NBA Game Summary - Charlotte at New Jersey
(Friday, February 25th)
Final Score: New Jersey 93, Charlotte 86
East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) - Vince Carter scored 28 points and Nenad Krstic had nine of his career-high 25 points in the fourth quarter as New Jersey held off Charlotte, 93-86, at Continental Airlines Arena.
Jason Kidd compiled 11 points, nine rebounds and seven assists for the Nets, who had lost their first two games after the All-Star break. New Jersey shot a sizzling 20-of-21 from the free throw line, with Carter making all 10 of his attempts from the charity stripe and Krstic going 7-of-7.
Gerald Wallace finished with 23 points and Primoz Brezec added 14 for the Bobcats, who suffered their second loss in a row and ninth in 10 games. Charlotte, which fell to 2-24 on the road, received 10 points and 12 assists from Brevin Knight as well.
The Nets were ahead virtually from start to finish but saw a 13-point halftime lead dwindle to just one when Jason Kapono's three-pointer less than a minute into the fourth quarter made the score 67-66. However, New Jersey responded with a 9-0 run, with seven points coming from Krstic. The rookie center, who missed Wednesday's loss to Milwaukee due to a case of bronchitis, was fouled after making a reverse layup with 9:45 remaining and hit the subsequent free throw for a 74-66 advantage. Krstic then threw down a dunk less than a minute later to increase the margin to 10.
"All All-Star break I was in bed," explained Krstic, who finished 7-of-9 from the field. "I think I went out to see a doctor twice and slept the rest of the time. Now I feel great. Scoring 25 points in the NBA is my dream."
"If (Krstic) can play like that, we've got a chance (at the playoffs)," said Kidd.
New Jersey continued to dominate the final period and took a 93-78 lead with under three minutes to play following back-to-back baskets by Carter. The Bobcats would score the game's last eight points with the outcome already in hand.
"We just didn't do a real good job with our possessions," Charlotte head coach Bernie Bickerstaff said. "Krstic had a heck of a game and Carter made some terrific plays, some unbelievable plays."
The Nets embarked on a 12-4 run over the final 4 1/2 minutes of the first quarter which extended a four-point edge to 29-17 at period's end. Kidd fed Jacque Vaughn for a layup to begin the spurt and Carter followed with a three-point play which put New Jersey up 22-13 with 3:50 left in the quarter. After Wallace sank a jumper on the other end, Clifford Robinson buried a three-pointer to increase the lead to double digits.
New Jersey's cushion grew to 14 when Travis Best hit an outside shot to begin the second quarter, and the Nets were up 42-29 before Charlotte reeled off 10 straight points to get back in it. Brezec netted six points during the flurry, which ended when Wallace threw down a fastbreak dunk to get the Bobcats within 42-39 with four minutes remaining before intermission.
Carter then registered the game's next five points and the Nets outscored Charlotte 13-3 to close out the half. Vaughn's transition basket off a Kidd steal with 15 seconds left gave New Jersey a comfortable 55-42 lead at the break.
However, the Nets mustered only 12 third-quarter points on 5-of-24 shooting and the Bobcats took advantage. Emeka Okafor and Knight drained consecutive jumpers to start a string of seven straight Charlotte points which brought the visitors within 59-56, and it remained a three-point game until Kidd scored with 27 seconds left in the period to put New Jersey ahead 67-62.
Kristic's previous career-best of 18 points was set February 16 against Sacramento...Robinson's three-pointer in the second quarter was the 16,000th field goal attempt of his career...Charlotte was one player short as forward Malik Allen, acquired from Miami for Steve Smith at Thursday's trade deadline, had not yet joined the team...The Bobcats have dropped five straight and 14 of 15 on the road...The Nets have won all three meetings between the clubs this season.
02/25 23:07:12 ET