Battle of The Bad: Nets at Raptors
Jason Kidd is doing his part to help the New Jersey Nets inch closer to the .500 mark.
Kidd hopes to continue his run of triple-doubles for the Nets when they visit the Toronto Raptors on Friday.
The Nets point guard has posted triple-doubles in three of his last four games, including two straight. He has five for the season – New Jersey is 4-1 in those games – and 80 for his career to move past Wilt Chamberlain for third place on the all-time list.
Kidd recorded his first triple-double this season in the opener, a 102-92 victory over Toronto (8-14) on Nov. 1. He had 14 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds.
The Nets (9-12), who lead the mediocre Atlantic Division, are looking to win three in a row for the first time this season. They won their second straight on Wednesday, 108-95 over Milwaukee behind Kidd’s triple-double and another big performance by Vince Carter.
Carter made six 3-pointers and finished with 36 points to continue his hot shooting from long range. Two days earlier, he made a career-high nine 3-pointers and scored 37 points in a 105-92 win over Memphis.
New Jersey’s leading scorer was quick to credit Wednesday’s big effort by the bench, which accounted for 25 points. The reserves became a bigger factor when forward Richard Jefferson sat out the second half with a sore right ankle.
“Everybody, I think, contributed,” Carter said. “Once you get your swagger and mojo going, it works wonders for you. Those guys came in and gave us energy.”
Jefferson is listed as day-to-day.
Carter can expect another heavy dose of boos from Raptors fans still upset about his departure from the team. This is his first game in Toronto since he capped a 42-point performance with a game-winning 3-pointer in a 105-104 victory for New Jersey on Jan. 8.
Toronto is hoping to have leading scorer Chris Bosh available. Bosh has missed the last three games with a bone bruise on his left knee and did not travel with the team on their two-game Florida road trip.
The Raptors earned a split on the trip with a 91-84 victory at Orlando on Wednesday. Top overall draft pick Andrea Bargnani turned in his best game as a pro with a season-high 23 points, including five 3-pointers.
“They were important shots,” Bargnani said. “One day they go in, one day they go out. I’m still learning about this league.”
Toronto ended a four-game losing streak by limiting Orlando to 37.6 percent shooting, only the second time it has held an opponent below 40 percent this season.
“It is a big motivation for us because when Chris went down people were saying we can’t win any games,” Raptors guard Morris Peterson said. “We just want to prove people wrong. I think it will also give guys opportunities to step up and get guys more playing time.”
Toronto is 5-3 at home – the only Atlantic Division team with a winning record home or away. The Raptors also have won three straight division games since losing the opener to the Nets.
New Jersey is 7-4 against teams from the East, including a 3-1 division record.
By: Marc Young – theSpread.com – Email Us
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