Frustration in Jersey

Jason Kidd's next triple-double will be the 100th of his career. The Dallas Mavericks certainly don't want him to accomplish that feat against them, but perhaps within a matter of days, they'll be rooting him on.

Kidd and his New Jersey Nets look for just their fourth win in 16 games on Sunday when they host the Mavericks, thought to be one of the leading contenders to acquire the disgruntled All-Star prior to the league's Feb. 21 trade deadline.

Oddsmakers from SBG Global have made Dallas -5.5 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for today’s game, the over/under has been set at 188.5 total points (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 82% of bets for this game have been placed on Dallas -5.5 (View NBA Bet Percentages).

Trade speculation has followed Kidd as the Nets (21-29) have struggled for much of the past two seasons, and on Jan. 28 - in the midst of a nine-game losing streak - a report quoted Kidd as saying "it's time for us all to move on."

Dallas (34-15) has been mentioned frequently as a top candidate to land Kidd, who played the first two-and-a-half seasons of his career with the Mavericks. They may seem more inclined to make a move following two recent blockbuster deals from other Western Conference contenders - the Lakers acquiring Pau Gasol and Phoenix getting Shaquille O'Neal for Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks.

But Nets president Rod Thorn insists Kidd won't be traded for just anything.

"If every time someone said, 'I want you to trade me,' you acquiesced, then you put yourself in a very vulnerable position because you have a revolving door," Thorn said.

Kidd's efforts on the floor have remained steady, and on Friday he registered his 99th career triple-double - 19 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds - as New Jersey won 104-90 at Charlotte to snap a three-game skid.

He then exited the locker room without speaking to reporters.

"We can't expect to say every night, 'Oh, Jason has to play at this level,'" said Vince Carter, who had 18 points and nine rebounds. "We all have to play on another level for us to win right now."

Carter is averaging 23.2 points in 13 career games against Dallas.

Kidd's presence in the Nets lineup since 2001-02 hasn't helped when they've faced the Mavericks. Kidd is 1-9 against Dallas since he's been in New Jersey, and the Nets have lost 13 of 14 meetings overall.

The Mavericks have won three straight and 15 of their last 19. They beat Memphis 92-81 on Friday in a game they led by 23 points after three quarters, allowing coach Avery Johnson to give some rest to his key players.

"It was good for us to get minutes for a lot of different guys. February's going to be a beast for us so it's nice to get everyone involved," said Nowitzki, who scored 21 points in 26 minutes.

Nowitzki has averaged 28.3 points in his last three games against New Jersey.

Friday's game also marked the return of Jerry Stackhouse, who had missed seven games due to a sore hamstring. He scored seven points, but tweaked the injury.

"It was good to get some minutes," Stackhouse said. "Today was a trial, a test. ... I'm not feeling as great as I would like."

Another Dallas player who has missed time is Devin Harris. The point guard, who is rumored to be involved in a potential deal for Kidd, has missed the last seven games with a bone bruise in his left ankle. Harris is averaging 14.4 points and 5.3 assists.

The Mavs have won nine straight at the American Airlines Center and have the best home record (22-3) in the NBA. But they're only 12-12 on the road, and have lost four of seven, including blowout losses at Washington and Detroit.

This game will be their first of four in five nights - three away from home - prior to the All-Star break. Six of the Mavericks' next seven games are on the road.

By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us

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