for this game

Kidd, Nets end nine-game slide, beat Bucks

Jan 30, 2008 - 5:51 AM By Carl Dispoto PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Ticker) - Although Jason Kidd wants to be traded, he still continues to make huge plays for the New Jersey Nets.

Kidd scored seven points in the final 1:42, sinking a clutch 3-pointer and assisting on a jumper by Richard Jefferson as the Nets avoided another fourth-quarter meltdown and snapped a nine-game losing streak with an 87-80 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks.

Playing for the first time since Kidd acknowledged he wanted to be traded, the Nets returned home from a winless six-game road trip and took advantage of the shorthanded Bucks, who were without leading scorer Michael Redd for the second straight game due to a strained left knee.

"Regardless of personal thoughts and beliefs, it's important for us to come together and play as one," Nets coach Lawrence Frank said. "And especially for us, because we've been struggling, it's important to focus on one game. We just needed to find a way to win because of this losing streak."

After leading for the entire second half, the Nets watched a double-digit lead disintegrate down the stretch and were clinging to a 78-77 edge after the Bucks reeled off eight consecutive points capped by a pair of free throws from rookie Yi Jianlian with 2:06 remaining.

Kidd made his first - and only - basket of the game 24 seconds later, burying a 3-pointer from the left wing. Milwaukee's Royal Ivey lost the ball out of bounds at the other end and Kidd fed Jefferson for a short jumper on the left baseline that gave the Nets an 83-77 cushion with 1:19 left.

Kidd added four free throws in the final 70 seconds as the Nets avoided their first 10-game losing streak since March 31 to April 19, 2000. He finished with nine points and 11 assists.

"The shots presented themselves," Kidd said. "I wanted the ball and to go to the foul line to have the opportunity to make those free throws. I enjoy when the game is close to be a part of the play or make a shot, and that hasn't changed."

Frustrated with the Nets' struggles, Kidd finally admitted on Monday that his agent has been working to trade the future Hall of Famer to a title contender.

Despite the revelation, he received a loud ovation during the pre-game introductions and showed why it is hard for New Jersey to find a suitable deal for a player of his magnitude.

"I think being here for seven years, I've given a lot to the Nets and New Jersey has given a lot to me, so for a comment to ruin everything we had here, I didn't think that was going to be the scenario," Kidd said.

Jefferson scored 14 of his 20 points in the third quarter and Vince Carter collected 16 points, 12 rebounds and five assists for New Jersey, which won for the seventh time in its last eight games against Milwaukee.

Bostjan Nachbar scored eight of his 14 points in the fourth quarter as the Nets snapped a three-game slide at home and improved to 10-14 at Izod Center.

Ivey finished with a career-high 19 points and Mo Williams and Bobby Simmons each added 14 as the Bucks suffered their sixth straight loss on the road, where they are just 5-21 this season.

"You're on the road, it's going to be a battle and we knew that coming in," Milwaukee coach Larry Krystkowiak said. "We had an opportunity but we just ran out of gas. It's a grind. The season is a grind and a lot of time road games are a grind and you have to approach it that way."

Milwaukee shot just 38 percent (30-of-80) overall, including 6-of-25 3-pointers.

"The shots weren't falling," Williams said. "You have those nights where you just can't get in a rhythm. You get to a point where you're shooting and saying, 'Please go in.'"

After a tight first half, the Nets bridged the second and third quarters with 12 consecutive points to take the lead for good. Milwaukee missed nine straight shots and committed four turnovers during a scoreless stretch that lasted nearly seven minutes.

Williams finally snapped the drought with a jumper at 9:21, but Jefferson dominated the quarter, making 5-of-7 shots from the floor and 4-of-7 from the line.

Nachbar buried back-to-back 3-pointers early in the fourth to give New Jersey its largest lead at 68-56 with 9:30 remaining. The Nets still led by 12 after a dunk by Nachbar at 5:47, but the Bucks rallied with 13 of the next 15 points.

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