CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS VS. BOSTON AND THE CONFERENCE FINALS VS. DETROIT, CLAIMING THE
EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP FOR THE SECOND STRAIGHT YEAR; FALL TO SAN ANTONIO 4-2
IN THE NBA FINALS.
FINAL RECORD: 49-33
The 2001-02 Eastern Conference Champions began the new campaign in record setting fashion, winning 11 games in Oct./Nov. and setting a franchise record for wins in a month with 12 in December, which quickly re-established their presence in the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference. Their swagger, their attitude and their toughness proved that the previous season was no fluke as they ended the season winning 49 games and wrapping up their second consecutive Atlantic Division title, the first time the franchise had ever posted back-to-back division championships. The Nets then defeated Milwaukee, Boston and Detroit in the playoffs to advance to the NBA Finals for the second straight season when they fell to the World Champion San Antonio Spurs in a tightly contested six game series. The Nets were led by Jason Kidd, who became the first New Jersey player to cop the NBA single-season assist title, as he led the league with an 8.9 apg average. Kidd ended the campaign as the Nets leading scorer at 18.7 ppg, the highest average of his career. Kidd led five Nets in double figure scoring, including Kenyon Martin (16.7 ppg), Richard Jefferson (15.5 ppg), Kerry Kittles (13.0 ppg) and Lucious Harris (10.3 ppg). Martin was also the team’s leading rebounder at 8.3 rpg, the best of his three-year NBA career. Nets Head Coach Byron Scott ended the season with 127 career victories, two shy of the team-record 129 won by Kevin Loughery as head coach of the Nets from 1976-81.