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Jefferson nails game-winning shot, Nets top Celtics

Nov 30, 2006 - 3:20 AM BOSTON (Ticker) -- One shot by Richard Jefferson ended over a week of bad basketball for the New Jersey Nets.

Jefferson nailed a go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:18 remaining and Vince Carter scored 14 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter as the Nets erased a 15-point third-quarter deficit for 106-103 victory over the Boston Celtics that snapped a six-game losing streak.

Jason Kidd added 19 points and nine assists for New Jersey, which shot 48 percent (36-of-75) from the field and outrebounded the Celtics, 40-37.

"Coming back from behind when we had a little bit of a glass jaw the past six games, this is something to build on," Nets coach Lawrence Frank said. "It's nice to win, but it's nice the way we won."

After Paul Pierce's jumper snapped a 101-101 tie, Jefferson answered with a 3-pointer from the top of the key to give the Nets the lead for good with just over a minute remaining.

Boston had a chance to regain the lead on its next two possessions, but Sebastian Telfair and Pierce each missed jumper.

"I thought our defense in the fourth quarter as a whole gave us a chance to win this game," Kidd said. "We needed a stop and we defended the (3-pointer) well and they didn't get a good shot (on the final possessions). That's even better."

Jefferson scored 18 points as the Nets won for the first time since defeating Indiana on November 17.

"Offensively, we played well in the fourth quarter," Frank said. "Richard making the shot was a by-product of getting it off ball movement.

Trailing, 77-62, with 3:59 remaining, New Jersey went on a 12-5 run to end the third period fueled by Kidd's seven points. The veteran point guard made two straight steals and converted transition layups after both swipes, then capped the spurt with a 3-pointer.

"(We) made (our) run in the third quarter, guys were talking and Jason changed the whole game when he gots those two steals," Frank said.

Kidd netted 12 points in the quarter.

"I just took shots that presented themselves," Kidd said. "We were down 14 and there was still a lot of basketball to be played. We tried to cut into the lead. We got it down. The ball was going in for me. I just tried to be aggressive. If you're going to go down, we're going to go down shooting." The Nets added another 11-0 burst in the fourth quarter to take their first lead, 93-92, on two free throws by rookie Hassan Adams with 5:57 left. Carter was 3-of-7 from the field and 10-of-10 from the line in the final period.

"You just have to be patient, you don't want to force anything," Carter said. "They were taking my looks away early in the game. I just wanted to do something else, rebound, find guys, whatever had to be done to win the game."

With Carter's outburst, New Jersey clamped down defensively, outscoring Boston, 30-19, in the fourth quarter.

"This is definitely a tough one to swallow," Pierce said. "A game when we had them on their backs, a team with a six-game losing streak and a chance to put them away. They have great players on that team and they're going to make a run. We didn't play with that sense of urgency. I thought we got comfortable."

Pierce scored 31 points and Wally Szczerbiak added 25 for Boston, which shot 49 percent (36-of-74).

"That was an awful loss," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "We had so many opportunities down the stretch. Bad turnovers. It's a tough loss for us."

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