New Jersey Looks to Take Advantage of Philadelphia's Struggles

Team Page: Philadelphia :: New Jersey

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Increased scoring from Jason Kidd helped the New Jersey Nets end a long losing streak. Allen Iverson's torrid run on offense, meanwhile, hasn't been enough to end the Philadelphia 76ers' struggles.

Kidd and the Nets (6-9) look to win consecutive games for just the second time this season when they host Iverson and the struggling 76ers (5-9) on Saturday night.

Oddsmakers have made New Jersey -5 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for todays game, the over/under has been set at

196 total points (View NBA Sports Books).

Kidd had 19 points as New Jersey snapped a six-game losing streak with a 106-103 win at Boston on Wednesday night. The Nets, who lead the Atlantic Division, have a chance to win two straight for the first time since Nov. 15-17.

Kidd also added eight rebounds and nine assists Wednesday while snapping a streak of five straight games scoring in single figures. He was 12-of-43 from the field during that stretch.

New Jersey had scored under 100 points in each game during the skid.

``There is no one we would rather have lead our team than Kidd,'' coach Lawrence Frank said.

Kidd is one triple-double shy of tying Wilt Chamberlain for third on the career list at 78. Oscar Robertson is first with 181, followed by Magic Johnson with 138.

Vince Carter led the Nets Wednesday with 23 points, 16 in the fourth quarter.

``We've been playing bad basketball long enough,'' said Carter, who tops New Jersey with 26.8 points per game. ``We (Kidd and Carter) wanted to change things and this win was much needed.''

Nets center Nenad Krstic, the team's first-round pick in 2002, is averaging career highs with 16.3 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. He has averaged 18.3 points in the last three contests.

Iverson had 45 points but the 76ers lost their second straight game, 103-91 at Miami on Monday night.

He had 27 at the half, when the score was 51-all, but the Heat pulled away as Iverson shot 7-for-19 in the second half. Iverson finished 17-for-37 for the 76ers, who shot 37.1 percent.

``I'm disappointed, because we're a good team,'' said Iverson, who is among the league leaders with 31.7 points per game. ``We just have to maintain how we play in the beginning of the game throughout the whole game.''

Iverson left practice Wednesday, complaining of fatigue, and also skipped a bowling event with corporate sponsors and season-ticket holders. He was fined an undisclosed amount for missing the event and said the effects of medicine after a dental procedure made him unable to attend.

``I'm not too much worried about the fine as the fact I missed a team event,'' Iverson said. ``That's the most important thing. But it's been bothering me since I had the teeth pulled.''

Philadelphia's Shavlik Randolph, who has started the last six games in place of injured forward Chris Webber, broke his left ankle at practice Thursday and was taken by ambulance to a hospital. Randolph was playing defense when he collided with Andre Iguodala.

``I saw players just running around and screaming,'' 76ers coach Maurice Cheeks said. ``It was something bad. I've never seen anything like it in my life.''

Randolph averaged 6.7 points and 6.5 rebounds in the six starts.

``It was like a Joe Theismann thing,'' Iguodala said, referring to the career-ending hit on the Washington Redskins quarterback in 1985.

Webber has been out with back problems, and his status for Saturday's game is uncertain.

Philadelphia won three of four games against New Jersey last season after dropping six of seven in the series.

By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us

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