Kidd had eight points, four assists and four rebounds with the game on the line and finished his 76th career triple-double with 14 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds in a 102-92 victory over the Raptors on Wednesday night.
"Getting rest definitely helps," said Kidd, who played only 34 minutes, about three less than he averaged last season. "That's my goal this year. If I have the rest I can be strong in the fourth quarter to continue that push and keep the game at the speed we want to play."
With the 33-year-old Kidd pushing the offense, the Nets turned a four-point lead at the start of the quarter into a 13-point margin and never looked back.
"He's the point guard, he's the general," Nachbar said of Kidd. "He elevates everyone's confidence, especially when he plays like that, when he makes shots and rebounds. A triple-double in the opening game, come on guys!"
Kidd had four points and three assists in a quarter-opening, 18-8 spurt that gave New Jersey a 92-78 lead in what had been a closely contested contest.
Anthony Parker, the free agent signed after playing in Israel, had 22 points to lead the Raptors, who are trying to transform themselves into the Phoenix Suns of the north. T.J. Ford, who was acquired in a trade with Milwaukee, added 19 points and seven assists. Chris Bosh had 14 points on a terrible 5-for-13 shooting night during which he was called for five fouls.
"I still feel confident," Parker said. "We definitely have a lot of improvement to make, but I'm really happy with what I think we can do the rest of the season."
The game also marked the NBA debuts of two of the Raptors' highly publicized European imports, No. 1 overall draft pick Andrea Bargnani of Italy and free-agent forward Jorge Garbajosa of Spain. Neither was very impressive.
Bargnani played just under nine foul-plagued minutes, collecting more fouls (three) than points (two). The 21-year-old center was 1-of-3 from the field with a delay-of-game warning for taking a shot after walk.
Garbajosa played 20 minutes, but only had two points on 1-of-8 shooting and five rebounds.
Carter helped the Nets take the lead for good late in the third quarter, handing out three assists in an 8-2 spurt that put New Jersey ahead 74-70.
Jefferson started the fourth quarter with a driving basket and Kidd followed two free throws by Parker with a pair of jump shots for an 80-72 lead.
After Toronto came within 80-76, Kidd led an 11-2 spurt by setting up two baskets by Nachbar -- one a 3-pointer -- and one by Jason Collins. Carter added a 3-pointer in the run and Jefferson made a free throw, also set up by a pass from Kidd, who is now two shy of tying Wilt Chamberlain for third place overall in triple-doubles.
"That's what he is known for," Ford said of Kidd. "It doesn't look like he is doing a whole lot, getting a lot of rebounds. At the end of the day he ends up with a triple-double. He made some big shots. What can you say? I think that was the turning point."
- The Raptors made 37 of 94 shots, 39 percent.
- Nets F Clifford Robinson missed the game, serving part of his five-game suspension for violating the NBA drug policy during the playoffs. He will also miss Friday at Miami.
- Seven Italian reporters and three TV crews were on hand for Bargnani's debut. The game was broadcast live to Italy. Four Spanish reporters and two TV crews were present for Garbajosa's debut.
- The officiating crew called three carries in the game and one double dribble.
- Nets first-round draft pick Marcus Williams had seven points. The point guard played more than 23 minutes, which gave Kidd his rest.