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Fourth straight loss drops Hawks below .500

POSTED: January 17, 2008 5:03 a.m.

ATLANTA — Jason Kidd’s crowded stat line didn’t tell the full story.

Kidd had 10 points, 14 assists and 13 rebounds for his ninth triple-double of the season. Equally important, he shut down Joe Johnson in New Jersey’s 113-107 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday night.

"I was just trying to make it tough for him," said Kidd, who held Johnson to nine points on 4-of-16 shooting before fouling out with 4:24 left. Kidd had three steals.

The Hawks led after each of the first three periods, but were outscored 37-28 in the final 12 minutes. The Nets (17-16) won their season-best fifth straight game to move above .500 for the first time since November.

Even Kidd took note of his triple-doubles in back-to-back nights, following similar numbers in Friday night’s home win over Charlotte.

"Especially back-to-back, that’s pretty good," Kidd said. "I’m just trying to help my team and put up 10 points."

Said Atlanta’s Josh Smith, shaking his head after the game: "Mr. Triple-Double. Man."

Nets coach Lawrence Frank said Kidd’s defense on Johnson "was huge."

Kidd had plenty of help.

Vince Carter’s 29 points led six New Jersey scorers in double figures.

"That’s a load for anybody," said Hawks coach Mike Woodson of the challenge of guarding Kidd, Carter and Richard Jefferson, who scored 21 points.

Boone had 17 with 12 rebounds and Bostjan Nachbar hit four 3-pointers on his way to 16 points. Sean Williams added 15.

The Nets took the lead with a 15-0 run to start the fourth quarter, but still had to hold off a late charge by the Hawks (15-16), who lost their fourth straight.

"We have to get off this slide," Woodson said, adding he would consider lineup changes. "When you start losing, you start looking over your shoulder and I’ve got to make sure our guys stay away from that. We’re still in the hunt."

Following a basket by Smith, the Hawks pulled to 105-103 on Anthony Johnson’s drive with 1:06 left.

Carter answered with a long jumper. Smith missed for Atlanta, and Josh Boone’s jam with 20 seconds left just beat the shot clock while pushing the Nets’ lead back to six points.

"It’s nice to show that type of passion and fight and energy," said Frank of his team’s 15-0 run. "It’s an encouraging thing."

Smith led Atlanta with 34 points. Marvin Williams added 18 points and eight rebounds. Josh Childress had 16 and Anthony Johnson added 14 with 10 assists.

Joe Johnson was held to single figures for the second straight game. He had eight points on 3-of-11 shooting in Friday night’s loss at Indiana and has been held under 10 points in back-to-back games for the first time since scoring in single figures in three straight games for Phoenix in December, 2004.

Johnson still helped with eight rebounds, eight assists and four steals.

Nachbar made three 3-pointers in the first 5 minutes of the second period, and Marcus Williams added another 3 before Carter nailed a fallaway jumper for the Nets’ first 2-pointer of the period.

The Nets pulled to 53-47 on a powerful one-handed jam by Jefferson over Shelden Williams. Jefferson scored on Kidd’s 10th assist.

Jefferson was slow to get up after taking a blow to his right knee late in the game.

"I feel fine," Jefferson said. "I’m anticipating I’ll be all right. If there’s any swelling tonight, I may have an MRI tomorrow."

The Hawks led 57-50 at halftime but the Nets took the lead with a 17-4 run to open the third quarter. A hook shot by Sean Williams gave the Nets a 60-59 lead, their first lead since the first quarter.

Notes: Nets F Malik Allen was held out with lower back pain. ... G Antoine Wright (right ankle sprain) missed his seventh straight game. ... Kidd has 96 career triple-doubles. ... Marvin Williams fouled out with 4:48 left and earned a technical foul on his way off the court. ... The Nets, who beat Atlanta 87-82 at New Jersey on Nov. 6, have four straight wins in the series. ... The Hawks made only two of 14 3-pointers. The Nets made nine of 18.



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