NJN@ATL 1.5.08

Nets Down Hawks

By: NBASCOUT / Special to netsinteractive

As has been the case of late, down by 3-points, 79-76, in favor of the Atlanta Hawks after three periods, the surging New Jersey Nets saved their best for last as they uncorked a furious 15-0 run to start quarter four that not only broke open a close game to that point, but let them take absolute command the rest of the way while demoralizing the lightning-struck Hawks. When it was all over, the Nets came away from Atlanta (\’burning\’) with a 113-107 victory that was their fifth in a row and seventh of their last eight.*

Once again, the Nets fell behind early (by as much as 14) in the first half with 9:38 to go at 25-39, but managed to cut it to seven, 50-57 at the half thanks in major part to three treys in a row (two by Nachbar). In essence, the Nets effectively \’played possum\’ for the better part of three quarters before roaring to life and puting the Hawks away with a tremendous finishing flourish.

Atlanta did try to stage something of a comeback of their own late in the fourth culminating in a drive to the hoop by PG Anthony Johnson for a deuce with less than 1:06 remaining, but it fell short as they were turned back by the Nets when they crept within two points at 103-105. SG Vince Carter promptly sank a long-range jumper at the one-minute mark and PF Josh Boone jammed home a dunk off a feed from SF Richard Jefferson with but 17 seconds to go to push the Nets\’ lead to six and close out the game. A parade of free throws by the Nets accounted for the final score.

That was pretty much \’all she wrote\’ as Atlanta collapsed. The victory was all the more savory in that the Nets played shorthanded. Reserve PF Malik Allen was out with pain in his lower back and C/PF Jamaal Magloire didn\’t make the trip for personal reasons.

None the less, their services weren\’t necessary as six different Nets scored in double figures. That included the entire starting cast (JK, VC, RJ, JB and SW) and one reserve (Boki) [count \’em: 6].

Star SG Vince Carter led the Nets with 29 points and 6 dimes. SF Richard Jefferson, still showing no ill-effects of the suppossed flu he seemed to be down with, chipped in 21 points in support.

Superstar PG Jason Kidd not only orchestrated the victory with yet his ninth triple-double (10p, 14a, 13r, 3s) on the season and the 96th of his career, but he played stout defense (with help from his mates) against high-scoring Atlanta SF Joe Johnson who was held to only single digits (9 points on 4-of-16 shooting). Can you imagine Jason posting a triple-double on consecutive nights (he did it last night against Charlotte) back-to-back?

Jason Kidd is likely to surpass some rare milestones very soon. That includes being one of only two other players in history to record 100 triple-doubles in a career. He is in hot pursuit of Magic Johnson (138) and Oscar Robertson (181). Some project him to be on pace to record at least 22 of these remarkable feats this year alone.

[Digression of Note: Holy moly! This is getting better than Hank Aaron\’s quest to best Babe Ruth\’s record. Is it only just me? … Or do you agree? … BUT I think Jason Kidd should lose the moustache …]

Once again, the Kiddie Corps, feeling their oats, combined for one of their best nights yet. It included 32 points, 17 boards and a pair of blocks to go with hustle and intensity in under 50 minutes. This time Sean \”Swat\” Williams, starting in the middle, poured in 15 points and hauled in five boards to go with his pair of blocks. His PF running mate, Josh \”All-Biz\” Boone, not to be outdone, recorded another double-double (his third on the season) with a robust 17 points and 12 caroms.

Finally, the sixth-man SF Bostjan \”Boki\” Nachbar we knew from last year came alive. He sank 6-of-9 from the floor including 4-of-6 from beyond the arc to rack up 16 points in less than 28 minutes. That might have been the difference in the game as the Nets went 9-of-18 from beyond-the-arc while the Hawks could manage only a measly 2-of-14 even though they dominated the points in the paint (66 to only 38 for New Jersey). Throw in a pair of steals and assists to go with three boards and smart play and you get an idea why the Nets didn\’t need much else from their bench on this gloomy night in Atlanta for Hawks\’ fans.

In the end, the Hawks got tangled in the Nets. Nevertheless, I didn\’t see any signs urging the faithful to \”fire [Hawks\’ Coach Mike] Woodson.\”

The Nets now get two days to relax before they head up to Charlotte, North Carolina, to see if they can pound the Bobcats into submission once more. Here, kitty … kitty …!

YES Network is slated to air the contest at 7:00pm EST. Stay tuned!

NBASCOUT is an independent freelance sportswriter that covers the NBA and the New Jersey Nets. He is not affiliated with the National Basketball Association. Copyright 2005-2008 by NBASCOUT, all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the express written consent of the author. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and not necessarily this website. You may e-mail NBASCOUT in care-of his wife, who writes for children, at kathyforkids@cs.com

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