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Updated: Friday, November 8, 2002 11:20 PM EST
NBA RECAP
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New Jersey 106, La Clippers 92
LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS
Los Angeles Clippers
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New Jersey Nets
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EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Ticker) -- A seven-point halftime deficit did not sit well with Jason Kidd.

Kidd poured in 27 of his 35 points in the second half for his new high with the New Jersey Nets as they rallied for a 106-92 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers.

After winning its first four games, New Jersey suffered a 99-93 loss at Milwaukee on Thursday and turned in a dismal second quarter in which it was outscored, 30-16, for a 56-49 deficit at halftime. Kidd had just eight points and three assists after 24 minutes.

Kidd netted 12 points in the third quarter as the Nets pulled within 78-77 and continued to pour it on with 15 more in the final period. Overall, he made all 11 foul shots and added nine assists and seven rebounds.

"That's (scoring) not my M.O.," Kidd said. "But, tonight I felt that's what the team needed. It's more of a feeling-out period. I thought in the third quarter, I had to get it going."

"You guys know Jason," Nets coach Byron Scott said. "He loves the challenge and Andre Miller is a challenge. He hit some tough shots and Jason did a good job on staying in front of him. But you got to give Andre some credit, the guy's a hell of a player and he hit some tough shots."

Rodney Rogers' free throw gave New Jersey the lead for good at 79-78 early in the fourth quarter. Elton Brand sank a pair from the line to cut the deficit to 86-84 with just over seven minutes left before Kidd took total control.

The All-Star point guard nailed three straight jumpers to open a 92-84 advantage with 5:40 remaining and trigger a 15-4 spurt. He added a pair of free throws and assisted on alley-oop dunks by Kenyon Martin and Richard Jefferson as the Nets extended the lead to 101-88 with three minutes to go.

"Andre Miller thinks he is the best point guard in the league," Martin said. "I think Jason Kidd is the best point guard in the league. He didn't want people to say Andre Miller came in here and took something from him, so he did what he had to do to help us win."

Brand and Miller each netted 20 points for Los Angeles, which has lost four of five to open the season. Miller also had a strong second half with 15 points but was limited to just a pair of assists and had seven of the team's 23 turnovers.

"I prefer that he does whatever he has to to get us the win," Scott said. "It doesn't matter if it is scoring or giving the ball to other guys to score. That is how Jason is anyway, he is a competitor."

New Jersey converted the 23 turnovers into 29 points.

Martin finished with 16 points and nine rebounds while Kerry Kittles added 15 points. But it was the all-around excellence of Kidd that made the difference in his West Coast point guard duel with Miller. Kidd made 9-of-12 shots in the second half.

"Jason had it going tonight," Miller said. "It's easy when we are turning the ball over. It's easy for them to score. They are a transition team and we gave them easy baskets."

The Nets took a 33-26 lead after the first quarter before the Clippers thoroughly outplayed them in the second. Michael Olowokandi made 5-of-6 shots for 10 points and Quentin Richardson added six as Los Angeles shot 71 percent (12-of-17) in the period in comparison to 32 percent (6-of-19) for New Jersey.

"We had a lead and we thought we had the game," Olowokandi said. "We just couldn't finish it off."

But the Clippers committed 11 turnovers in the second half that New Jersey converted into 15 points. The Nets finished with a 28-15 edge in fast-break points.

Olowokandi collected 18 points and 11 rebounds for his third straight double-double and Brand also grabbed 11 rebounds. But starting shooting guard Eric Piatkowski had trouble with the pace of the game and was just 2-of-7 for four points.


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