After barely missing a triple-double, Kidd and the New Jersey Nets look to continue their recent success against the Bulls when they meet Thursday.
Just hours after filing for divorce from his wife of 10 years, Kidd turned in another solid performance with 10 points, 14 assists and eight rebounds to lead the Nets (15-19) to a 101-86 victory over Toronto on Tuesday.
“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. One of her attorneys, celebrity divorce lawyer Raoul Felder, blasted the point guard on Wednesday and noted Joumana will file a counter complaint next week.
“He says he’s threatened by her? He’s a star athlete. She’s 5-foot-2, I think, and 105 pounds,” Felder said. “It’s shameful what he did here. The truth will come out.”
Kidd helped New Jersey win its first matchup with Chicago (20-16) this season, totaling 17 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists and five steals as the Nets won 91-86 on Friday. He has 81 career triple-doubles and is nearly averaging one in his last eight games against the Bulls. He has averaged 12.6 points, 10.5 rebounds and 9.6 assists in that span as New Jersey has gone 6-2 against Chicago.
The Nets enter this game having won four of their last five. They dominated the Raptors, getting 32 points from Vince Carter and 21 from Richard Jefferson. Carter, who notched his 12th 30-point game of the season and averages a team-high 25.2 points, was forced to leave the game late after being poked in the eye, but the injury was not serious.
New Jersey forward Cliff Robinson, who only returned to the lineup two games ago after knee surgery, did not play in the second half against Toronto because of a strained back. His status for Thursday’s game is uncertain.
Chicago has lost four of five, marking its worst stretch since opening the season 3-9. The Bulls lost 113-103 to Washington on Wednesday night despite having three players top 20 points.
Hinrich shot 3-for-10 in the first half before making six of his first seven shots in the second half by mixing 3s and drives to the basket. It was quite a turnaround from the previous three games, in which the guard shot only 19 percent (6-for-31) from the field.
Hinrich is averaging 19.1 points and 7.4 assists while shooting 40 percent (24-for-59) from 3-point range in 11 games against New Jersey, but Chicago is 2-9 in that span.
Nocioni, meanwhile, has made 54 percent (12-for-22) of his shots from beyond the arc in his last five games. He is averaging 21.0 points and 9.0 rebounds in his last three games against the Nets.
Bulls reserve forward P.J. Brown, who missed the team’s previous game while dealing with a personal matter, was back in uniform Wednesday but didn’t play. Brown is averaging 8.0 rebounds in 35 games against New Jersey, where he played his first three seasons after being drafted in the second round in 1992.