NEW YORK, April 25 (Ticker) -- After Kenyon Martin carried the New Jersey Nets, his backup came up with a pair of critical baskets to help them to another playoff series sweep.

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Martin scored a playoff career-high 36 points and backup power forward Aaron Williams added a pair of key hoops down the stretch as the Nets completed a four-game sweep of their Eastern Conference first-round series against the New York Knicks with a 100-94 victory.

Kenyon Martin and the Nets have swept their last three Eastern Conference playoff opponents.
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images
New Jersey extended its playoff winning streak against Eastern foes to 14 games, sweeping a team from the East for the third straight series after whitewashes last year against Boston and Detroit. The Nets face the Pistons or Milwaukee Bucks in the conference semifinals.

Martin posted his fourth double-double of the series, also grabbing 13 rebounds.

"(I) just came out aggressive," the All-Star forward said. "With the series on the line, good players step up in pressure situations."

Williams gave the Nets the lead for good at 90-88 with a layup off a feed from Jason Kidd with 3:31 left. After New York's Penny Hardaway made 1-of-2 at the line, Williams again struck by putting home Richard Jefferson's missed 3-pointer with 3:07 to go.

"I just tried to bring a little energy at the end," Williams said.

"Aaron Williams gave us a huge lift - big energy, big bounce," Nets coach Lawrence Frank said. "It's tough when you're dried up because he hadn't played in the whole half."

Four free throws by reserveLucious Harris in the final 13 seconds accounted for the final points of the game, sealing the series triumph.

New York appeared poised to keep its season alive for at least a few more days after Stephon Marbury scored five straight points and assisted on Frank Williams' 3-pointer for an 85-79 advantage with 6:52 left.

Following a timeout by Frank, the Nets responded with the next seven points.

"They took the lead, we didn't panic," Martin said. "Guys just talked through it. We've been together for three years now. The core has been together. We willed our way to a win."

Martin's aggressive play helped New Jersey to a 43-37 advantage on the glass and also limited New York's inside scoring. Martin scored the Nets' first eight points of the final period, emphatically dunking off feeds by Kidd on a pair of pick-and-roll plays.

"K took it to another level," Kidd said. "He understood what was at stake - to shut the door."

The Nets also succeeded in slowing down Marbury at the end. Marbury, who finished with 31 points, did not have a basket over the final seven minutes and was constantly double-teamed.

"Coach Frank had a good game plan," Marbury said. "They did all the right things to get the ball out of my hands."

The shorthanded Knicks, who played without injured starters Allan Houston and Tim Thomas and underwent numerous personnel changes this season, turned in their best all-around game of the series. But the injuries and the lack of cohesion among new teammates proved to be too much to overcome.

"Sometimes it takes teams a year or two to really learn one another and we tried to do it in three months," New York coach Lenny Wilkens said. "You have to give the players some credit for hanging in there."