Nets use road victory to get even with Spurs

Saturday, June 7, 2003

SAN ANTONIO -- Jason Kidd wiped his right hand against his hip, brought it to his mouth and blew a kiss to his family -- just as he does every time he shoots a free throw.

Six times he went to the line in the final 20 seconds, and five of those times he calmly sank the shot.

Thought this was going to be a noncompetitive NBA Finals? Kiss that notion goodbye.

Kidd's free-throw shooting, along with the defense of Dikembe Mutombo and Jason Collins against Tim Duncan, led the New Jersey Nets to an 87-85 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night, evening the series at one game apiece.

The Spurs had a chance to win it at the end, but Stephen Jackson missed a 3-pointer with 3 seconds left, and no one gained control of the loose ball before the final buzzer sounded.

The series now heads to New Jersey for a week, and it's a whole lot different than it did a day earlier, when the Nets were questioning and almost ridiculing the strategies used by coach Byron Scott.

Collins, a second-year center, also was effective in neutralizing Duncan as the Nets held the MVP to 19 points and 12 rebounds.

Kidd led the Nets with 30 points -- including 13 in the fourth quarter -- and seven rebounds. Kenyon Martin had 14 points and two blocks, and Lucious Harris came off the bench to score 10.

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