Richard Jefferson scored a season-high 40 points, Jason Kidd had his 74th triple-double, and the New Jersey Nets extended the longest winning streak in the NBA this season to 14 by beating the Charlotte Bobcats, 113-102, last night in East Rutherford, N.J.
The Nets also matched the longest winning streak in franchise history, having won 14 in a row from Jan. 25-Feb. 24, 2004. New Jersey broke a tie with Dallas for the longest winning streak in the NBA this season.
Once the blowout was ensured, the Nets even were able to get Kidd a final rebound in the last minute to add to his triple-double total. He finished with 13 points, 12 assists, and 10 boards, moving within four triple doubles of Wilt Chamberlain for third place on the career list.
Vince Carter added 20 points for the Nets, who pulled away in the third quarter by shooting 14 for 18 (78 percent) from the floor. Jefferson scored 26 points in the second half.
Raymond Felton scored 20 points and Primoz Brezec had 16 for the Bobcats, who stayed close with the Nets for 2 1/2 quarters before Jefferson and Kidd took over.
The Bobcats tied it for the final time at 64 on Felton's 3-point play with 6 minutes left in the third quarter, but the Nets scored 6 straight points, taking a 70-64 lead when Kidd tipped a pass in the air to Carter for a layup.
Jefferson made sure Charlotte wouldn't get close in the final quarter, hitting a jumper and a 3-pointer, pushing the lead to 92-76. He hit two more 3-pointers later in the period, the final one pushing the lead to 107-86 with about 4 1/2 minutes to go.
Pistons 95, Heat 82 -- This time, Detroit survived another frantic, late rally by host Miami -- and moved a big step closer to securing home-court advantage throughout the NBA playoffs.
Rasheed Wallace returned from his one-game suspension to score 20 points, Tayshaun Prince added 20 more and Richard Hamilton scored 19 as the Pistons saw most of a 12-point fourth-quarter lead evaporate before beating the injury-depleted Heat.
Detroit (61-14) won its sixth straight and moved three games ahead of idle San Antonio in the race for the NBA's best record -- the only major piece of regular-season business that remains for the Pistons, who need only three more wins to set a franchise season record.
Dwyane Wade had 29 points, 9 rebounds, and 6 assists and Shaquille O'Neal scored 28 for Miami.