EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J., Dec. 22 (Ticker) -- Richard Jefferson's career night ended with a dramatic basket.

Jefferson scored a career-high 42 points, including an alley-oop layup with eight-tenths of a second left, as the New Jersey Nets edged the Cleveland Cavaliers, 92-90.

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New Jersey held a media briefing prior to its first home game since trading for Vince Carter, a five-time All-Star who came from Toronto on Friday in exchange for Alonzo Mourning, Eric Williams, Aaron Williams and a pair of first-round draft picks.

Sidelined due to a strained Achilles tendon, Carter was on the bench and received a huge ovation from the crowd before watching his new team outlast the Cavaliers.

Jefferson was a dominant force, making 12-of-20 shots from the floor and a career-high 16 free throws on 17 attempts. He surpassed his previous career high of 39 points at New York on March 28, 2003, capping the performance in dramatic fashion.

"It's not about points, it's about wins," Jefferson said. "I had 38 against Toronto (on Sunday) and I was (ticked) off because we lost. Winning is what this team is all about."

The game was tied, 90-90, when Cleveland star swingman LeBron James missed a leaner over Jefferson with about two seconds left. Rodney Buford grabbed the rebound and called timeout with 1.5 seconds remaining.

Jabari Smith inbounded the ball to a wide-open Jefferson, who caught it at the rim and casually dropped it in. Jason Kidd set the screen that freed Jefferson, causing confusion between James and teammate Jeff McInnis.

"It was an unbelievable pass," Jefferson said. "(Smith) put it so on the money, you get kind of nervous when you catch it. Jason made a great pick. He could probably stab someone in the back and they're not going to call a foul on him."

"It's a lack of communication, that's all," Cleveland coach Paul Silas said. "We were supposed to switch and didn't switch it. We didn't execute defensively and that cost us the game."

Following a timeout, James inbounded to former Net Lucious Harris, who hit the rim on a potential winning 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Buford added a career-best 22 points for the Nets, who beat the Cavaliers at home for a sixth straight time.

"We're really starting to become a team in a sense that obviously we are shorthanded," Nets coach Lawrence Frank said. "For the second straight night, Rodney Buford was very good. It's just the essence of everyone helping each other out."

James collected 23 points, nine rebounds and nine assists but was called for traveling twice down the stretch. He complained to referee Mike Davis and was whistled for a technical foul with 1:20 left.

"I've been doing those moves since I started playing basketball and they've never been a travel," James said. "I've been doing it all year and they call traveling now? I thought they gave an extra step in the NBA."

McInnis finished with 17 points and Drew Gooden had 14 and 11 rebounds for the Cavaliers, who shot just 38 percent (32-of-84).

Cleveland jumped out to an early 12-point lead, but the New Jersey closed the first half with 22-2 run. The Cavaliers missed their final 11 shots of the first half and faced a 49-38 halftime deficit.

Cleveland came back from a 12-point deficit by bridging the final two quarters with an 18-4 run to reclaim the lead. James scored 15 points in the third period, which he capped with a 3-pointer at the buzzer to pull the Cavaliers within 68-67.

"It's disappointing because we fought so hard to get back in the game," James said. "They played well, but this is another one we let slip away. As hard as we fought, that last basket was too easy."