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Kidd leads Nets past Pistons

Chris Sheridan Associated Press

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Jason Kidd’s series-long slump came to an end, Kenyon Martin was slap-happy with energy and the New Jersey Nets evened things up with the Detroit Pistons in yet another lopsided game.

Kidd had 22 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds for his seventh career postseason triple-double, scoring nine straight third-quarter points when the Nets broke the game open for a 94-79 victory in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference semifinal Tuesday night.

Kidd was shooting an abysmal 23 percent in the first three games of the series, all of which were decided by double-digit margins. He shot 8 for 15 in Game 4 and got plenty of support from Martin, Richard Jefferson, Kerry Kittles and Lucious Harris.

“I called it. He hadn’t had a triple-double in the series. He was due for one,” Jefferson said. “J-Kidd is not going to shy away from a challenge. Sooner or later, those shots are going to fall.”

The home team has won every game in this series, which is tied 2-2 and resumes Friday night at Detroit.

The Pistons dominated the first two games with their defense, but the Nets showed in Games 3 and 4 that they can look to more players than Detroit can for offense.

New Jersey’s defense was not too shabby, either, with Martin showing the most aggression while outplaying opposing power forward Rasheed Wallace, who aggravated a foot injury in the first half.

Also, Pistons point guard Chauncey Billups strained his back in the first quarter and had his second straight poor game.

“If Chauncey was healthy and Rasheed was healthy it wouldn’t have mattered tonight,” Pistons coach Larry Brown said. “They were great.

“To me, that’s the right way to play — the way they’re playing.”

Detroit was a one-man show on offense, getting 30 points from Richard Hamilton and no more than eight from anyone else.

Billups, defended by Kittles, shot 2 for 7 for six points, while the Nets’ centers were able to contain Ben Wallace, holding him to 15 rebounds following his 24-rebound performance in Game 3.

Martin had 16 points and 15 rebounds, Jefferson scored 19, Kittles added 14 and Harris 11.

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