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Updated: Tuesday, February 4, 2003 12:03 AM EST
NBA RECAP
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New Jersey 109, Seattle 108 (ot)
SEATTLE SUPERSONICS
Seattle SuperSonics
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NEW JERSEY NETS
New Jersey Nets
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EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Ticker) -- Jason Kidd's return did not cool Kenyon Martin's hot streak.

Kidd made a pair of 3-pointers in overtime and Martin had a career-high 35 points as the New Jersey Nets held on for a 109-108 victory over the Seattle SuperSonics.

Kidd had missed the previous two games after straining his groin in Wednesday's victory over Washington. Martin took over as the team's leader during Kidd's absence, averaging 23.6 points and 16.3 rebounds in his previous three games.

"He's starting to feel pretty comfortable now," Nets coach Byron Scott said. "I think he understands who he is as a basketball player. Right now, we are benefiting from his aggressiveness, especially on the offensive end. But I think he can play better and I think you will see that in the years to come."

Martin - angered by his omission from the Eastern Conference All-Star team - continued his dominance on Monday. He made 13-of-18 shots from the floor, grabbed 12 rebounds and started overtime with a three-point play to give the Nets a 103-100 edge.

"They learned by not picking me," Martin said. "I told the guys I am going to go out and destroy everybody, no matter who it is. When you play as aggressive as I have, shots just start to fall."

Seattle's Desmond Mason responded with a layup before Kidd buried a 3-pointer 96 seconds into the extra session.

Gary Payton and former Net Kenny Anderson made consecutive baskets for the Sonics to forge a 106-106 tie, but Kidd sank another shot from beyond the arc with 91 seconds to go.

Anderson made a running layup with 30 seconds left and Kidd missed a potential game-sealing 3-pointer with 12 seconds remaining.

The Nets gave a foul and the Sonics inbounded the ball with 3.4 seconds to go. Mason pulled up for an open 3-pointer that bounced off the back of the rim as time expired.

"It felt good when it left my hand," Mason said. "I squared up nice and I had no one on me. I didn't want to leave it short, but it just didn't fall."

Kidd finished with 20 points and 12 assists and Kerry Kittles scored 17 points for New Jersey, which recorded its fifth win in six games after squandering a 17-point lead in the second half.

Richard Jefferson and Aaron Williams had 10 points apiece and Jason Collins grabbed 12 rebounds for the Nets, who shot 51 percent and held a 43-32 edge on the glass.

Rashard Lewis scored 25 points and Anderson collected 15 and eight assists as Seattle opened a three-game road trip with its third straight loss at Continental Airlines Arena.

The Nets had an 82-69 cushion with 2:45 left in the third quarter, but the Sonics scored 15 of the next 18 points and pulled within 85-84 on a turnaround jumper by Mason 3:02 into the fourth.

"We started knocking down shots in the second half," Seattle coach Nate McMillan said. "Mason knocked down some big shots along with Gary (Payton) and Kenny. Defensively, we also picked it up."

"They got some open shots, got their rhythm going a little bit and this is how it turns out," Scott said. "You get into an overtime game where you had a 17-point lead against a team that you think is dead. You have to give them a lot of credit. They came back and they played extremely hard."

Mason buried a jumper to forge a 90-90 tie at the 5:32 mark, but Kidd responded with a 3-pointer. Mason answered with a finger roll and Anderson buried a jumper with 3:37 left to give Seattle a 94-93 lead - its third advantage of the game and first since the opening three minutes.

The Nets reclaimed the lead on a layup by Kittles and Martin completed a three-point play for a 98-94 lead with 1:53 left.

Mason had a three-point play of his own and, after a layup by Martin, nailed a 3-pointer with 55 seconds left for a 100-100 tie.

Payton missed a running layup with 19 seconds left and Jefferson grabbed the rebound but threw the ball out of bounds as he was looking for Kittles. It was characteristic of a sloppy effort by the Nets, who committed 20 turnovers compared to just eight for the Sonics.

"I think we just relaxed. We got careless with the ball," Kidd said. "Seattle is a good team and they just fought. If it wasn't for K-Mart's performance, we would have been on the short end of the stick. All the credit goes to K-Mart for keeping us together tonight."

Martin blocked Lewis' shot as time expired to send the game into overtime.

"This type of game has been the story of the first half of our season," McMillan said. "We are having trouble closing out games. We had the last attempt in regulation and we couldn't get an attempt at the basket. In OT we had a good look at the end and we don't knock down the shot."


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