Carterís Triple-Double Helps Nets Past Heat
New Jersey 105, Miami 92
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J., Feb. 4 (Ticker) -- Something about playing the Miami Heat brings out the best in Vince Carter.
Carter produced his second career triple-double with 27 points, a season-high 13 rebounds and 10 assists as the New Jersey Nets won their 10th straight home game, a 105-92 triumph over the Heat.
"It's about attacking, but you have to be smart and patient," Carter said of his success against Miami. "They change schemes as the game goes along. Be patient, attack when it's there and just make it tough on them."
"We just couldn't stop Vince," Miami coach Pat Riley said. "We put two or three different guys on him. We tried to guard him the best we could. But Vince Carter is a great player. He's a runner and when he elevates, he can get above big guys."
Carter scored 15 points in a red-hot first quarter for the Nets before being plagued by foul trouble. He returned with 9:24 remaining and dominated the late stages of the game with seven points and two assists in the final 4 1/2 minutes.
Richard Jefferson added 26 points and Clifford Robinson a season-high 23 starting in place of the flu-ridden Nenad Krstic for the Nets, who had lost five of their previous six games.
New Jersey held a 77-62 lead with 2 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter before Miami pulled within 84-83 on a hook shot by Shaquille O'Neal with 7 1/2 minutes to play.
But Robinson responded with a three-point play with 6:13 left, triggering a 17-7 run that put away the game. Carter then recorded his first triple-double since April 10, 2000 at Cleveland with a length-of-the-court pass to Jefferson for a dunk with 1:03 left.
"It's hard," Carter said. "I've been around a long time and they don't come often."
Kidd had 16 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds as the Nets extended the third-longest home winning streak in franchise history just four days after beating the league-leading Detroit Pistons here on Tuesday.
"This was a character-check week for us," Kidd said. "We're definitely comfortable and confident, but we understand that if you want to be an elite team you have to play well at home and we're doing that."
Dwyane Wade scored 31 points to pace the Heat, who failed for the fourth time this season to record a five-game winning streak.
"We weren't sharp," Riley said. "They came out with more energy and their offense was much more crisp."
O'Neal had just 11 points on 4-of-12 shooting and committed six turnovers.
"The big fella couldn't get into a rhythm and anytime we don't have him out there, it's a factor," Wade said.
"You don't see a game like that from Shaq very often," Kidd said. "But we collapsed and made it tough on him, and he missed some shots he normally makes."
Antoine Walker had 19 points off the bench and former Net Alonzo Mourning added 12 and six rebounds, but Miami also was shorthanded without starting forward Udonis Haslem, who was not with the team due to a death in his family.
The Nets had their largest lead at 50-34 after Robinson hit back-to-back 3-pointers midway through the second. But the Heat responded with 14 straight points in a span of 3:18 and pulled within 55-51 at the half.
The Nets regained control in the third, using a 19-4 run to take a 77-62 cushion on Robinson's 3-pointer with 2:31 to go. But the Heat closed the quarter with eight straight points and dominated the start of the fourth before falling short.