CHICAGO, Dec. 28 (Ticker) --
In his first start as a member of the New
Jersey Nets, Vince Carter
came up big when his new team needed
Carter scored six of his 25 points in the final three minutes,
including a pair of free throws with 2.6 seconds left, as the
Nets overcame a 39 percent (29-of-76) shooting performance to
post an 84-80 triumph over the Chicago Bulls.
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With the Bulls leading, 76-71, with 2:11 remaining, Carter
sparked New Jersey's 9-0 run with back-to-back jumpers to shave
the deficit to one. Rookie Nenad Krstic
, who scored a
season-high 17 points in 40 minutes, followed with a layup with
1:04 to go, giving the Nets - who shot just 39 percent
(29-of-76) - a 77-76 edge.
"We got a couple of baskets in the paint and took advantage of
that situation," Carter said.
"Before last night, I never played 40 minutes here or in
Europe," Krstic said. "Next game I may be only playing three or
four minutes, that is why I play hard every game."
Carter then dished to Jason Kidd
, who had 11 assists and 10
rebounds, for a 3-pointer with 28 seconds left. Kidd was 0-of-4
from the floor before making the shot.
"I was struggling," Kidd said. "All of the shots I took felt
good but offense usually comes second for me and always will
"I just wanted to be effective out there whether it was taking a
shot or setting up one of my teammates," Carter said. "I felt
I could get could get something going for us out there."
Hinrich scored 30 points for Chicago - his second 30-point
effort against New Jersey this season. But the second-year
point guard also committed three of the team's 24 turnovers,
which ultimately cost them.
"It hurts to lose a game like that," Hinrich said. "We pretty
much had that game but we started to turn the ball over and
ending up self-destructing."
Rookie Ben Gordon
added 19 points, making all but one of his
eight shots before fouling out with 2:56 to play.
"We had a lot of rookies playing and they had a lot of veterans
that helped them steal the game away from us," Gordon said. "It
is a learning experience. Hopefully we will respond better the
next time the situation comes."
"Other than Kirk Hinrich
, (Gordon) was the only one who could
get anything going," Chicago coach Scott Skiles said.
added 16 points for the Bulls, but his offensive foul
and 14-foot miss in the final two minutes allowed the Nets to
escape with the victory.
"We had some plays called after timeouts that kind of
self-destructed," said Curry, who committed five turnovers.
"Basically, we just let the ball game get away from us. It is
New Jersey had trouble making baskets early on, missing its
first 10 attempts en route to 5-of-21 shooting in the period.
But the Bulls helped by only making 5-of-18 shots in the first,
which saw both teams scored just 12 points.
"We got stops and held each other," Carter said. "We got good
looks that we wanted early, we just didn't get things to go."