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Carter leads Nets past Knicks

Feb 26, 2007 - 4:48 AM EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Ticker) -- All-Star Vince Carter showed the New York Knicks why he was in Las Vegas last weekend.

Carter scored 40 points and came up one rebound and two assists shy of a triple-double as the New Jersey Nets beat the Atlantic Division rival New York Knicks, 101-92.

The Knicks took a 53-44 lead into halftime, but the Nets heated up early in the third quarter. A 28-8 run featuring 10 points by Carter and capped off by a 3-pointer from Bostjan Nachbar gave New Jersey a 72-61 lead with 3:55 left in the quarter.

"The biggest difference is Vince's game and that we were attacking and not settling," Nets guard Jason Kidd said of Carter. "He basically put us on his shoulders. He was off the charts. He was taking the ball to the basket, getting fouled and knocking down free throws.

"Our turnaround came from defense. The key to our success is to play defense and then we have a better chance. Whether we scored 100 points or 80, we win when we play defense."

Carter hit five straight free throws over the last minute to seal the victory.

"We wanted this game badly," Carter said. "We knew it was going to be a war. We were happy with the win."

Kidd continues to shrug off his cracked ribs, scoring 11 points and dishing out 14 assists. Mikki Moore had 19 points and Nachbar finished with 15 off the bench.

"They played much better than us in the first half, but we came out strong in the second," Nochbar said. "I guess this is what the rivalry is all about, exciting games where everybody plays really hard and wants to win. The next game on the schedule is what we're going to think about now."

Stephon Marbury led the Knicks with 22 points, 17 of which came in the first half.

With the loss, the Knicks missed an opportunity to pull even with the Nets for second place in the Atlantic standings.

"We had a tough time with them," Knicks coach Isiah Thomas said. "We have a lot more basketball left, a lot of games left and we just have to keep playing. It was a tough loss but we'll bounce back."

Knicks forward David Lee missed the game with a sprained ankle.

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