EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J., Jan. 7 (Ticker) -- The New Jersey Nets could not question Vince Carter's effort against the Golden State Warriors.

One day after admitting he gave less than his best while with Toronto, Carter had 22 points, six rebounds and four assists to lead the Nets to an 82-72 victory over the Warriors.

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Acquired from the Raptors on December 17, Carter admitted during a televised interview Thursday that he did not always give 100 percent while playing for Toronto. But since arriving in New Jersey, the five-time All-Star has performed well, averaging 22.5 points and 5.7 rebounds in his first six games.

When pressed about his comments, Carter got defensive.

"I've never not given my all," said Carter, refuting his previous statements. "I never would disrespect the game of basketball like that."

He came out strong in this one, hitting a shot from the arc for the game's first points and adding five more to help the Nets build a 28-18 lead after one quarter.

Carter scored four of New Jersey's 10 second-period points and chipped in eight in the third quarter, including six during an 11-0 run that gave the Nets a 63-51 bulge with 1:07 remaining.

New Jersey was clinging to a 69-66 lead midway through the fourth before putting away the game with nine straight points. After Jason Kidd buried a 3-pointer, Carter had a block before following his own shot to help the Nets match their largest lead, 78-66, with 2:22 remaining.

"Vince made some big plays down the stretch," Nets coach Lawrence Frank said. "We felt we set the tone defensively and were very active. Hopefully, we can keep it up."

Richard Jefferson scored 20 points, rookie Nenad Krstic added 13 and Kidd had 13, a season-high 13 rebounds and nine assists for New Jersey, which extended its home winning streak over Golden State to seven games.

The Nets squandered an early 12-point lead by making only 4-of-20 shots in the second quarter. The Warriors took their only lead on a three-point play by Clifford Robinson 48 seconds into the third period but could not survive the Nets' suffocating defense.

"We've been successful here for quite a few years, and it's no secret how we did that," Jefferson said. "It was defense, and we need to keep that up."

"The big thing is for us to defend, and we did that for four quarters tonight, so it is a step in the right direction," Kidd added.

Golden State shot 36 percent (26-of-73) from the floor, including just 12-of-39 after halftime. The Warriors have struggled offensively during a four-game slide after losing leading scorer Jason Richardson to a sprained left ankle.

"For us to win, we have to play with all kinds of energy," Golden State coach Mike Montgomery said. "We had situations where we would miss two free throws and then not score for the next three or four possessions, and that deflated us."

Mike Dunleavy, Calbert Cheaney and Mickael Pietrus each scored 12 points for the Warriors, who have dropped seven of their last eight road contests and have not won in New Jersey since February 28, 1997.