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January 9, 2008 4:43 PM

New Jersey game thread

Posted by Percy Allen

THAT'S FIVE IN A ROW --- The Sonics picked up their fifth straight loss 99-88. Petro tied a season-high with 22 points. Durant finished with 15, Collison had 18 points and 15 rebounds and Wilkins chipped in 13 points.

TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE? --- With 1:45 left, Damien Wilkins cut the Sonics deficit to 10 (94-84) on a pair of free throws.

LOW TURNOUT --- Announced crowd is 14,101, but it looks much less.

PETRO TRACKER --- The Sonics center needs two points to reach his career high in points. He's got 20.

KIDD TRACKER --- Unless the Sonics make a miraculous comeback in the next few minutes, Kidd is done for the night. He's sitting at the end of the bench laughing with Jefferson and it doesn't look like he's playing again. His triple double streak ends at three.

DISAPPEARING ACT --- In three of the past five games, Wally Szczerbiak has scored at least 15 pionts. But tonight he's scoreless in eight minutes. I'm guessing he's bothered by something. Maybe a sore knee. He's palyed heavy minutes lately and could need a breather. If not for Petro (16 points), this game would really be ugly.

THIRD QUARTER --- If it's any consolation, at least the Sonics committed just three turnovers in the period. Apparently Carlesimo said somthhing about ball protection at halftime. Still, they're down 80-65. Collison has 18 points, Durant 15 and Petro 12. But they're no match for the Nets Big Three of Kidd (16 points, 11 assists and five rebounds), Carter (15 points) and Jefferson (28 points).

WHERE'S LUKE? --- Before the game, Luke Ridnour gave a thumbs up sign when asked if he's OK, but he's sitting at the end of the bench in uniform and doesn't look as if he's going to play for the second straight game.

KIDD TRACKER --- He's two-thirds of the way to a triple double. Kidd has 14 points and 10 assists. He needs to work on the rebound though. He's got five and will likely be pulled in a few minutes. Not sure if he needs to play in the fourth quarter because it's looking like a blowout. New Jersey leads 74-57.

STARTERS STRUGLING --- With six minutes expired in the third, Thomas, Watson and Green still haven't given the Supes much of a contribution on the offensive end. The trio has 13 points.

DURANT YANKED --- Carlesimo pulled the rookie with just under 8 minutes left because it seemed as if the coach was upset when Durant failed to rotate and left Jefferson open for a three-pointer.

KIDD TRACKER --- He's got 14 points, six assists and five rebounds in 18 minutes.

DURANT GETS HELP --- The kid has 11 points, while Collison has 11 and Petro has 10. That's a good sign. Collison and Petro are abusing Boone, who isn't much of a defender. Green seems to be laboring offensively for the third straight game. The rookie has just three points on 1-for-3 shooting.

HALFTIME --- The Sonics are down 59-46. This time the offense isn't the problem. Well, not exactly. They've committed way to many turnovers to compete with a team like the Nets. The extra baskets have allowed New Jersey to shoot a high percentage (51.2 percent) from the field.

SLOPPY BALLHANDLING --- Already 10 turnovers for the Sonics, which had 23 in last night's loss. The miscues have led to 13 points.

OUI, OUI --- Not sure what's gotten into Petro, but the reserve center flushed an alley-oop dunk from Watson for his 10th point, which ties his single season high.

MORE ON BEYONCE --- The singer,dancer, actress colored her hair again. She's a brunette now. Maybe this isn't news, but I remember her when she had light brown hair. The new do looks good on her.

KIDD TRACKER --- He's a third of the way there. Just knocked down a three-pointer that gave New Jersey a 39-33 lead midway in the second quarter.

JAY-Z, BEYONCE AND KANYE --- The Izod Arena may not be Madison Square Garden or Staples Center, but the Nets draw some local celebs. Part-owner Jay-Z is sitting courtside next to girlfriend Beyonce Knowles and rapper Kanye West.

NICK AND JOHAN --- The Sonics centers are taking advantage of the Nets weak interior defense. Collison has eight points and five rebounds, while Petro has four points on 2-for-3 shooting.

KIDD TRACKER --- The New Jersey guard is nearly half way to the triple double. He's got eight points, five assists and four rebounds in the first.

FIRST QUARTER --- Former coach and analyste Hubie Brown often talks about the importance of closing out a quarter. It's something that has troubled the Sonics in recent games. Tonight they were tied 21-21 with 2:49 left in the first, but were outscored 9-0 and trail 30-21.

AIRLINE TO ALIGATOR --- The Nets arena received a new corporate sponsor in Izod. The company spent $1.4 million to put it's name on the building formerly known as Continental Airlines Arena. They painted the building red and white and from the outside it looks great. But once you get inside, it's the same old crappy arene that fails to draw fans. They haven't sold out one game this season and average 15,000 fans, which is amazing because they have a Hall of Famer in Kidd, two All-Stars (Jefferson and Carter), they win and they play an exciting brand of basketball.

KEEP AN EYE ON --- Jason Kidd. He's recorded triple doubles in three straight games, which is an amazing feat. The last player to do that was Grant Hill in 1997. The last to get four straight was Michael Jordan in '87. Kidd has a chance to get his fourth straight tonight. He's off to a fast start with five points, three assists and three rebounds.

MUCH ADO --- Durant mild left ankle isn't preventing him from playing tonight. In fact, Durant said he never considered sitting out. He suffered the injury midway in last night's defeat in Cleveland.

STARTING LINEUPS

SONICS
F - Jeff Green
F- Nick Collison
C - Kurt Thomas
G - Kevin Durant
G - Earl Watson

NEW JERSEY
F - Richard Jefferson
F - Sean Williams
C - Josh Boone
G - Vince Carter
G - Jason Kidd

OFFICIALS: Greg Willard, Marc Davis and Pat Fraher

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