Just hours after filing for divorce from his wife of 10 years, Kidd turned in another solid performance. He had 10 points, 14 assists and eight rebounds to lead the Nets to a 101-86 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday night in a matchup of the top teams in the weak Atlantic Division.
“There is really no distraction,” Kidd said. “This is my job. This is my livelihood. Anything personal, stays personal. I have a job to do and try every night to go out there and do it.”
That might became increasingly difficult with the divorce papers now filed. Kidd accused his wife, Joumana, of “extreme cruelty” throughout their marriage.
She has not responded yet.
“I can’t talk about my personal stuff,” Kidd said. “I hope you guys will respect this tough situation my family is going through and that we can resolve this as quickly as possible.”
The Nets dominated the first-place battle, getting 32 points from Vince Carter and 21 from Richard Jefferson.
Mikki Moore added 12 points and eight rebounds for the Nets, who shot 50 per cent from the field and limited the Raptors to 38 second-half points in taking a half-game lead in the division where every team is below .500.
“I was just trying to get things going,” said Carter, who scored 24 points in the first half. “I was trying to be aggressive early and often. We have to gain our confidence as a team and I took that upon myself.”
Carter was forced to leave the game late after being poked in the eye, but the injury was not serious.
Top draft pick Andrea Bargnani scored 22 points to lead the Raptors, but only six came in the second half. Toronto got most of its scoring from the bench, with Jose Calderon adding 16 and Morris Peterson 15.
The Raptors’ starting five combined for 29 points, with T.J. Ford and Rasho Nesterovic being held scoreless. Calderon added 12 assists, one shy of his career best.
“Normally I don’t like to give stat sheets out after the game,” Raptors coach Sam Mitchell said. “I feel that all the guys who started should get a stat sheet tonight. Take it on the bus with them and put it under their pillow and sleep with it. Sometimes you need that slap in the face.”
Trailing 48-47 at the half, New Jersey took control with a 17-6 spurt to open the third quarter. Carter got things going with a jumper and Moore followed with two free throws.
Toronto twice pulled within a point before Kidd set up Jefferson for a three-pointer and Carter for a driving layup. A hook shot by Moore and a three-point play by Jefferson eventually pushed the lead to 64-54 midway through the quarter.
The lead grew to 15 midway through the final period before the Raptors made a run and got within 89-81 on a dunk by Bargnani, who finished one shy of his career high.
Kidd then hit a three-pointer to ignite a seven-point run that put away the game.
Carter scored 14 points in the opening 8½ minutes to help the Nets take leads of 15-0 and 24-9. The Raptors, who missed their first eight shots, responded with a 22-2 spurt that was led by Calderon and Bargnani.
Notes: Nets F Cliff Robinson, who only returned to the lineup two games ago after knee surgery, did not play in the second half because of a strained back. …The loss snapped the Raptors’ two-game winning streak. … New Jersey has won four of five. …Toronto is 5-15 on the road this season and 10-5 at home. …The game was the 900th of Kidd’s career. …carter has scored 30 or more points 12 times this season.