Carter, Nets top Bobcats
Charlotte, NC (Sports Network) – Vince Carter scored 26 points, and the New
Jersey Nets hung on for a 92-85 win over the Charlotte Bobcats.
Jason Kidd scored 17 points and grabbed seven rebounds for the Nets, who have
won four of five. Bostjan Nachbar added 10 points off the bench for New
Raymond Felton scored 18 points for the Bobcats, who lost consecutive games
after a season-high three-game winning streak. Emeka Okafor scored 14 points
and pulled down 21 rebounds, and Matt Carroll added 13 points for Charlotte.
Primoz Brezec scored 10 points and raked in eight boards, and Adam Morrison
added 10 points and seven boards.
A 13-0 run by the Bobcats made things very interesting late in the fourth
quarter, as the Nets very nearly blew a 23-point, second half lead. Felton hit
a layup and a three on the run, which Okafor punctuated with a dunk that
brought the Bobcats to within 83-76 with 5:24 left.
The Bobcats fumbled away several opportunities to chip further into the New
Jersey lead down the stretch, though, and the Nets, despite some shoddy free-
throw shooting (12-for-24), held on for the win.
“We’re just trying to compile as many wins as possible,” said Carter. “We feel
every game is important for us.”
The Nets scored seven straight early in the third quarter, with a dunk by
Carter putting New Jersey ahead 62-39 with 7:14 left. The New Jersey lead
peaked at 23 points, after Carter drilled a three-pointer that gave the Nets a
66-43 lead with 4:48 left. Charlotte was able to cut into the lead, but still
trailed 74-60 entering the final quarter.
A Nachbar jumper fell through as the buzzer sounded at the end of the first
quarter, giving the Nets a 20-18 lead heading into the second.
A turnaround jumper by Brezec pulled the Bobcats to within 37-31 with 5:32
left in the second quarter, but the Nets pulled away with a 16-3 run to close
the first half. Kidd and Richard Jefferson sank back-to-back threes on the
run, which Josh Boone closed with a layup in the final seconds of the half
to push the Nets advantage to 53-34.
“Obviously we didn’t play good in the first half,” said Carroll. “They jumped
on us pretty good.”
Bobcats head coach Bernie Bickerstaff was ejected with 46.6 seconds left in
second quarter, after earning his second technical foul for arguing calls with
the officials…New Jersey has never lost in Charlotte, where it is 5-0, and
the Nets improved to 8-2 all-time against the Bobcats…Charlotte’s Sean May
was a late scratch with a sore right knee.