Friday , Jan , 06 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Nets return after long layoff

(Sports Network) – The New Jersey Nets take aim at their ninth straight win
this evening when they wrap up a three-game homestand against the Orlando
Magic at Continental Airlines Arena.

The Nets have not played since Vince Carter scored 37 points in a 99-91 win
over the Atlanta Hawks last Friday. Jason Kidd and Richard Jefferson each had
21 points for New Jersey, which has won 10 of its last 13.

Over the course of the winning streak, which has moved New Jersey 2 1/2 games
ahead of the Philadelphia 76ers for the lead in the Atlantic Division, Carter
has scored 32.8 points-per-game.

Jefferson is also finding his way and has made 21-of-26 shots over his last
three games.

On the injury front Jason Collins, who has been battling ankle problems all
season, is expected to play.

The Nets, who will begin a four-game road trip on Sunday in Toronto, are 9-6
in their arena this season. They will also visit San Antonio, Memphis and
Dallas on the trek.

The Nets defeated the Magic earlier in the season, but could be at a
disadvantage tonight, as the home team in this series has lost four straight
and seven of the last 10 matchups. Orlando has also won two straight and seven
of its last 11 in the Garden State.