EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ, March 12 (Ticker) -- Kenyon Martin
tipped in Jason Kidd's
miss with three-tenths of a second left as the New Jersey Nets ended a season-high four-game losing streak with an 86-84 victory over the reeling Toronto Raptors.
After Vince Carter
banked in a shot in traffic to give Toronto a 79-77 lead with 81 seconds left, Lucious Harris
responded with a 3-pointer and followed a miss by Kidd to give the Nets an 82-79 edge with 28 seconds to go.
and Kidd each made a pair of free throws, the last two leaving Toronto with an 84-81 lead and 12 seconds to play. But Harris fouled Dell Curry>
as he attempted a 3-pointer with 9.4 to go, and Curry sank all three free throws to tie it.
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Jason Collins made five of his six shots for an 11-point evening.
"I was hollering at Scott (referee Scott Foster) that it wasn't a foul, but I knew it was," Nets coach Byron Scott said. "He hit him on the wrist. The only thing went on in my mind was what we were going to run for the game-winner. I knew Dell Curry was going to make all three of them, he is such a great shooter. He has been in this league too long."
After a timeout, Kidd received the ensuing inbounds pass, dribbled into the lane, executed a spin move and got off a shot in the paint that hit the front of the rim. But Martin skied over Alvin Williams
to tip in the rebound.
missed everything with a desperation 3-point attempt from well beyond half court.
"They have nothing to hang their heads about," Raptors coach Lenny Wilkens said. "They played really hard and we were right there. We made some good decisions down the stretch. We missed four free throws that hurt us a little bit, and of course Kenyon Martin got a big rebound. We dropped in to help penetration and the ball came right to him."
Kidd made just 3-of-18 shots but scored 13 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter and added 11 rebounds and six assists for New Jersey, which returned from a winless four-game western road trip.
"This is a game that could have gone either way," Kidd said. "Even before the free throws by Curry, it could have gone either way. The guys kept fighting and we came out with a big win."
Martin added 14 points and a season-high 10 rebounds and Harris chipped in 13 points for the Nets, who shot just 40 percent (31-of-77).
"The ball was not bouncing our way for four games," Harris said. "Tonight it tried to bounce the other way, but then K-Mart got a big basket for us."
Davis had 27 points and 13 rebounds and Carter scored 21 points on 6-of-23 shooting. The Raptors connected at 35 percent (28-of-81) and lost for the 15th time in 16 games.
Neither team held a double-digit advantage in the contest. Both teams led by six points in the first half, which ended with Toronto ahead, 43-42.
New Jersey took a 56-47 lead on a layup by Keith Van Horn
with 6:43 to go in the third quarter, but Toronto went on a 22-8 run into the final period to surge in front, 69-64.
Kidd scored the game's next seven points to give New Jersey a 71-69 lead with 9:12 to go, and neither team led by more than three points thereafter.
New Jersey (40-23) has a four-game lead over Detroit, Milwaukee and Boston atop the Eastern Conference. It is the first time the Nets have won 40 games since they went 43-39 in 1997-98. It's also the latest date in team history they have been in first place.
Toronto (30-36) is in 11th place in the East, a half-game behind Washington and one in back of surging Miami.
"I would say it is one of the biggest (wins), something that was definitely needed and something that we had to have," Scott said. "We were playing against a team that was fighting for their lives, so you knew they were going to bring everything they had."
Paced by Davis and Jerome Williams
, who had 13 rebounds apiece, the Raptors won the battle of the boards, 52-42.
"We got outrebounded and still find a way to win," Scott said. "That is what it is all about. We found a way tonight to gut it out and get a `W.' That is the most important thing."
"You are not just going to get anything," Davis said. "From this point on, we are going to have to go out there and take it. We can't sit back and allow things to happen to us and expect everything to fall into our laps. It is obvious that if we had any kind of luck or thing were supposed to go our way, they would be going our way right now. They are just not."