Jefferson Leads Nets Over Raptors
New Jersey 102, Raptors 92
TORONTO, Nov. 4 (Ticker) -- For the second straight game, the New Jersey Nets opened up a big early lead. This time, Richard Jefferson made sure it stood.
Jefferson scored 35 points and the Nets built a 24-point lead and cruised to a 102-92 victory over the Toronto Raptors.
"We made some big plays down the stretch to continue to give us that cushion," Nets coach Lawrence Frank said. "Jason (Kidd) and Richard were phenomenal. Vince (Carter) is such an unselfish guy. We feel that if we get the game in the last six minutes, that we have three guys who with the ball in their hands put a lot of pressure on the defense."
Jefferson scored 17 points in the first half as the Nets built a 45-28 lead. New Jersey closed the second quarter on a 9-2 run and Toronto shot 28 percent (11-of-40) from the field in the first half.
"I got it going early and my teammates were looking for me. They did a good job feeding me the ball," Jefferson said. "We are tough to defend because on any given night it will be very tough to stop both Vince and myself, especially the way Jason gets everyone easy buckets."
Jason Kidd added 17 points, four assists and four steals for the Nets. The star point guard gave New Jersey its biggest lead at 57-33 with a jumper with 7:56 to play in the third quarter.
"When teams are making a run we have to make a stand and tonight against a very good offensive team we were able to do that," Kidd added.
Toronto (0-2) pulled within nine in the fourth quarter, but Jefferson made sure the Raptors got no closer. Chris Bosh hit a pair of free throws to make it 86-77 with 6:51 to play before Jefferson's 3-pointer pushed the lead back to 12 and started a 10-2 run.
Jefferson, who added 11 rebounds and five assists, scored 13 fourth-quarter points and Vince Carter scored 10 of his 20 in the final 12 minutes.
Rookie Jose Calderon and Morris Peterson each scored 20 points off the bench for Toronto, which was outrebounded, 31-14, in the first half.
"Against a good team like New Jersey, you can't get down that big early," Peterson said. "We gave a good effort in the second half but we need to play that way the whole game."
"I can't be happy because I played well. We lost our second game in a row," Calderon said.
Bosh added 14 points and 7 rebounds for the Raptors, who scored only 9 points in the second quarter and 28 points in the first half.
"We did not come out with any energy," Bosh said. "Coming into this season we all knew that we did not have much room for error and we had too many errors today."
Carter, playing against his former club, was booed loudly throughout the entire game.
"It was beautiful," Carter said. "It doesn't bother me at all. I enjoy it."