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Carter's 3-pointer forces overtime; Nets hold off Wizards

Nov 13, 2006 - 1:55 AM WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- The NBA's new basketball has received some criticism. Vince Carter certainly isn't complaining.

Carter received a friendly bounce on a 3-pointer at the fourth-quarter buzzer and Jason Kidd recorded his 77th career triple-double as the New Jersey Nets posted a 105-93 overtime victory over the Washington Wizards.

With the Nets trailing, 87-84, with 2.6 seconds left in regulation, Carter circled to the top of the arc and nailed the game-tying basket as time expired. His shot actually hit the back of the rim before dropping in, seemingly because of the softer basketball the league has switched to this season.

"It felt good when I let it go," Carter said. "As it got midway, it kind of looked long. To see it go in was a great feeling, believe me."

Carter, who scored 34 points, was more than happy to take credit for the clutch hoop but knew the basketball played a role as well.

"I'd have made it all net (with the old ball)," he joked. "If it would've hit like that, heck no, no way (it goes in)."

New Jersey never was challenged after the opening seconds of overtime. Bostjan Nachbar answered a 3-pointer by Gilbert Arenas with one of his own to put the Nets ahead for good, 92-90, with 4:04 remaining.

The basket sparked a 9-0 run for New Jersey that included a jumper by Nenad Krstic, an alley-oop dunk by Carter and a pair of free throws by Krstic.

Carter made 10-of-22 shots, including 5-of-8 from the arc, while the Wizards connected on just 7-of-27 3-pointers as a team.

"We felt very comfortable with number 15," Kidd said. "I thought V had a great look with five seconds left. I told him in the huddle, 'This is your time to redeem yourself.' We got him open and he knocked down the shot to get us to that period to be able to have an opportunity to win on the road."

Kidd drained a long 3-pointer in the final seconds to cap the overtime onslaught. He finished with 15 points, 18 assists, 11 rebounds and four steals.

"I thought Jason Kidd directed a floor game as well as anyone I've ever seen," Nets coach Lawrence Frank said. "He was phenomenal in terms of driving the ship."

Krstic contributed 22 points and 10 rebounds and Nachbar added 15 points off the bench for the Nets, who shot nearly 49 percent (40-of-82), including 9-of-20 from 3-point range.

The Wizards were led offensively by Arenas, who scored 25 points but made just 6-of-23 shots. Antawn Jamison also struggled, making only 3-of-16 shots en route to nine points.

"All night we had shots go in-and-out on us, shots that normally fall but didn't tonight," Jamison said. "You have to give them credit for making it tough on us, but we still got some opportunities that we just didn't take advantage of."

Caron Butler was Washington's best offensive option in the second half and overtime, when he scored all of his 17 points. The Wizards rallied from a 50-36 halftime deficit and trailed by as many as 16 points as their two-game winning streak came to an end.

"The first half was a big disappointment, but we aren't going to panic," Wizards guard Antonio Daniels said. "We dug in and fought back. ... We fought our tails off to get back in the basketball game ... but unfortunately we didn't get the result in the end."

Jarvis Hayes made a jumper to cap a 16-4 run and put Washington ahead, 83-79, with 2:28 remaining in regulation. But Kidd answered with a transition layup and, after Arenas made a jumper, Carter nailed a 3-pointer to bring New Jersey within 85-84 with 35 seconds left.

"The shot Vince hit to cut it to one was just as big (as the tying shot)," Frank said. "In overtime, our guys did a great job of executing. We were fortunate to beat a very good Wizards team."

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