Back to Jersey: Nets Take Game 5, 83-72

CLEVELAND (AP) -- New Jersey? What exit?

The Nets aren't ready to take the off ramp out of the NBA playoffs just yet.

Jason Kidd scored 20 points and the Nets somehow delayed an early summer vacation with an ugly 83-72 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night to pull within 3-2 in their Eastern Conference semifinal.

Doomed by an inability to execute down the stretch in this series, the Nets built a 22-point lead in the third quarter and then hung on for dear life to force a Game 6 on Friday night in East Rutherford, N.J.

How they won was nothing short of a miracle.

New Jersey made one field goal and scored just six points in the fourth quarter on 1-of-15 shooting from the field. The Nets were also only 4-of-10 from the free throw line in the final 12 minutes. Kidd missed five foul shots in the final minute when the Nets were trying to put it away.

Cleveland, which blew a chance to close out the series on its home floor, wasn't much better, shooting just 3-of-17 in the fourth. The Cavaliers played the last 56 seconds without LeBron James, who injured himself tumbling over Cleveland's bench while scrambling for a loose ball with Kidd.

Richard Jefferson added 15 points, Mikki Moore 14 and Vince Carter 12 for the Nets.

James led the Cavaliers with 20 points and Zydrunas Ilgauskas had 15, but Larry Hughes gave Cleveland next to nothing, going 3-of-17 from the floor.

CLEVELAND CAVALIERS
STARTERS MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
Drew Gooden, PF 29 2-7 0-0 0-0 2 6 8 1 0 0 0 2 4
LeBron James, SF 43 5-14 0-2 10-11 3 6 9 5 2 1 5 4 20
Zydrunas Ilgauskas, C 32 6-8 0-0 4-4 2 4 6 1 1 0 2 2 16
Larry Hughes, SG 40 3-17 1-4 0-1 2 1 3 4 1 0 3 2 7
Sasha Pavlovic, GF 30 3-8 2-3 0-2 0 3 3 1 0 0 4 5 8
BENCH MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
Eric Snow, PG 19 1-2 0-0 1-2 1 3 4 1 0 0 1 1 3
Donyell Marshall, F 7 0-7 0-2 3-5 3 1 4 0 0 0 0 0 3
Anderson Varejao, FC 23 1-2 0-0 1-2 2 6 8 0 2 2 2 3 3
Daniel Gibson, G 17 3-7 1-4 1-2 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 3 8
TOTALS FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
24-72 4-15 20-29 15 30 45 13 7 3 18 22 72
33.3% 26.7% 69.0% Team TO (pts off): 18 (16)