Updated: January 7, 2004, 9:40 AM ETBy By Terry Brown | NBA Insider
New Jersey Nets: A 26-point lead obviously wasn't enough for Kenyon Martin last night, as the New Jersey forward hammered Clippers swingman Corey Maggette on his way to the basket. Punches ensued, with suspensions forthcoming. "That was a good foul on Kenyon's part," Nets coach Byron Scott told the New York Times. "I thought Maggette overreacted, and Kenyon's a man. He's not going to back down if someone comes at him and throws a punch." Of course, the Clippers had their own version. "Kenyon took a hard foul on Corey," said coach Mike Dunleavy. "That's Kenyon Martin. He does that. He's up 26 points, and he does that. I'm not sure if it's good or bad. It depends on your perspective. He has a history."
Houston Rockets: Steve Francis doesn't know we're writing about him now, because he doesn't read the newspaper or watch the news on TV after all the negative criticism he's been receiving. But just in case they're listening to him ... "If we start winning, I want to get the same (amount of) respect as the attention I get when we're not playing well," Francis told the Houston Chronicle. "If we lose, it's going to be because of me. It's not because of anybody else. It's cool with me. I mean, I'm the highest-paid player on the team, even though I don't feel like it or act like it. I think in sports, and especially basketball, the highest-paid guys are considered the scapegoats for losses or credited for wins."
Cleveland Cavaliers: Paul Silas had two words when he saw LeBron James walking with Dajuan Wagner while both were in uniform together for the first time all season. "Glory be," the coach told the Lorraine Morning Journal. Actually, he did have more words. "Wags is going to be an important part of this thing," Silas said. "I'm just happy to see him out there. He practiced well the last week or so, and I'll give him some minutes and see how he does."