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NBA  FINAL            1ST  2ND  3RD  4TH  TOTAL
                      ---  ---  ---  ---  -----
     NEW JERSEY       17   20   29   22    88   
     HOUSTON          25   21   14   17    77      FINAL

HIGH SCORERS:   NJN - KENYON MARTIN 27, JASON KIDD 21, RICHARD
                      JEFFERSON 17
                HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 26, JIMMY JACKSON 15, 
                      CUTTINO MOBLEY 13

Box Score

NEW JERSEY (88) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp R Jefferson 41 6-11 5-6 0-2 2 2 17 K Martin 42 10-18 7-7 1-11 1 4 27 J Collins 32 1-5 1-2 2-6 0 5 3 J Kidd 43 7-17 5-5 2-7 11 4 21 K Kittles 39 3-9 3-4 0-5 1 3 9 A Williams 12 0-1 0-0 1-2 1 1 0 Z Planinic 2 1-2 0-0 0-0 0 0 2 L Harris 16 1-1 0-0 0-1 1 2 2 R Rogers 13 2-5 2-2 1-2 0 0 7 H Davis DNP - COACH'S DECISION B Armstrong DNP - COACH'S DECISION B Scalabrine DNP - COACH'S DECISION _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 31-69 23-26 7-36 17 21 88 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.449, FT-.885. 3-Point Goals: 3-13, .231 (J Kidd 2-7, K Kittles 0-3, Z Planinic 0-1, R Rogers 1-2). Team Rebounds: 6. Blocked Shots:2 (A Williams, K Martin). Turnovers:11 (J Kidd 5, K Martin 2, R Jefferson 2, K Kittles, J Collins). Steals: 6 (K Martin 3, J Collins 2, L Harris). HOUSTON (77) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp J Jackson 41 6-12 1-2 0-4 4 5 15 K Cato 26 3-5 0-2 0-5 1 3 6 Y Ming 29 2-9 5-6 1-6 0 0 9 S Francis 44 10-16 5-8 0-2 7 2 26 C Mobley 39 3-7 5-6 1-2 4 4 13 M Taylor 30 3-8 0-0 3-8 2 2 6 B Nachbar 4 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 2 0 M Jackson 13 0-3 0-0 0-0 3 1 0 C Weatherspoon 3 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 M Wilks 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 S Padgett 10 1-3 0-0 2-4 0 1 2 E Piatkowski DNP - COACH'S DECISION _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 28-64 16-24 7-31 21 20 77 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.438, FT-.667. 3-Point Goals: 5-11, .455 (J Jackson 2-4, S Francis 1-1, C Mobley 2-4, M Jackson 0-1, S Padgett 0-1). Team Rebounds: 12. Blocked Shots:2 (S Padgett, Y Ming). Turnovers:13 (C Mobley 5, S Francis 4, J Jackson, Y Ming, M Taylor, K Cato). Steals: 6 (K Cato 2, C Mobley 2, J Jackson, S Francis). ------------------------------------------- NEW JERSEY 17 20 29 22 - 88 HOUSTON 25 21 14 17 - 77 ------------------------------------------- Technical fouls: Houston - 1 (Defensive Three, 3:45 3rd). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 18,332. T: 2:15. Officials: Phil Robinson, Ron Garretson, Tim Donaghy.


Extended Box

NEW JERSEY (88) AT HOUSTON (77) NEW JERSEY REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === R JEFFERSON F 41 6-11 5-6 0 2 2 2 2 0 2 17 K MARTIN F 42 10-18 7-7 1 10 11 1 4 3 2 27 J COLLINS C 32 1-5 1-2 2 4 6 0 5 2 1 3 J KIDD G 43 7-17 5-5 2 5 7 11 4 0 5 21 K KITTLES G 39 3-9 3-4 0 5 5 1 3 0 1 9 A WILLIAMS 12 0-1 0-0 1 1 2 1 1 0 0 0 Z PLANINIC 2 1-2 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 L HARRIS 16 1-1 0-0 0 1 1 1 2 1 0 2 R ROGERS 13 2-5 2-2 1 1 2 0 0 0 0 7 H DAVIS DNP - COACH'S DECISION B ARMSTRONG DNP - COACH'S DECISION B SCALABRINE DNP - COACH'S DECISION TOTALS 240 31-69 23-26 7 29 36 17 21 6 11 88 (.449) (.885) TEAM REBS: 6 TOTAL TO: 11 (15 PTS) HOUSTON REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === J JACKSON F 41 6-12 1-2 0 4 4 4 5 1 1 15 K CATO F 26 3-5 0-2 0 5 5 1 3 2 1 6 Y MING C 29 2-9 5-6 1 5 6 0 0 0 1 9 S FRANCIS G 44 10-16 5-8 0 2 2 7 2 1 4 26 C MOBLEY G 39 3-7 5-6 1 1 2 4 4 2 5 13 M TAYLOR 30 3-8 0-0 3 5 8 2 2 0 1 6 B NACHBAR 4 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 M JACKSON 13 0-3 0-0 0 0 0 3 1 0 0 0 C WEATHERSPOON 3 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 M WILKS 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 S PADGETT 10 1-3 0-0 2 2 4 0 1 0 0 2 E PIATKOWSKI DNP - COACH'S DECISION TOTALS 240 28-64 16-24 7 24 31 21 20 6 13 77 (.438) (.667) TEAM REBS: 12 TOTAL TO: 16 (12 PTS) NEW JERSEY 17 20 29 22 - 88 HOUSTON 25 21 14 17 - 77 BLOCKED SHOTS: NEW JERSEY - A WILLIAMS, K MARTIN. HOUSTON - S PADGETT, Y MING. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: NEW JERSEY 3-13 (.231), J KIDD 2-7, K KITTLES 0- 3, Z PLANINIC 0-1, R ROGERS 1-2. HOUSTON 5-11 (.455), J JACKSON 2- 4, S FRANCIS 1-1, C MOBLEY 2-4, M JACKSON 0-1, S PADGETT 0-1. TECHNICAL FOULS: HOUSTON - DEFENSIVE THREE. FLAGRANT FOULS: NONE. OFFICIALS: PHIL ROBINSON, RON GARRETSON, TIM DONAGHY. A - 18,332. T - 2:15.


Game Story

HOUSTON (Ticker) -- With the offense struggling, the New Jersey Nets turned to their defense and turned things around. The Nets held the Houston Rockets to 31 points in the second half and got big games from forwards Kenyon Martin and Richard Jefferson in an 88-77 victory, their fourth straight win. Martin had 27 points and 11 rebounds and Jefferson scored eight of his 17 points in the fourth quarter for the Nets, who improved to 3-0 under new coach Lawrence Frank. New Jersey has yet to allow 80 points since Frank replaced the fired Byron Scott. The Nets trailed, 46-37, at halftime but shut down the Rockets in the second half. Houston made just 12-of-34 shots after halftime and managed only two baskets in the final 8 1/2 minutes. "Defensively, we made a little adjustment on the high pick-and-roll in the second half, switching on Jimmy Jackson," Frank said. "We continued to make adjustments as the game went on." "Our defense made big stops in the second half," Martin added. "We made them do things we wanted them to do. (In) the first quarter, they dictated the tempo." Martin did most of his damage early, keeping the Nets within striking distance. Jefferson had two baskets and four free throws in a 3 1/2-minute stretch of the fourth quarter, where New Jersey took control. The Nets also did an outstanding job on All-Star center Yao Ming, limiting him to nine points on 2-of-9 shooting. "I was trying to meet early (when he was running downcourt), get in front of him, get physical," said New Jersey center Jason Collins, who had primary responsibility. "I was playing him hard, playing position basketball." Jason Kidd had 21 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds for the Nets, who got back into the game in the third quarter, allowing just 14 points while forcing nine turnovers. "We were trying to make them beat us from outside," Kidd said. "Anytime you're aggressive (defensively), things tend to bounce your way." "The third quarter came around and I don't know what happened," Rockets guard Cuttino Mobley said. "I don't know what to think. It's crazy. This game, we should have won by 15 points." Steve Francis had 26 points and seven assists for the Rockets, who have dropped three in a row, matching a season high. "We turned it over and we lost heart in the third quarter when it didn't go well," Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy said. "We came out uninspired." The Nets took a 68-60 lead early in the final period, but the Rockets used an 11-0 run- featuring six points by Francis and five from Jackson - to reclaim a 71-68 advantage. A jumper by Kerry Kittles and two free throws by Martin gave the Nets the lead for good before Jefferson's hot stretch. "Each quarter, we improved on defense," Jefferson said. "We were making them take tough jumpers." A lefthanded follow shot by Kidd and Martin's jump hook made it 86-75 with 1:01 to go and sent the fans at the Toyota Center heading for the exits. Houston had one basket in the final six minutes. "I told the team before this (game) - we'll start winning again when we start playing hard again, when we start passing the ball to the open man," Van Gundy said.


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