Clutch Carter Carries Nets to 10th Straight
New Jersey 105, Toronto 104
TORONTO, Jan. 8 (Ticker) -- Stellar fourth-quarter performances by Mike James and Chris Bosh could not overshadow a vintage period by former Toronto Raptor Vince Carter.
Carter scored 24 of his 42 points in the fourth quarter, including a game-winning jumper with one-tenth of a second left, as the New Jersey Nets extended their winning streak to 10 games with a 105-104 victory over the Raptors.
Toronto held a 104-102 lead when rookie guard Jose Calderon missed the second of two free throws with 7.2 seconds left. Nets guard Jason Kidd grabbed the rebound, dribbled down the court and handed off to Carter, who drained the shot from three feet beyond the arc to end Toronto's five-game winning streak.
"Coach (Lawrence Frank) told me if he missed one free throw to go for the tie, and I said, 'Coach, I'm going for the win,'" said Carter, who was booed throughout the game. "I was either going to be a hero for the team or miss the shot.
"I've had the opportunity to hit game-winners before and that's what makes this huge for my team - first of all to keep the streak going and (also) to do it here."
Carter's nine field goals in the final period were the most by a Raptors opponent in a quarter, and his 24 points tied the record for the most in a period for a Toronto opponent.
The win took the sting out of an injury to New Jersey forward Richard Jefferson, who left the game after two minutes with back spasms and did not return.
After Kidd scored 13 points in the third quarter to help New Jersey turn a three-point halftime deficit into a 76-73 lead, Bosh and James put the Raptors in control.
Bosh converted a three-point play and a pair of jumpers as Toronto pulled ahead, 80-76, with 10 minutes remaining. James then hit three jumpers and added a 3-pointer for a 101-95 edge with 61 seconds left.
But Carter made a follow shot and a 3-pointer, and added a pair of free throws after Calderon sank two to set up the final sequence. He made 18-of-35 shots.
"Come into a hostile environment playing against the team that you started with and stick a dagger in their heart, sweet revenge," said Nets forward Lamond Murray, who tied a season high with 12 points off the bench. "It doesn't get any better than that."
Kidd contributed 22 points, 15 assists and six rebounds for New Jersey, which has not lost since December 14.
"I think Vince made a heck of a shot but the one that set it up was the one before that," Kidd said. "He's been off the charts for the last month, and there is no better place to make a big shot than here.
"For us to come back like that, shorthanded in the first game of our road trip, is big. It seemed like it was going against us all game and we couldn't get over the hump. But we stuck together and got a big win."
James contributed 26 points, seven rebounds and seven assists and Bosh collected 27 and four blocks for Toronto, which had been 10-7 following a 1-15 start.
"We gave ourselves a good chance to win tonight but you are going to lose games like that sometimes," James said. "That one hurt."
"If a guy hits a fallaway 3-pointer with no time left, there's not much you can do," Bosh said. "(Carter) just got hot."