for this game

Kidd's triple-double carries Nets past Kings

Feb 24, 2007 - 6:20 AM EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Ticker) -- With Jason Kidd and Vince Carter still around, the New Jersey Nets seemed rejuvenated after a week of rumors and speculation.

Kidd had 22 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists and Carter added 26 points and 11 rebounds as the Nets rolled to a 109-96 victory over the struggling Sacramento Kings.

New Jersey had lost its last three games amidst rampant speculation that both Kidd and Carter might be traded by Thursday's deadline. But the deadline passed with the team intact and the Nets played like a weight had been lifted off their collective shoulders.

"I didn't think there would be too many changes like everyone speculated," Kidd said. "This is the group and we can't sit back and wait, we have to go out there and find a way to win."

"Guys weren't really worried about that," Carter said. "We're just trying to get back on track. We're worried about playing basketball and winning games, so trades weren't our focus. There wasn't any conversation about it in the locker room, I promise."

Despite a cracked rib that was revealed on Thursday, Kidd recorded his 84th career triple-double and his ninth of the season - tying a career high. It was his sixth career triple-double against the Kings, including his second in as many games this season.

"I didn't feel any discomfort," said Kidd, who has also played just two games since missing two with a sore back. "I've been a wearing a protective vest (for the ribs) so it will heal fast and I won't have to worry about it."

Kidd's last triple-double came on January 22 at Sacramento. But the Nets lost on a last-second shot by Mike Bibby to begin a stretch in which they dropped 10 of 15 games.

But New Jersey ended the slide and took control in the second quarter behind Kidd, who scored 13 on 5-of-7 shooting and handed out six assists. Eddie House scored 11 of his 20 points in the period as the Nets scored 38 points on 67 percent (13-of-24) shooting.

Carter controlled the third quarter with 14 points as New Jersey built its largest lead at 75-48 with 6:06 remaining.

But Sacramento rallied in the final period, cutting the deficit to 102-94 on rookie Quincy Douby's layup with 1:42 remaining.

But Kidd drove the baseline and found rookie Marcus Williams at the top of the key for a wide-open 3-pointer 23 seconds later for his 10th assist to seal the win.

Ron Artest had 33 points and seven assists and John Salmons added 16 for the Kings, who fell to 0-2 on their four-game East Coast swing and have lost five of six overall.

"They came out and jumped on us early and just had a lot more energy than we did," Bibby said. "We need to start winning more games than we're winning now."

Sacramento's starting backcourt of Bibby and Kevin Martin combined for just five points on 2-of-12 shooting. Neither played in the fourth.

"We played a back-to-back game and we didn't have it going, so we continued to search (for fresh players)," Kings coach Eric Musselman said. "It's no different that we did (Thursday), we were just playing different people."

"The guys that were in there did a good job bringing us back and just kept fighting," Bibby said.

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