performance, scoring 31 points Wednesday a night after getting a season-high 36 against the Cavaliers.
The small forward has increased his team-best scoring average to 25.7, but he was held to 13 total points while shooting 6-for-21 from the field in two matchups with Houston last season.
The Rockets defeated Memphis 105-92 on Wednesday behind Tracy McGrady's third career triple-double - first with the Rockets. McGrady had 17 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds.
Four other Houston players scored in double figures with reserve guard Bonzi Wells getting a season-high 24 to match center Yao Ming, who added 13 rebounds.
"If we can continue to have that type of balance throughout the season, it makes us a great team," McGrady told the Rockets' official Web site. "We really don't have to rely on me and Yao for 48 minutes."
Yao and McGrady combined for 69 points Saturday in a 107-99 loss at Sacramento before spreading out the offense against the Grizzlies.
McGrady scored 34 points against the Nets while Yao added 24 with 13 boards in a 112-91 home win on March 9 - the last meeting between the clubs.
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