TORONTO, Jan. 18 (Ticker) -- Vince Carter
led six players in double figures with 23 points and took over down the stretch as the Toronto Raptors snapped the New Jersey Nets' season-high six-game winning streak, 89-77.
With Toronto clinging to a 79-73 lead, Carter scored in the paint with 3:37 left. After Jason Kidd
made a basket for New Jersey, Carter tipped in his own miss and then buried a jumper to give the Raptors an 85-75 lead with 2:14 remaining.
Carter then assisted on a three-point play by Jerome Williams
that gave Toronto an 88-75 lead with 1:40 left, and New Jersey got no closer than the final margin.
"I was just trying to attack the rim and draw some fouls," Carter said. "I don't want to settle for the jump shot. They played zone, so I had to do something. In the last four minutes we needed some penetration. It was important for us to score and get all five guys on the floor on the boards."
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Alvin Williams and the Raptors seemed to have a step on the Nets all game, but needed a late run to put it away.
Toronto outrebounded New Jersey, 44-39, and had twice as many second-chance points (24-12).
"I'm not happy with the way we played on either end of the floor," Nets coach Byron Scott said. "We didn't react very well to the pressure. We took the easy way out and settled for a lot of jump shots, and that's not our team. We rely on movement and we were standing around a lot."
chipped in 17 points for Toronto, which has won three straight and five of six. Dell Curry
had 15 points and Keon Clark
added 10 and 13 rebounds off the bench.
"I'm feeling confident and trying to lead by example," Davis said. "I told the guys at the half that we are a better team when we communicate with each other. I think we settle for the jump shots too much. We have to force the issue."
Kidd paced the Nets with 19 points and eight assists. Kenyon Martin
added 14 points and Keith Van Horn
13 and 11 rebounds, but Martin and Van Horn combined for just two points in the fourth quarter -- a dunk by Van Horn that concluded the scoring.
"We didn't act like we won six in a row, we acted like we lost six in a row," Kidd said. "But that's what learning's all about. We are young and we had to learn from our mistakes."
The Raptors closed the second quarter on a 19-6 run that was capped by a baseline dunk by Carter over Todd MacCulloch
to give Toronto a 43-36 advantage.
"The last few games, we played with intensity and tonight we kept it up," Raptors coach Lenny Wilkens said. "Anytime we made a mistake we didn't drop our heads, we just said we'll get it on the next play."
Both teams shot just 21 percent (3-of-14) from beyond the arc. Curry made 3-of-4 3-pointers, but his Toronto teammates were 0-of-10.
"I don't think this team understood how good Toronto is," Scott said. "Jerome Williams and Keon Clark really hurt us, and we gave Dell Curry way too much room."
The Nets trailed 51-39 early in the third quarter but whittled the Raptors' lead to 66-61 entering the final period. After Richard Jefferson's
two free throws to begin the fourth quarter, New Jersey was within 66-63. But Curry responded with a shot from beyond the arc and the Nets never got closer than three points thereafter.
"When they brought in their shooter, Dell Curry, he made shots, and when they missed, they got rebounds and kept balls alive," said Nets guard Kerry Kittles
, who was 4-of-10 for 10 points. "That hurt us when we were trying to get back in the game."
New Jersey (26-12), which was seeking to surpass its victory total from all of last season, still has the best record in the Eastern Conference.
"We didn't play our best game tonight," Martin said. "They made shots late in the game and we didn't. We had a lot of open looks but we couldn t hit them. We need to put this behind us and move forward."