Toronto 113, New Jersey 85

TORONTO, April 11 (AP) -- After New Jersey was eliminated from playoff contention, Nets coach Lawrence Frank was apologetic for the Nets' poor play.

Carlos Delfino scored 24 points, Chris Bosh had 21 and the Toronto Raptors beat the Nets 113-85 victory Friday night.

"We feel like we've let down our fans, our management and our ownership,'' Frank said. "We're all accountable for it and we have to be resolved that this will never, ever happen again.''

Vince Carter had 21 points and Devin Harris added 19 for the Nets, who last missed the playoffs in 2001 season.

"I'm with him on that one,'' Carter said of Frank's assessment. "I'm going to do everything in my power to come back, play this year out as hard as I can, do what I need to do to get our confidence back and get the fans back on our side.''

T.J. Ford and Andrea Bargnani each scored 14 as the Raptors rallied from a 14-point deficit in the second quarter to beat the Nets for the third time in four games this season. Toronto has won two straight after losing four of five.

"Going into the playoffs, we really have to build on this,'' Bosh said. "We really have to have solid defense and we have to move the ball on offense, just like you saw tonight. We have to continue to play that kind of basketball.''

Philadelphia's 85-76 loss to Indiana moved the Raptors back into sixth place in the Eastern Conference with three games remaining. Whoever finishes sixth will avoid Detroit and face Orlando in the opening round of the playoffs.

"That's the best position for us to be in because, as we know, Detroit has the experience, they have the years, they know what it takes,'' Ford said. "You'd rather go against somebody with the same amount of playoff experience as yourself.''

Delfino spurred the Raptors with 14 points in the second quarter and matched a career-high by going 6-for-8 from beyond the 3-point line.

"They were getting loose balls and turning them into 3-point shots,'' Frank said of Toronto's second-quarter spurt.

Ford added 12 points in the third as Toronto pulled away, outscoring the Nets 37-19 to take an 83-69 edge into the fourth.

Booed every time he touched the ball, Carter blew a kiss to the crowd after making a third-quarter free throw, bringing even more howls of derision.

Carter, who has been playing with a sore ankle, said he won't sit down for the final three games.

"I still believe,'' Carter said. "I'm still going to keep playing, I'm still going to keep playing hard. I believe this team is a very good team. We've yet to scratch the surface.''

Richard Jefferson went 4-for-13 from the field and finished with 14 points.

"It's just disappointing,'' Jefferson said. "We've been through a lot this year. A trade (of Jason Kidd), a lot of different things. It didn't end the way we would like.''

The Nets lost for the sixth time in seven games. The lone win in that span was a 99-90 home victory over Toronto on April 5.

Toronto's Jose Calderon finished with 11 points and 10 assists.

New Jersey picked apart Toronto's defense to open a 30-18 lead after the first quarter. Stromile Swift blew by Nesterovic for a two-handed slam as the quarter wound down, summing up the Raptors' sloppy start.

New Jersey pushed its lead to 14 early in the second before Toronto fought back. Delfino hit two 3-pointers before Bosh's dunk at 5:08 capped a 14-2 run that made it 40-39. New Jersey led 48-46 at the break.

"You have to give credit to the second unit,'' Ford said. "They came in, played well and picked up the intensity.''

Notes: New Jersey C Josh Boone (right knee sprain) missed his second straight game and was replaced in the starting lineup by DeSagana Diop. ... Rasho Nesterovic scored 10 points and has scored in double figures in 15 consecutive games for the Raptors.


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