Kidd, Nets struggle in Game 1
Thursday, June 5th 2003, 12:00 am
News On 6
SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- If Jason Kidd and the New Jersey Nets keep playing this way, they could get swept again.
Kidd hit 4 of 17 shots and scored 10 points in his second-worst performance of the playoffs as the Nets saw their 10-game postseason winning streak snapped in a 101-89 loss to the San Antonio Spurs in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Wednesday night.
It was the Nets' fifth straight loss in the NBA Finals. They lost all four to the Lakers last year.
"We really didn't do a lot of things we talked about doing to be honest with you," Nets coach Byron Scott said.
The Nets never got their pressure defense going, they didn't run and they didn't show up for the third quarter, when the Spurs got 13 points, five rebounds and three assists from Tim Duncan to take a 74-59 lead.
"We lost, bottom line," said Kenyon Martin, who had 21 points and 12 rebounds before fouling out trying to guard Duncan. "He had a good game. So we have to bounce back from it."
Kidd had a horrible game in his first action since spraining his right ankle in Game 4 of the sweep of Detroit in the Eastern Conference finals.
After hitting two jumpers in a game-opening six-point run that seemed to indicate the Nets were ready to continue their roll, very little fell for Kidd.
"We didn't do anything special," Spurs point guard Tony Parker said. "It was just a bad night for him. He missed a lot of wide open shots. I know he is going to come back strong the next game and he's going to make a lot of shots."
Kidd's only other baskets were a fastbreak layup in the third quarter and a late 3-pointer. He didn't look good on his other 13 misses, including a 3-point airball when the Spurs had an 11-3 spurt to close the third quarter.
"It was a tough night for him," said forward Richard Jefferson, who added 15 points in 36 minutes. "Jason is a competitor. Everyone has one of those kinds of nights.
Kidd added 10 assists and eight rebounds, but the Nets' offense never looked as crisp as it had in the first three rounds of the playoffs.
Kidd did not seem upset, noting the teams were tied at halftime.
"In the second half we couldn't put the ball in the basket," Kidd said. "You've got to give them a lot of credit. Their defense is extremely tough and so you have to make some adjustment. Hopefully, they are the right adjustments."
The 101 points is tied for the most the Nets have given up in a regulation loss, and was only the fifth time in 15 postseason games this year that an opponent has broken the century mark.
The Nets went 33-for-89 from the field (37.1 percent). They only outscored the Spurs 17-11 on the fastbreak and they were outscored 48-34 in the paint.
"Ten days is too long," Scott said. "That's how we felt before the series started. Now we have a game under our belts. We'll go to work tomorrow, work on some things and be ready for Friday."
If the Nets were looking for some good news, Rodney Rogers and Dikembe Mutombo provided it.
Rogers and Mutombo, who didn't play in the conference finals, gave the Nets some excellent minutes in the first half when Martin, Jason Collins and Aaron Williams got in foul trouble early.
Rogers had nine of his 11 points in the half and Mutombo provided energy and defense, blocking a Tim Duncan dunk attempt and then diving to the floor to grab the loose ball.