NBA Game Summary - Dallas at New Jersey
(Friday, December 19th)
Final Score: New Jersey 121, Dallas 97
East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) - Devin Harris scored 41 points and dished out 13 assists against his former team, and the New Jersey Nets defeated the Dallas Mavericks, 121-97, in Jason Kidd's first game at the IZOD Center since being traded last season.
Harris and Kidd were traded for each other in February of last season in a desperate attempt by the Mavericks to upgrade their point guard position. Harris, who is having a breakout season with averages of 23.8 points and 6.3 assists coming into the game, shot 14-of-25 from the floor.
"It wasn't a personal matchup, I don't have a personal vendetta or anything like that," Harris said. "Most importantly we need to win. It really didn't matter who we played. We needed to get back on track."
Vince Carter chipped in 34 points and 10 rebounds for the Nets, who had lost four of five coming in. Yi Jianlian posted 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Jarvis Hayes had 14 points in the win.
"(Harris) didn't say a word about it," Carter said about Harris playing his former team. "It's the honest truth. I was more proud of him than anything, just how he came out to play a solid game. He wasn't forcing shots or anything, he just played a great game. He was just cool, calm and collected."
Dirk Nowitzki had 24 points to pace the Mavericks, who have lost two of three following an 11-2 stretch. Kidd posted 17 points and seven assists, while Jason Terry had 23 points and six rebounds. Josh Howard added 12 points in a losing effort.
"To show the other team, that was last year," Kidd said. "The trade has nothing to do with anything, that was last year. We fell short in the playoffs, and business is business. I'm being a veteran, I'm not here to show up New Jersey."
Harris and Carter combined to shoot 11-of-17 from the field for 29 points in the first quarter, as the Nets held a 33-30 lead after the opening 12 minutes.
The Nets scored 10 straight points in a 1:11 span to take a 60-48 lead on Carter's three-pointer. Harris had 26 points by halftime, and New Jersey led, 64-51.
"As a team, they had us really on our heels from the beginning," Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle said. "When you're giving up 33, 31, 26, 31 (points in each quarter), you're not going to beat anybody. Our defense as a whole needed to be a lot better. I've watched their last five games, and (Harris) is playing the same way every night. When you give up 14 threes, you're just not going to win."
Harris and the Nets maintained their double-digit lead for a majority of the third quarter, taking a 90-77 edge into the fourth.
Dallas pulled to within 10 on Terry's early three-point play, but New Jersey went on an 8-0 run to make it 98-80 on Keyon Dooling's three with 9 1/2 minutes left. The Mavs never threatened again.
"(In the) fourth quarter we didn't back down, increased our lead, and that's the kind of effort we need," Harris said.
Despite the loss, Dallas has won 14 of the last 17 meetings...The Nets shot 48.4 percent (44-of-91) from the field, while the Mavs shot 41.6 percent (32- of-77)...New Jersey was 14-of-26 from three-point range and 19-of-20 from the free throw line. Dallas was 8-of-21 from beyond the arc and 25-of-29 on free throws.
12/19 23:25:10 ET