LOS ANGELES, Jan. 28 (Ticker) --
Vince Carter gave the New Jersey Nets'
outside shooters enough time to find their shot.
Carter scored 20 of his 30 points in the second half and the
Nets made six 3-pointers in the fourth quarter en route to a
109-103 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.
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New Jersey made just 17 percent (2-of-12) from the arc through
three periods but still took an 81-77 lead into the final
quarter thanks in large part to Carter. He scored 18 points in
the third period, including an acrobatic 360-degree finger roll
that broke a 75-75 tie with 1:20 on the clock.
Carter, who also had nine assists, was held relatively quiet in
the final period. But Jason Kidd nailed three 3-pointers in an
11-2 run midway through the quarter to make it 100-93 with 4:33
Chucky Atkins and Caron Butler combined for five points over the
next two minutes to draw the Lakers within 101-98, but Rodney
Buford hit a 3-pointer to push New Jersey's lead back to six.
After Jumaine Jones answered with a shot from the arc on the
other end, Buford and Jabari Smith combined to hit 3-of-4 from
the stripe and Carter's basket all but assured the win with 48
seconds to play.
Butler had a season-high 31 points and 10 rebounds and Lamar
Odom added 16 and 13 for Los Angeles, which lost despite holding
a 55-28 rebounding edge. The Lakers grabbed nearly as many
offensive rebounds (23) as the Nets had defensive boards (24).
Buford scored 18 points and Kidd contributed 15 and 11 assists
for New Jersey, which played with just eight players due to
injuries to center Jason Collins and forward Brian Scalabrine.