Kidd struggles as West, Hornets hold off NetsFeb 22, 2007 - 5:43 AM EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Ticker) -- While Vince Carter was unstoppable, Jason Kidd couldn't find the range in his return to the lineup.
Carter scored a season-high 46 points but did not get any help down the stretch as the New Jersey Nets dropped a 111-107 decision to the New Orleans Hornets.
David West scored a season-high 32 points and Chris Paul added 19 and 11 assists for the Hornets, who snapped a six-game losing streak against New Jersey, which is considering trading both star guards prior to Thursday's trade deadline.
"I don't think about (getting traded), I just keep playing," Carter said. "If it happens, it happens, if it doesn't, I'm going to try to keep putting up numbers and help my team win. That's the least of my worries. My job is to come out and be effective for my team every night, not worrying about being traded."
Carter was on fire all night, connecting on 15-of-25 shots and netting the last 15 points for the Nets. But he was the only New Jersey player to make a bucket in the last 7 1/2 minutes of the game.
"I felt that I could get to the basket and get some easy baskets and get to the line," Carter said. "Just trying to get momentum going because they're a transition team, so as many times as you can put the ball in the basket, you limit their transition baskets."
Kidd, an eight-time All-Star point guard, missed the two games before the All-Star break with a sore back. In his return, he shot just 2-of-14 from the field and misfired on two pivotal 3-pointers down the stretch with the Nets making a comeback.
"My back injury hasn't affected me at all," Kidd said. "I had eight days off, this is my first time in a game situation for over a week, I felt great. A lot of those shots I would take any day of the week. A lot of them went in and out. You have to live with those shots, but I had good looks. My back is fine."
A New Jersey native, West took over the game when it mattered most, netting 13 points in the final period. West had his way on the interior, securing position on Nets big men Jason Collins and Mikki Moore to get any shot he wanted.
"I just wanted to attack the basket and just do what I can to put us in the position to win the game," West said. "I was disappointed with what happened (in Monday's loss to Charlotte), and we were talking about being aggressive, looking to mix things up."
Hornets coach Byron Scott was relieved that West played well.
"I was a little worried about D-West," Scott said. "The last few games he didn't seem into it, but tonight he was very animated, very focused. He got us off to a pretty good start in the first quarter and pretty much finished it off in the fourth."
Tyson Chandler collected 10 points and 12 rebounds for the Hornets. He pointed to the team's effort down the stretch as the catalyst for the victory.
"My thing is, if it's close and we're up two or three, we should win the ballgame because we shouldn't let them get a basket," Chandler said. "I felt like we tightened up the (defense), and we stayed aggressive down the stretch and were able to get to the line."
Bostjan Nachbar scored 15 points off the bench for the Nets, who shot 48 percent (38-of-79).
NEW ORLEANS 111
NEW JERSEY 107 FINAL
Feb 21 10:08 PM
NEW ORLEANS 76
NEW JERSEY 79 END, 3RD QTR
Feb 21 9:27 PM
NEW ORLEANS 50
NEW JERSEY 44 HALFTIME
Feb 21 8:40 PM
NEW ORLEANS 27
NEW JERSEY 25 END, 1ST QTR
Feb 21 8:08 PM
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