CHARLOTTE, N.C., March 28 (Ticker) -- Vince Carter
his single-minded quest to keep the New Jersey Nets in the
Carter scored 39 points to lead the Nets to a 95-91 victory over
the expansion Charlotte Bobcats, completing a season sweep.
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The Nets (33-38) have won six of their last eight games and
moved within three games of the Philadelphia 76ers for eighth
place in the Eastern Conference with 11 to play.
Carter scored 15 of the Nets' 19 first-quarter points and added
eight in the third period to give New Jersey a 69-68 lead.
"It's just one of those things where we have to keep going,"
Carter said. "It was important to find some energy. I tried to
get us going early. Once I got going and got double-teamed, it
opened up things for everybody else."
"Every time they needed a bucket, they went to him and he was
able to be strong around the basket," Bobcats center
said. "That's why he's a great player, an All-Star. He
has Jason Kidd
around him. They played playoff-type
The Nets went on a 17-6 burst bridging the third and fourth
quarters. Carter passed the ball to himself off the backboard
over Charlotte's Brevin Knight
, missed the shot, then dunked an
alley-oop feed from Kidd for an 82-75 edge with 6:07 left.
"I'm not stupid," Knight said. "I know that's not a shot
attempt. I don't even know how people let that play work
anyway. My thing was, as soon as he threw it ... I was going to
stand here in front of him. If you have the ability to jump
over me and do what you do, then I've got to go ahead and (be on
"No comment," Nets coach Lawrence Frank
said of Carter's
acrobatics. "All I'm going to say is thank (goodness) we
The Bobcats struggled in the fourth quarter, shooting less than
32 percent (7-of-22) and committing five turnovers.
"We just didn't make baskets and they did in the end," Knight
said. "That's the name of the game. We've got to play through
everything. I thought we let them get on a little spurt in the
"We put ourselves in a position to get it done," Charlotte coach
said. "There was a stretch where our
defense was really good. The effort is there. But in the last
two to three minutes of the basketball game, when it's winning
time, you can not take a break."
Carter recorded his 17th 30-point game since being acquired by
the Nets on December 17 and added a season-high five steals.
Rookie Nenad Krstic
scored 15 points and grabbed a season-high
"I felt our guys, especially in the second half, found a way to
win," Frank said. "They're not all going to be masterpieces.
But it's not easy winning on the road."
Brezec scored 20 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, rookie
had 15 and 10 and Knight 16 and 10 assists for Charlotte,
which failed in a bid for its first three-game winning streak.
"You've got to give Charlotte a lot of credit," Frank said. "I
think they're really a credit to the NBA in the sense that they
compete every single night. They obviously have no shot at the
playoffs. But they're a credit to playing hard."