EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J., Feb. 11 (Ticker) -- Tony Parker
, Tim Duncan
and the San Antonio Spurs were happy to take advantage of Vince Carter
Parker scored 17 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter and
Duncan was an assist shy of a triple-double as the Spurs - aided
greatly by Carter's dismissal - rallied from a 12-point deficit
for a 101-91 victory over the Nets.
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Carter scored a season high-tying 43 points but was ejected with
9:45 remaining after picking up his second technical foul. With
6:04 left in the third quarter, he and Spurs forward Bruce Bowen
received double technicals for playfully head-butting each
But just over two minutes into the fourth period, Carter missed
a jumper and got his legs entangled with Bowen's. Carter
charged at Bowen and had to be restrained by referee Courtney
Kirkland, who gave the All-Star a second technical, sending him
to the locker room.
"I felt there was a little more contact than was needed," Carter
said. "I went to the coach and apologized for it. Then we
didn't get the win and that's what hurt the most. That and that
I wasn't there to help my team win."
"I felt that he tried to trip me," Bowen said. "I haven't seen
the replay, but that's how it felt."
It was the third 40-point game in the last four contests for
Carter, who made 14-of-24 shots, including 5-of-6 3-pointers.
He appeared on his way to surpassing his career best of 51.
"That's probably the only way they could have stopped Vince
tonight," Nets points guard Jason Kidd
said. "He was rolling."
The loss of their leading scorer was a tough blow to the Nets,
who already had seen a 16-point lead reduced to 72-67 after
Parker converted three-point play with 10:06 left.
"The momentum changed even when (Carter) was on the court," said
Parker, who had only two points at halftime. "It changed at
the start of the fourth quarter. (Carter's ejection) didn't
hurt, but we had already gotten back in the game."
With Carter in the locker room, Kidd kept the Nets close with
nine points in the final 9 1/2 minutes. He found Ron Mercer
a jumper that made it 92-91 with 1:09 to play, but Parker
countered with a 3-pointer 23 seconds later, and San Antonio
made six free throws in the final minute.
All-Star Manu Ginobili scored 12 of his 17 points in the fourth
quarter for the Spurs, who had 42 points on 12-of-15 shooting in
the period. The Nets made only 6-of-20 shots for 20 points.
"(The Nets) were shooting the ball well throughout. They
finally missed some shots and the tide turned," Duncan said.
"(Carter's ejection) was big for us. They lose a guy seemingly
making every shot and they have to go somewhere else to get it
Duncan - who had missed the last two games with a sprained right
ankle - made just 5-of-16 shots but finished with 16 points, 15
rebounds and nine assists for the Spurs, who improved to 4-1 on
a seven-game road trip necessitated by an annual rodeo at the
Rookie Nenad Krstic
matched a season high with 17 points for the
Nets, who have lost consecutive home games for the first time
since November 17-20.
New Jersey led by as many as 15 points in the first half before
carrying a 40-32 lead into the break after holding San Antonio
to just 25 percent (10-of-40).
"(The Nets) were as cold (in the fourth quarter) as we were
early and we got a break with Vince, who would have made a
difference, obviously," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "We
took advantage of it."