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Kidd Is No Miracle Worker

June 06, 2002|MIKE VACCARO | Newark Star-Ledger

They left the floor shaking their heads and punching their palms, fully aware of what they'd just squandered. Lucious Harris muttered something to Kenyon Martin, and Martin shrugged his shoulders ruefully. Keith Van Horn folded his fingers on the back of his head. Jason Kidd stared blankly ahead.

Then gazed at the Staples Center ceiling. Studied the scoreboard.

Lakers 99, Nets 94.

Kidd couldn't chase those numbers away during another magnificent triple-double of an evening, and he couldn't blink them away now. He couldn't overturn the 23-point canyon the Nets had dug for themselves, and he couldn't retrieve the fumbled opportunity that had slipped from their grasp.

Turns out, there are some basketball miracles that elude even Jason Kidd's gifted fingertips.

And some big moments these Nets are still incapable of seizing.

For an extended and perfectly unacceptable time, early in the game, the Nets barely seemed capable of holding the court during a lunchtime run at the El Segundo Y.

There wasn't a thing about the game's first 15 minutes--after which the Nets trailed by 23 points--that suggested this was a team worthy of the NBA Finals.

And there wasn't a thing about the game's next 33 minutes-- during which they chopped 20 points off that lead, played better on both ends of the floor, and still couldn't make their free throws--that should trick them into believing they changed anyone's minds about their chances of even making this a competitive series.

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