After dominating the Charlotte Bobcats in a 19-point, 11-rebound, 13-assist performance for his 99th career triple-double in Nets' 104-90 win Friday night, Kidd dressed in the sealed off trainer's room and exited the locker room without speaking to reporters.
On the court the Nets looked nothing like the dysfunctional group that had lost three straight and 13 of 16. But Kidd's postgame brush off showed the Nets are far from a cohesive unit.
"We can't expect to say every night, 'Oh, Jason has to play at this level,"' said Vince Carter, who had 18 points and nine rebounds. "We all have to play on another level for us to win right now."
Richard Jefferson scored 23 points, but it was Kidd's night. His NBA-leading 12th triple-double was his first since Jan. 25, three days after he went public with his desire to be elsewhere by this month's trade deadline.
"Obviously Jason played at a great energy level and was outstanding," coach Lawrence Frank said.
But struggling Charlotte proved to be just what Kidd and the Nets needed. It was Kidd's third triple-double in as many games against the Bobcats this season.
New Jersey was never threatened, building a 22-11 lead and withstanding every Charlotte mini-run. Kidd, who shot 7-for-14, hit a 3-pointer with 5:56 left to put the Nets ahead 91-77.
The Nets hit 9 of 16 3s and dominated the glass after entering the night a season-worst nine games under .500.
Gerald Wallace had 21 points for Charlotte in his return after missing the last two games with a strained right foot. Jason Richardson added 17 points and rookie Jared Dudley scored 15 in the Bobcats' fifth straight loss. It was an uninspired effort that left coach Sam Vincent questioning his team for the second time in two weeks.
"I wasn't really happy with the effort," Vincent said. "We missed shots and I didn't think we defended well. I thought our effort was poor."
Kidd grabbed five rebounds in the game's first four minutes and finished with 12 points, nine rebounds and three assists in a dominant first quarter as the Nets built a 24-18 lead.
"He was laughing and joking before the game that he was going to come out gunning," Jefferson said of Kidd. "But he still took only 14 shots. ... He's a floor general."
New Jersey led by as many as 11 in the second quarter before the Bobcats rallied to 46-41 at halftime behind Richardson's 13 points.
Kidd had his triple-double by late in the third quarter, and his alley-oop pass to Sean Williams made it 67-58 with 2:31 left.
Saying before the game that nobody is safe from changes because of their poor stretch, Frank shuffled the starting lineup. Nenad Krstic, in his fourth game back from knee surgery, started in place of Williams.
Krstic was limited to two points and five rebounds in 16 minutes, but the Nets' frontcourt was stellar.
Charlotte's starting big men, Emeka Okafor and Nazr Mohammed, combined to shoot 7-for-23. While Okafor and Mohammed had 28 combined rebounds, New Jersey held a 50-43 advantage on the glass. Josh Boone had 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Nets.
The Bobcats played without reserve guards Jeff McInnis (illness), Matt Carroll (ankle) and Derek Anderson (knee). Earl Boykins, in his first home game since he was signed by Charlotte last week, had 13 points off the bench in the Bobcats' fourth straight home loss.
"We stunk up the house, man," said guard Raymond Felton, who shot 2-for-10. "We just had a horrible game We didn't play with any intensity. We didn't play with any fire or passion."
- Frank said Krstic will be limited to 15-17 minutes a game as he works his way back from left knee surgery. "After the All-Star break doctors will evaluate it and see if he can push it a little more," Frank said.
- Nets C Stromile Swift was activated for the first time since he was acquired from Memphis, and had two points in three minutes.
- C Jamaal Magloire was inactive to make room for Swift.
- The Bobcats recalled rookie F Jermareo Davidson from Sioux Falls of the NBA Development League. Davidson averaged 18 points and 9.8 rebounds in six games with the Skyforce. "I got a chance to play, that was the biggest thing," said Davidson, who had two points and one rebound.