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NBA Game Summary - Boston at New Jersey

(Friday, January 21st)

Final Score: New Jersey 104, Boston 98

East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) - Vince Carter scored 25 points and Travis Best added 24 off the bench, leading New Jersey to a 104-98 victory over Boston at Continental Airlines Arena.

Jason Kidd collected 14 points, nine rebounds and nine assists in the win, which snapped the Nets' two-game losing streak. Kidd made a clutch three- pointer and some key free throws down the stretch as Boston climbed back into the game.

Paul Pierce scored 22 points with seven rebounds to lead the Celtics, who had a two-game winning streak end. Gary Payton added 16 points in defeat and Ricky Davis scored 13 off the bench.

Boston has lost its last eight on the road.

New Jersey led by as many as 12 points in the third quarter when a Brian Scalabrine free throw made it 74-62 with 3:24 remaining.

Carter scored 12 points in the third and the Nets led 80-73 heading into the fourth, but they had a tough time putting the Celtics away.

The Celtics trailed by 13 at 92-79 until a 10-2 run, capped by Payton's three- pointer, pulled them within 94-89 with 3:16 left in the game.

The Celtics got within four points three times. When they trailed 95-91, Kidd beat the shot clock with a three-pointer to give New Jersey a 98-91 lead with 57.9 seconds left.

"I guess that was a designed play," Kidd joked. "I didn't have a chance to think, I just got the shot off. I guess I should do that more often."

The Celtics were then as close as 101-98 after a Davis jumper with 26 seconds remaining, but two Kidd free throws at the other end gave the Nets breathing room.

Trailing by five and needing a three-pointer, Boston got three good looks. But Payton had a shot from the top of the arc rattle out, and Piece and Walter McCarty both missed badly off the rim.

"I'm not frustrated, because I feel we can always get the next one," Pierce said. "They had momentum most of the game and we just couldn't get over the hump."

With 3.6 seconds left, Jason Collins made a free throw for the final margin.

"We could have played a better game," Celtics head coach Doc Rivers said. "It was one of those games where every once in a while you show up. We made a couple runs and got a couple of good looks at the end of the game."

The Nets led by as many as five points in the first quarter before carrying a 19-18 lead into the second.

Their lead grew to eight on several occasions before halftime, the last time coming when a Best three-pointer made it 38-30 with 6:34 remaining. But Boston pulled ahead briefly before the teams headed into the break tied 48-48.

Best scored 14 of his points in the first half, and Pierce led Boston with 16.

Game Notes

The Nets shot 44 percent from the field and were 6-of-16 from three-point range...Boston shot 40 percent and made just six of its 21 shots beyond the arc...The Celtics activated rookie guard Delonte West before the game. West, who was placed on the injured list December 1 with a fractured right fourth metacarpal, played with a padded glove on his hand and scored five points in five minutes...New Jersey snapped a two-game losing streak in the series...Collins ended with 10 points and Nenad Krstic scored 13 with a game- high 12 rebounds for the Nets.

01/21 23:14:23 ET

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