NBA Game Summary - Miami at New Jersey
(Sunday, April 2nd)
Final Score: New Jersey 90, Miami 78
East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) - Vince Carter posted 43 points, including 33 in the second half, to lead the New Jersey Nets past the Miami Heat, 90-78, at the Continental Airlines Arena.
Carter shot 6-of-9 from long distance and added six assists and Richard Jefferson had 16 points and seven rebounds for the Nets, who have a 12-game winning streak, which is the second longest in franchise history.
"We consider Miami one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference so we see it as a test each and every time," said Carter. "They beat on us last year in the playoffs so we wanted to come out and see how we could fix it and just compete with them. We competed with them before but we just weren't on their level."
Nenad Krstic totaled 11 points, eight rebounds and two blocked shots for New Jersey, which moved within 3 1/2 games of Miami for the second spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
Dwyane Wade paced the Heat with 32 points, six boards and five assists and Shaquille O'Neal contributed 18 points and nine rebounds, after missing the last two games with a knee injury. Antoine Walker added 11 points for Miami, which has lost two straight and four of its last seven contests.
"That's the first time in history somebody had four offensive fouls before they had a defensive foul," said O'Neal about the referees. "They just need to be consistent in how they call the game. It all starts at the top. When you got a guy like Stu Jackson running stuff it's obvious why the referees are the way they are."
New Jersey opened the second half with an 11-4 surge, including five points from Jefferson and four from Carter, to push the score to 53-43.
O'Neal's dunk narrowed the gap to 62-54, but the Nets countered with a 12-0 burst, behind 10 points from Carter, to give New Jersey a 74-54 margin. The Nets led 74-58 heading into the final frame.
Carter netted 20 points as the Nets outscored Miami 32-19 in the third period.
The Heat used a 15-0 rally, bridging the third and fourth quarters, to pull within 74-69 with 9:15 to play. A pair of Wade free throws in the third began the run and two from Gary Payton at the charity stripe ended the streak. New Jersey went just over five minutes without scoring to add fuel to the run.
However, Miami didn't score for the next four minutes as the Nets built the lead back up to 11, 80-69. The Heat couldn't pull within single digits as Carter sealed the victory by scoring New Jersey's final 10 points.
Walker's layup gave the Heat a 16-12 edge, but the Nets responded with a 7-2 run, capped by Carter's trey with the clock running down, to put New Jersey in front 19-18 after 12 minutes of play.
The Nets led 42-39 at the half.
The Nets magic number to clinch the division is one... Six of the Heat's final nine games are at home...Carter has scored 20 or more in 17 straight games...New Jersey has held its opponents under 85 points in eight of the last 12 games...Miami scored 42 points in the paint and outrebounded the Nets 48-36...New Jersey has beaten seven playoff teams during the 12-game win streak...The Nets have won 22 of their last 25 home games...New Jersey won the season series 3-1.
04/02 22:16:06 ET