Today in Nets History: Kidd, New Jersey Take 3-0 Lead Over Pistons

21 years ago today, the Nets found themselves one game away from their second straight NBA Finals appearance.
Youtube Photo - thegrandkenyon

In 2003, the "Bad Boy" Detroit Pistons had been reborn.

Boasting a lineup including Ben Wallace, Chauncey Billups, Tayshaun Prince and Richard Hamilton, they had established themselves as a major force in the Eastern Conference.

And the Nets wiped the floor with them.

Led by Jason Kidd's ridiculous all-around skillset, the hall of fame guard tallied 34 points, 12 rebounds and six assists in a 97-85 home victory over the Pistons in game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

On a quest to redeem their loss in the franchise's first ever NBA Finals appearance just a year prior, New Jersey didn't waste time playing with their food as they did in their conference finals clash with Boston in 2002.

Kidd was aided by Kenyon Martin, who turned in 19 points and six rebound of his own, and New Jersey's depth in the commanding rout. Seven-year vet Kerry Kittles posted nine points, and Anthony Johnson and Lucious Harris each had 10 points off the bench. But the story of the game was the Nets' defense.

The Pistons, historically known for their defensive toughness, had their own blueprint flipped onto themselves. New Jersey managed to only allow one scorer over the 20-point mark in Hamilton, holding Billups, Prince and Wallace to just a combined 24 points.

The Nets would go on to complete the sweep of Detroit in game 4, blowing out the Pistons with ease. In their second straight NBA Finals appearance, they earned a date with the San Antonio Spurs. Still in the early stages of their dynasty, Tim Duncan and company dispatched of New Jersey in six games, marking their second of five eventual titles.

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Kyler Fox