Bulls
Nets
102 - 110 Final - OT
  for this game

Nets edge Bulls in first game without Kidd

Feb 21, 2008 - 7:07 AM EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Ticker) -- Jason Kidd apparently wasn't the key to the New Jersey Nets' success against the Chicago Bulls.

With trade rumors swirling around him, Vince Carter scored a season-high 33 points and Marcus Williams added a season-best 25 in Kidd's place as the Nets held off the Chicago Bulls, 110-102, in overtime on Wednesday night.

Richard Jefferson scored 24 points and Josh Boone added 15 rebounds for New Jersey, which outscored Chicago, 16-8, in the extra period to secure a win in its first game without Kidd.

"Richard and I had to set the tone at the beginning and be aggressive at both ends of the floor and lead by example," Carter said. "We had to go out there and give it our all until you cramp up."

The Nets won their 13th straight game at the Izod Center against the Bulls to extend their longest active home win streak against any opponent.

Williams, who had been stuck behind Kidd in the Nets' rotation, shot 9-of-18 from the field and seemed to be an able orchestrator for New Jersey's offense.

"I didn't really focus on trying to come out and have a big game, I was just trying to take what the defense gave me and play strong on defense," Williams said.

"We all know what Marcus Williams can do," Jefferson said. "Again, he was playing behind one of the greatest players, point guards of all-time."

A nine-time All-Star, Kidd spent the last six-plus seasons in New Jersey, transforming the Nets from a perennial bottom-feeder into a two-time Eastern Conference champion.

But Kidd, who turns 35 on March 23, had become increasingly disgruntled with the mediocrity of the Nets, who are just 23-30 this season after going 41-41 last season.

The Nets finally granted Kidd's wish Tuesday, trading the point guard to the Dallas Mavericks for a five-player package - headlined by guard Devin Harris - and two first-round draft picks.

The Nets had a fairly easy overtime session after a hectic ending to the game.

"The challenge for all the players is the consistency of it," Nets coach Lawrence Frank said. "We're really proud of our guys, when they did make a mistake, instead of lowering their heads they lifted them up."

New Jersey used a 10-2 run to take a 91-87 lead on a jumper by Williams with 2:40 left in the final period. Joe Smith made two free throws and Chris Duhon hit a 3-pointer from the left corner for the Bulls to give them a 92-91 lead with 1:51 left.

Carter then buried a fallaway floater on the right baseline with 58 seconds left, but Smith answered with a dunk six seconds later for a 94-93 lead. Carter made 1-of-2 free throws at the other end to tie it.

"Everybody really contributed and did a good job," Carter said. "Josh (Boone) was phenomenal on the boards. We were just fighting. We have to fight and out-execute teams. That's how we are going to win basketball games; with us sticking together, playing hard and being tough minded for 48 minutes."

On their final possession, the Bulls failed to get a shot off as Ben Gordon and Andres Nocioni collided at the top of the key, and Kirk Hinrich lobbed the ball into the paint as time expired.

"We need to make the right plays," Gordon said. "We had some good chances to get a good look or get good shots, make the right plays but we just didn't come up with it when we needed it the most."

Smith had 17 points and nine rebounds for Chicago.








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