Wed, May 14, 2003 - Page 20 News List

Nets sweep away Celtics

NO KIDDING A scoring rally by assist master Jason Kidd led to an overtime win in Boston. Now New Jersey will face either Detroit or Philadelphia in the Eastern finals


Boston Celtics guard Paul Pierce has the ball knocked away from him by New Jersey Nets' Jason Collins and other Nets' players as he falls to the court in front of Nets guard Jason Kidd, background, in overtime as the Celtics lost Game 4 of their NBA Eastern Conference semifinal series 110-101 in Boston, on Monday. The Nets swept the Celtics four games to none in their best-of-seven series.


Jason Kidd scored 29 points as the New Jersey Nets completed a sweep of the Eastern Conference semifinal with a 110-101 win in double overtime Monday.

They'll play in the Eastern Conference final for the second straight year against Detroit or Philadelphia. That series, tied 2-2, resumes Wednesday.

New Jersey swept a best-of-seven series for the first time after being swept in seven of them, including last year's NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers. It was only the third time Boston was swept, and the first in a seven-game series in 20 years.

"To come and sweep the Boston Celtics is just history in itself," Kidd said. "They've had so many talented teams."

The Celtics had a chance to win in the first overtime, but Paul Pierce missed a 3-pointer as the buzzer sounded with the score 97-97.

The Nets then held the ball before Kidd hit a 3-pointer as the buzzer sounded -- a final farewell to the tasteless Boston fans who taunted with yells of "wife beater," for more than a year. The taunts were a reference to charges he struck his wife in 2001; the charges were dropped when Kidd underwent anger counseling and paid a fine.

Kidd added 10 rebounds and nine assists, while Martin finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds.

"Jason Kidd is a great player," Boston coach Jim O'Brien said. "He's the best passer I've ever seen in my life."

Added Eric Williams: "He's probably the best player going on right now. He takes all 12 of those guys and makes them like superstars."

For Boston, Pierce had 27 points and 10 rebounds, while Tony Delk scored 23, a career playoff high.

Antoine Walker had 20 points, nine rebounds and seven assists for the Celtics and went 8-for-15 from the field.

Richard Jefferson and Eric Williams traded baskets in the second overtime before Kerry Kittles' 3-pointer put the Nets ahead to stay, 102-99, with 3:56 remaining. Williams' basket was Boston's only one of the second overtime as the Nets outscored the Celtics 13-4.

Kenyon Martin's layup made it 104-99 before Jefferson hit a free throw. After Williams missed a 3-pointer, his two free throws made it 105-101 with 36 seconds to play.

Kidd was fouled and made both shots, and Williams missed a layup on the Celtics' final possession.

The Nets then held the ball before Kidd hit a 3-pointer as the buzzer sounded -- a final farewell to the Boston fans who taunted him for more than a year.

Phil Jackson returns

Coach Phil Jackson rejoined the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday, two days after undergoing a heart procedure, and will travel to San Antonio for Game 5 of their playoff series against the Spurs.

"He was here early this morning, met with the coaches, went over videotape," team spokesman John Black said. "He's in a great mood. Considering what he went through, he's in remarkable shape."

Jackson underwent an angioplasty Saturday to open his left anterior artery, which was over 90 percent blocked. He was released from Centinela Hospital Medical Center on Sunday morning but watched the Lakers' 99-95 victory over the Spurs on television at his home.

It was the first postseason game Jackson has missed in his 13-year career as an NBA head coach. His teams have won a record 25 straight playoff series and nine championships, equaling the record of former Boston coach Red Auerbach.

Assistant Jim Cleamons filled in for Jackson on Sunday. By winning, the three-time defending NBA champion Lakers tied the Spurs 2-2 in the best-of-seven series.

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