EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J., Feb. 7 (Ticker) -- Vince Carter
his touch just in time for the New Jersey Nets.
Carter scored a season-high 43 points, including a handful of
clutch baskets in the fourth quarter and overtime, as the Nets
rallied for their fifth straight home win, a 107-97 victory over
the shorthanded Philadelphia 76ers.
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collected his 62nd career triple-double with 22
points, 11 rebounds and a season-high 16 assists for the Nets
(21-27), who continue to inch closer to the top in the weak
"We can build on this and that's the key, to keep building,"
Kidd said. "We were in the same position in Boston (on
Wednesday) and we didn't show up, so it's always big."
Carter scored 27 points in a phenomenal first half but went cold
in the third quarter, making just 1-of-6 shots as the Nets saw
a seven-point lead turn into an 80-73 deficit entering the
"We got under (Carter's) chin a little bit (in the third
quarter)," Philadelphia coach Jim O'Brien
said. "I told our
guys if (the Nets) came inside to knock them down."
"I was tired," admitted Carter, who played 48 minutes. "I was
trying to be patient."
Playing without flu-ridden NBA leading scorer Allen Iverson
76ers still held a 90-82 advantage with 5:45 left but did not
score again from the field as the Nets rallied with an 11-3 run.
Carter made a spinning bank shot that cut the deficit to 92-90
with 2:22 to go and, after a free throw by Corliss Williamson,
made a jumper while being fouled by rookie Andre Iguodala. His
free throw tied it, 93-93, with 1:05 to play.
"It's all about effort," Carter said. "From the middle of the
fourth quarter on, it was about defensive intensity. We went to
a small lineup with me playing the (power forard) and we just
played with more energy."
Neither team scored again in regulation, and Carter answered
's jumper with a 3-pointer with 3:48 remaining,
giving New Jersey the lead for good and triggering a 14-2 surge.
He added a pair of free throws for a 105-97 bulge with 58
Winning for the sixth time in seven games, the Nets also got a
huge lift from Ron Mercer
, who scored all 14 of his points in
the fourth quarter and overtime.
"He was the key," Carter said. "Despite (Carter's and Kidd's)
numbers, it was still a tough and tight game and he shot the
ball extremely well. He made some huge shots for us."
Coming off a 41-point outburst in Saturday's win over Detroit,
Carter made 14-of-32 shots and grabbed a season-high 14 rebounds
as he became the first Net to score 40 points in consecutive
games since "Super" John Williamson on Dec. 8-9, 1978.
Carter also eclipsed 10,000 career points in the fourth quarter.
New Jersey is 12-10 since the All-Star joined its lineup after
a trade in December.
"He was amazing, he did everything," Kidd said. "He made shots
early, he made shots in the middle and he was huge down the
stretch. When you have a leader like him, it makes it easier."
Green scored 28 points and Kenny Thomas
added 21 for the Sixers
(23-25), who tried to compensate for Iverson's absence with five
players in double figures. But they scored just seven points
in the last 12-plus minutes and fell to 1-5 without their
"We had a great effort in the second half, but when they pressed
us I thought our guys got a little sloppy," O'Brien said.
"They're two All-Stars are great penetrators. They're both
making threes and giving you and inside-outside type of look
that's difficult to guard."
Both teams are 3-3 in overtime. The Nets avenged an OT loss at
Philadelphia on Nov. 10.
New Jersey made a season-high nine 3-pointers in the first half
and finished with 12 on a franchise-record 32 tries. But the
Nets went cold in the third, making just 7-of-21 shots while the
Sixers were 12-of-19.
After scoring 30 points in the paint in the first half,
Philadelphia started making jumpers in the third period led by
Green and Thomas, who had 12 points apiece, and Kyle Korver
sank three 3-pointers.
The Nets were plagued by fouls early and thoroughly pushed
around by Philadelphia's physical defense before going small in
the fourth quarter and managing to climb back behind Carter.
"He's a great player, but I thought he got some calls that he
wasn't getting in the third quarter," O'Brien said. "But I
guess that's his due, being an All-Star and one of the league's