New Jersey 101, Orlando 94

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J., Jan. 20 (AP) -- Eddie House has a typical mentality for a shooting guard: If the shots don't fall, keep putting them up until they do.

After hitting only one shot in three quarters, House scored 15 of his 17 points in the fourth and the New Jersey Nets held Dwight Howard to a season-low one point in a 101-94 victory over the Orlando Magic on Saturday night.

"You have to keep taking them,'' House said after the Nets won a season-high fourth straight game and for the ninth time in 11. "I was 0-for-6 and then went 6-for-9. You never know when you get on a roll like that. We were getting open shots. It was just a matter of time before we knocked them down.''

House, who missed the first 15 games of the season due to a knee injury, was 5-of-8 in the final quarter, playing all 12 minutes.

"He missed his first couple of shots, but he felt like they were good,'' said Vince Carter, who had 10 of his 27 in the fourth quarter, including a spectacular reverse layup. "Once he started hitting, we decided to feed him and feed him until he got tired of shooting.''

Richard Jefferson added 17 points and Jason Kidd had 16 points, eight rebounds and seven assists as New Jersey rallied from a 15-point second-half deficit to reach the .500 mark (20-20) for the first time since Nov. 20.

"We're a different team now,'' Carter said. "We're the team that we expected to be.''

Hedo Turkoglu had 24 points to lead the undermanned Magic, who played without the injured Grant Hill (pinkie) in losing a season-high fifth straight. Rookie J.J. Redick had a career-high 13 points in only his ninth game.

The big key for the Nets was the defensive job they did on Howard, who was averaging a team-high 17.5 points. He was 0-for-6 from the field and was so frustrated on offense by Jason Collins that he picked up three offensive fouls. His previous low was four points against Phoenix on Dec. 11.

"I'm going to have nights when I can't get my shot off,'' Howard said. "Sometimes calls won't go my way. I still have to play basketball. It happens once in a blue moon, so hopefully it won't happen again.''

Redick said the Nets guards did a good job of doubling on Howard.

"He didn't have a lot of room down there to operate,'' Redick said. "They did a good job on him and he got into foul trouble. He is our guy down there. Take him out and it's going to be tough for us to win games.''

The Nets closed the third quarter with a 28-12 spurt to wipe out the 15-point deficit and took control by opening the final quarter with a 17-6 run during which House made four of five shots.

A driving layup by Redick gave Orlando its last lead at 72-71. House, who was averaging just under six points, then hit a 3-pointer to put New Jersey ahead for good at 74-72.

Carter followed with a layup and Jefferson hit a free throw for a 77-72 edge. After Carlos Arroyo hit a jumper to close the gap to three points, Carter hit two free throws, House made a jumper and a 3-pointer, and Carter hit a jumper for an 86-74 lead that wasn't really threatened.

Down by 15 points early in the third quarter, the Nets rallied behind Kidd. The point guard had eight points and four assists, the last on an ally-oop pass that Jefferson slammed home to give New Jersey the lead.

Until the run, the Nets looked as though they were starting an eight-day road trip a day too soon.

Orlando grabbed a 48-38 halftime lead, getting 21 second-quarter points from its reserves, including eight by Redick.

Notes: Grant Hill dressed for the game but did not play. Hill would have stayed in street clothes, but Keyon Dooling aggravated an Achilles' tendon injury and coach Brian Hill wanted him around in case of emergency. ... Cliff Robinson had five points (19,464) to move into 33rd place in NBA scoring history ahead of Terry Cummings (19,460). ... Technicals were called against Nets coach Lawrence Frank and Bostjan Nachbar. Travis Diener missed the free throws on both. ... Howard has five games in single digits this season.

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