for this game

Kidd's triple-double pushes Nets past Raptors

Nov 2, 2006 - 3:24 AM EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Ticker) -- Point guards Jason Kidd and T.J. Ford engaged in a terrific duel until Ford sat down and Kidd stepped up.

Kidd collected his 76th career triple-double and the New Jersey Nets took advantage when Ford took a rest, pulling away for a 102-92 victory over the Toronto Raptors in the season opener for both teams.

Kidd had 14 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists and Vince Carter collected 25, 11 and six for the Nets, who shot 51 percent (40-of-78) from the field and held a 52-38 advantage in rebounds.

"I think that Jason is unbelievable," Nets coach Lawrence Frank said. "He's just so involved in the game. Game one - triple-double. He just continues to rewrite history."

Despite the gaudy numbers, Kidd and the Nets had their hands full with Ford, the 6-foot blur acquired in an offseason trade with Milwaukee. One day after signing a three-year contract extension, Ford had 19 points, seven assists and five rebounds.

"It's a new environment for me," Ford said. "I'm just trying to play well here. We have to learn to play for 48 minutes. We played good for three quarters and got to the fourth and it got away from us."

Ford made a pair of sensational drives in the third quarter before his two free throws gave the Raptors a 68-66 lead with 4:17 left. But he took a seat just over a minute later, and Toronto never led again.

Without Ford at the controls, the Raptors missed four straight long jumpers and fell behind, 74-70, entering the final period. Before he returned, the deficit grew to 80-72 on a jumper by Kidd.

"They made a run, but we didn't make shots," Raptors coach Sam Mitchell said. "We got wide-open shots but shot just 38 percent. I can look at the tape; we didn't make many bad shots."

"They made a nice run and we just weren't able to stop it and come back with our own run," Ford said. "That's something that we have to learn."

New Jersey decided matters with a 12-2 burst that opened a 92-78 lead with 6:07 to play. It was highlighted by 3-pointers by Bostjan Nachbar and Carter and three assists by Kidd.

"My goal this year is to rest and be stronger in the fourth quarter to continue to be strong and keep the game at the speed that we want it to be," Kidd said. "Hopefully that is just the way we will continue to play for 81 more games."

Kidd moved within two of Wilt Chamberlain for third place on the all-time triple-doubles list. He played some at shooting guard, moving for rookie Marcus Williams, who had seven points and eight rebounds in his NBA debut.

"I'm not used to that (rest)," Kidd said. "For us to play, we have full confidence with Marcus out on the floor. It's important that I can play fast for 34 minutes."

"I think Jason Kidd took his game to another level," Ford said. "He made two big shots and kind of took over the game and that was the turning point."

Richard Jefferson scored 16 points and Nachbar and Nenad Krstic added 14 apiece for the Nets, who were run ragged by Ford in their home opener for the second straight season. In a 110-96 loss to Milwaukee a year ago, New Jersey allowed Ford to collect 21 points and six assists.

In his first NBA game in six years, Anthony Parker scored 22 points for the Raptors, who shot under 40 percent (37-of-94) and had 21 fast-break points.

"I've been feeling really comfortable," said Parker, who made 9-of-17 shots. "Tonight I hit shots. Sometimes the shots go in, sometimes they don't. I'm just trying to stay aggressive."

In the offseason, Toronto transformed its roster, adding Parker and a host of other Europeans in hopes of pressing the pace. One of them is top overall pick Andrea Bargnani, who battled foul trouble and managed just two points in nine minutes.

Raptors All-Star forward Chris Bosh did not play well, scoring 14 points on 5-of-13 shooting.

"I think we got up and down the court pretty well but the shots didn't fall for us," Bosh said. "We had 94 shots and we shot a low percentage."

"We've got 81 more games," Mitchell said. "I'm going to promise you one thing, he's going to have another night like this. It's just basketball. You're not going to play great every night."

No one has shouted yet.
Be the first!