Carter and Nets knock off Jazz
East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) – Vince Carter had a season-high 30
points and pulled down eight rebounds as the New Jersey Nets handed the Utah
Jazz their first loss of the season with a 96-89 victory at Continental
Richard Jefferson added 23 points while Jason Kidd chipped in 15 points and
six boards for the Nets, who shot 42 percent from the floor after a four-day
layoff. Antoine Wright poured in a career-high 15 points in the contest.
“I though our guys fought extremely very hard,” said Nets head coach Lawrence
Frank. “(They) had very, very good defensive intent. In that fourth quarter
they (Utah) really got it going and were giving us some problems on a couple
of situations, but our guys hung in there. We got a huge lift from Antoine
Wright off the bench.”
Carlos Boozer scored 15 points and matched a career-high seven assists to
lead six players in double figures for the Jazz, who connected on 42.3
percent of its shots, including just 3-of-15 from beyond the arc.
Derek Fisher netted 15 and Deron Williams scored 14 points and dished out five
assists. Mehmet Okur and Matt Harpring each finished with 13 points.
“I don’t know why they would have any problems playing basketball, we’re only
playing in our fourth or fifth game, and you come out flat like that,” said
Utah head coach Jerry Sloan. “That’s a huge concern. Are we going to just be
satisfied, or are we going to compete for 48 minutes? And I don’t think we
came out with that attitude to compete, we were just trying to get through it
it looked to me like. We aren’t good enough to do that because we don’t have a
superstar player that’s going to get to the free throw line.”
Trailing 70-62 heading into the fourth quarter, the Jazz reeled off a 12-6 run
to start the final frame to pull within 76-74 with 7:10 to play.
A pair of Fisher free throws pulled Utah within 88-87 with under 2 1/2 minutes
to play, but Carter’s finger roll on the other end of the floor extended the
lead to three.
After an illegal defense call on the Nets, Fisher missed the technical free
throw that would have cut the lead to two. Harpring’s layup narrowed the gap
to 90-89 with 1:46 on the clock, but Carter drained a pair from the charity
stripe with nearly 1 1/2 minutes remaining.
Okur missed a pair of shots sandwiched around a three-second violation on New
Jersey before Jefferson drained a jumper to make it a two possession game
with 16 ticks to play.
With the Jazz leading 6-2, the Nets went on a 20-7 surge, capped by Marcus
Williams’ three-point play, for a 22-13 lead. New Jersey led 27-21 after the
opening 12 minutes of play.
However, Utah opened the second quarter with an 8-0 rally, with Fisher and
Harpring each netting eight, to move in front, 29-27.
Tied at 37, the Nets scored 10 of the final 14 points of the first half,
including a trey from Williams, to take a 47-41 lead into the locker room.
New Jersey began the third quarter with a 12-5 spurt, highlighted by Carter’s
three-point play, for a 59-46 advantage.
New Jersey forward Clifford Robinson made his season debut after completing
his five-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy,
dating back to last season…Carter had to leave the game for a few minutes in
the third after straining his quad…The Nets were 31-of-40 from the line
compared to 20-for-27 for the Jazz…Utah turned the ball over 17 times…New
Jersey has won five of the last six meetings…Utah’s Gordon Giricek had 11
points and five rebounds…The Jazz bench outscored the Nets’ reserves, 41-23.