Harris leads Nets to Game 2 win

Who was that masked man?

Posted: Wednesday, May 08, 2002

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The vocal adulation for non-MVP Jason Kidd was timid in comparison to the chants for New Jersey's masked man.

Lucious Harris shot 10-for-11 from the field and scored 24 points Tuesday night as the New Jersey Nets overcame a subpar performance from Kidd to defeat the Charlotte Hornets 102-88 for a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven series.

''This is the best game I've ever had,'' said Harris, a nine-year veteran who was appearing in only his fifth career playoff game.

Harris had his own personal 6-0 run after the Hornets pulled within three points with 5 1/2 minutes left, leading to a chant of ''Lu-cious Har-ris'' that was many times louder than the defiant ''M-V-P'' chants Kidd heard before player introductions.

New Jersey pulled away from there, closing the game with a 16-5 run.

''For so many years they were booing around here. To have them chanting your name is a big turnaround,'' said Harris, who has been playing with a see-through mask for 5 1/2 weeks after fracturing a facial bone.

The Nets, who have felt all year that no one gives them the proper respect, entered this game feeling more snubbed than ever after Kidd failed to win the MVP award and Byron Scott lost out to Rick Carlisle in voting for coach of the Year.

They didn't get much respect from the referees who put their big men into foul trouble early, but they likely earned it from the Hornets by playing a scrappier game and getting a big boost from their reserves.

The Nets had 14 offensive rebounds and 20 second-chance points in the first half; none of either in the second half.

Keith Van Horn added 20 points and 11 rebounds, while Richard Jefferson came off the bench to score 10. Harris reached 20 points for the fourth time this season and the first time in 41 games.

Kidd missed nine consecutive shots at one point and finished 5-for-18 from the field with 11 points, six assists and three rebounds, but those around him picked up the slack.

''That shows what we've become. Everybody on every given night can be chanted,'' Kidd said.

Charlotte's Baron Davis had the gaudier stat line among the two point guards with 21 points, seven assists and five rebounds, but he went scoreless for more than 15 minutes in the second half before making a meaningless free throw with 35 seconds left. Davis was 1-for-6 at the line.

David Wesley scored 17 points and Elden Campbell added 15 for the Hornets, who also fell into a 2-0 deficit in the second round a year ago before coming back to win their next three games against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Game 3 is Thursday in Charlotte.

''The 17 layups we gave up -- that concerns me more than the atmosphere we'll have at home,'' Charlotte coach Paul Silas said, referring to the Hornets' first home game since an NBA committee unanimously approved their proposed move to New Orleans.

Spurs 88, Lakers 85

Bouncing back from a horrendous Game 1, Tim Duncan had 27 points, 17 rebounds, five assists and five blocked shots as the Spurs evened the Western Conference series with the two-time defending NBA champions.

Duncan also had 10 turnovers, the final one with about 10 seconds left when Shaquille O'Neal poked the ball away from him.

The Lakers, trailing by two, hurried down the court, but in their anxiety to get a shot, Kobe Bryant was called for traveling with 1.3 seconds to play.

Duncan then made a free throw to complete the scoring.

The best-of-seven series shifts to San Antonio for Game 3 Friday night and Game 4 Sunday afternoon.

Duncan, who shot 9-for-30 in the opener, was 10-of-19 in this game. He'll officially receive the NBA's MVP award at a news conference Thursday in San Antonio.



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