Nets Capitalize Against Washington
The Nets would lead after the first quarter, 22-18. Vince Carter scored the game’s first 5 points and scored the Nets first 11 points. He and Kidd would connect on two consecutive alley-oops early. Through the end of the first, the Nets would keep their lead between 3 and 7, ultimately finishing the quarter up 4; Carter would score 13.
The second quarter would maintain a similar personality - the Nets and Wizards going back-and-forth, both teams unable to distance themselves from the other. Bostjan Nachbar would hit two free throws to start the quarter, putting the Nets up 6 (24-18). That would be their biggest quarter lead, as Washington was able to progressively carve away. The Wizards would go up 1 at the 7:35 mark on a Roger Mason Jr. three-pointer. Mason had 11 in the quarter, including 3 three-pointers. The Nets would come back, going up 40-37 on a Vince Carter three-pointer. The Wizards would then go on a 14-4 run of their own, marking their biggest lead of the quarter at 7. The Nets would come back again, though; a Kidd jumper and a Clifford Robinson three pointer with 5.5 seconds to go would bring the Nets to within 2 (49-51). Gilbert Arenas had 10 of his 26 points in the second, including 5-5 from the line.
The third quarter would belong to Jason Kidd and his 19 points; there was almost the feeling that Kidd was matching the gunslinger personality of his opponent, Gilbert Arenas. After Arenas, Jarvis Hayes (21 points, 9 rebounds),and Deshawn Stephenson scored six unanswered points coming out of the half - putting the Wizards up 57-49 - Jason Kidd orchestrated a 19-5 run in which he accounted for every basket: 5 three-pointers of his own, and assists on high-percentage shots to Adams and Mikki Moore. Kidd would also grab 6 rebounds in the quarter.
“What Jason Kidd did to start that third quarter was tremendous,” said Coach Frank. “Just single-handedly getting the flow of momentum back in our favor. It got everyone reenergized.”
The Wizards would counter as Brendan Haywood would score the next five points to bring Washington to within 1, at 68-67. The Nets would swell their lead back to nine (76-67) as Kidd would hit two jumpers and Mikki Moore (3-4) and Vince Carter (1-2) would hit free-throws. The third quarter would finish on an 11-3 Washington run, leaving the Nets with only a 1 point advantage (79-78).
For the first 3 minutes of the fourth, the Nets and Wizards went back and forth, with 5 lead changes and 2 ties. Eddie House (12 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists) would hit a three-pointer at the 9:03 mark, putting the Nets up 88-86; the Nets would never relinquish their lead from that point on. Boki Nachbar (23 points, 6 rebounds) had 16 in the quarter, helping to nurse the lead down the stretch with 6-8 from the free-throw line, 2 three-pointers, and yet another emphatic dunk over defenders.
The Nets have now won three in a row and look to cap off a 4-1 home stand against the Celtics on Saturday afternoon.
Behind Enemy Lines - Wizards Quotes
Head Coach Eddie Jordan
"They had a good spurt there, J. Kidd got going, they hit some threes, and we couldn't get a hold on their pick and roll set, although we tried. we tried to do some things but didn't execute as well on defense as i wish we would have. They made some shots. J. Kidd is a heck of a distributor. We just couldn't overcome it. I thought we made a good couple of runs but we just still couldn't overcome it."
"We knew their bench was coming along. We knew Eddie House and Nachbar and Clifford. We knew the bench was coming along. We knew the bench was strong. One of our game plans was bench versus bench. Who was going to have the energy, and who was going to rebound? Lastly, who was going to make shots. Roger Mason Jr. was big and I'm very happy for him. He made shots and defended well. He got to the basket and executed well. Jarvis (Hayes) took a while to get going. We got him in the post and just playing defense got us going."
Guard Gilbert Arenas
"We knew they were going to send more people at me because Antawn (Jamison) was out. That is why people like Jarvis (Hayes) are stepping up, in addition to Roger Mason, Jr. We just had to keep fighting and keep going. We lost 7 of our last 11. We hopefully get Antawn back tomorrow, so that's more fire power. Vince Carter started off on fire, then Jason Kidd and Nachbar. That's sixty or seventy points between those three. When they have it going like that, it's hard to win."
Roger Mason Jr.
"I've gotten the opportunity to play the last couple of games and I wanted to make the most of it. Obviously they were hot today and we gave up a few too many open looks. Defensively, our rotations weren't what they were supposed to be. It's the NBA and we have a game tomorrow. I was really happy for the opportunity to go out there and play."
Three’s a Crowd
In all, the Nets hit 16-of-32 three-pointers, setting a franchise record high for three-pointers made. Jason Kidd’s third quarter barrage from deep, in which he hit 5 triples, tied the mark for most three-pointers in a quarter this season. Lawrence Frank did not have an issue with the preponderance of deep shots, because of how they were set up.
“The key is we like shooting the three as long as it is the result of a paint attack or penetration,” said the coach.
“The rhythm expected three off of a paint attack, those are good shots.”
Vince was on the same page as the coach in the post-game.
“It was just opportunity. Guys were hitting shots. We were just taking shots that were there. We were just driving and kicking.”
How 'Bout Boki?
Bostjan Nachbar has been unbelievable off the bench for New Jersey this season. Last night he scored 23 points and grabbed 6 rebounds. Over the last five games, Boki has averaged 17.6 points and 5.8 rebounds on .604 from the field. This season, Nachbar has topped his previous career high of 21 points in a game three times.
How 'Bout the Blocks?
New Jersey set a season high for blocks as a team this season with 7, led by Jason Collins (game high 3 blocks).
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