Carter Helps Nets End Road Skid
New Jersey 95, Charlotte 94
CHARLOTTE, N.C., Feb. 15 (Ticker) -- Vince Carter was not about to allow the New Jersey Nets to endure another road disappointment.
Carter followed in his own miss with 9.6 seconds remaining as the Nets stopped a a seven-game road losing streak with a 95-94 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats.
"We had so many guys doing good things tonight," Carter said. "I was just being patient and waiting for my turn and picking my spots."
Carter's biggest basket of the night came after Matt Carroll sank a long jumper from the right side with 16 seconds left to give the Bobcats a 94-93 lead. He drove the lane and missed but scored on a one-handed follow to give the Nets the lead.
"At the end I just tried to get to the hole and let the referees make the call," Carter said. "I just tried to concentrate and make the shots. I just wanted to stay aggressive and go again. It was one of those if at first you don't succeed then you try again. I give my hat off to (Carroll). He was right there and he made me take tough shots."
Following a timeout, the Bobcats went to speedy point guard Brevin Knight, who drove the lane but had his contested layup hit the front rim.
"Cliff (Robinson) made two big plays," Nets point guard Jason Kidd said. "He tipped the ball out that got Vince the two free throws and then he contested Brevin's layup. He helped us win that ballgame."
Kidd grabbed the rebound and missed two free throws with 1.7 seconds left, including the last one intentionally. The Bobcats, left without a timeout, were unable to get off a final shot.
"I asked the bench if I should and they said 'No,'" Kidd said. "So, I took it upon myself to miss it, because I felt they were going to have to heave up a long shot. I didn't want them to set-up a play where something could happen, somebody falls down and they get a lay-up, or they call foul on someone trying to shoot a 3-pointer. I was going to take the loss if they make a 60-footer."
Richard Jefferson had 25 points and 10 rebounds and Nenad Krstic 22 for the Nets, who are just 11-16 on the road.
"It wasn't easy," Jefferson said. "Coach (Bernie) Bickerstaff has those guys working extremely hard. They have a bunch of guys down and even though they have been basically counted out for the season they still continue to fight, fight, fight."
Jefferson scored 11 points in the third quarter, helping the Nets turn a tie game into a 76-73 lead entering the final period.
"Jason really set the tone in the third quarter," Nets coach Lawrence Frank said. "Playing against the double team, he does the best job of finding open people. So then Richard (Jefferson) gets open shots, (Nenad) Krstic gets open shots. He loosened everything up for us on the offensive end."
The Nets then missed their first eight shots of the fourth quarter, including a flying dunk by Carter, allowing the Bobcats to grab an 81-78 lead on Knight's two free throws with 8:46 remaining.
"We got down 31-13 and the guys fought back and put themselves in a position to win the basketball," Bickerstaff said. "There were four or five possessions there where we didn't come up with the rebound. We had four opportunities where all we had to do was come up with a rebound, get the possessions and it would have been over."
A New Jersey native, Knight scored 28 points to lead the Bobcats, who have lost four straight following a franchise-record three-game winning streak.
"We played well and stayed within ourselves," Knight said. "We played the way we did during the three-game winning streak. We gutted it out, we continued to play hard, we rotated on defense and we did the things that we are capable of doing. I'm a lot happier with our effort tonight, and it just leads for better things to come after this All-Star break."
Jumaine Jones added 18 points and Carroll 14 for Charlotte, which committed 14 turnovers and was outrebounded, 48-34.