Carter, Kidd lead Nets past BobcatsJan 18, 2007 - 4:56 AM CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Ticker) -- New Jersey Nets coach Lawrence Frank continues to consider Charlotte a home away from home.
Vince Carter scored 26 points and Jason Kidd added 17 for the Nets, who won for the seventh time in nine games with a 92-85 triumph over the Charlotte Bobcats.
New Jersey built a 23-point lead in the third quarter and raised its road mark to 6-10 this season by winning for the fifth straight time here against the Bobcats, who have dropped their last two.
"We are playing better basketball," Frank said. "Tonight, we had some of the best possessions of basketball that we have had all year and that is very encouraging."
"We're just trying to compile as many wins as we can to get ourselves back in the mix," Carter said. "We feel every game is important. I don't care what their record looks like or how good or bad they may be perceived in the league. For us, it's just getting wins and getting ourselves back to .500."
Kidd scored 12 points in the first half as New Jersey finished the second period on an 18-5 run to take a 53-34 lead. The Nets limited the Bobcats to 32 percent shooting (12-of-37) from the floor.
After managing just six points in the first two quarters, Carter scored 12 in the third, including a pair of 3-pointers and a dunk, as the Nets took a 74-60 advantage.
Charlotte chipped away in the fourth, using a 13-0 run capped by a dunk by Emeka Okafor with 5:24 remaining to cut the margin to 83-76. However, Carter made a finger-roll layup off a no-look pass from Kidd one minute later to stop the burst.
"We came out with a lot of energy in the second half," Okafor said. "We started playing hard, especially on the defensive end. When we started doing that, everything pretty much took care of itself."
"In the NBA, it's very rare, especially on the road, to get runaway wins," Frank said. "There's always going to be runs. We helped contribute to that tonight. We didn't block out and missed some free throws. Every team is going to make runs. The key is how you respond to them."
The Bobcats got within 90-83 before Ryan Hollins was called for goaltending on Carter's layup attempt with 52 seconds remaining.
"We played three good quarters and I thought that unfortunately, we didn't put forth our best effort," Kidd said. "But we went on the road against a team that's been playing well. It's a win on the road and if we want to improve, that's what we have to do."
Carter made 12-of-22 shots and Bostjan Nachbar scored 10 points for New Jersey, which was outrebounded, 53-41.
"They're a team that plays hard, regardless of score," Carter said. "That's why it was important for us to jump on them early and maintain some type of lead, so that in the fourth quarter, we'd be OK."
Raymond Felton scored 18 points, Okafor added 14 with 21 rebounds and Matt Carroll had 14 points for the Bobcats, who played the second half without coach Bernie Bickerstaff, who was ejected late in the second quarter for arguing.
"I thought our kids were terrific in the second half," Bickerstaff said. "They kept a high energy level and could have easily surrendered. There were some possessions there where we played good defense, but we just couldn't come up with loose balls. I thought in the second half, shots went in for us and we were terrific."
NEW JERSEY 92
CHARLOTTE 85 FINAL
Jan 17 9:37 PM
NEW JERSEY 74
CHARLOTTE 60 END, 3RD QTR
Jan 17 8:56 PM
HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
--- --- --- --- -----
NEW JERSEY 20 33 53
CHARLOTTE 18 16 34 HALFTIME
HIGH SCORERS AT HALFTIME
NJN - JASON KIDD 12, RICHARD JEFFERSON 8,
MARCUS WILLIAMS 7
CHA - PRIMOZ BREZEC 6, EMEKA OKAFOR 6, RAYMOND
Jan 17 8:09 PM
NEW JERSEY 20
CHARLOTTE 18 END, 1ST QTR
Jan 17 7:35 PM
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