Carter rescues Nets in overtime win over BobcatsMar 25, 2007 - 2:57 AM CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Vince Carter provided the New Jersey Nets with a badly needed reversal of fortune.
Carter's reverse dunk at the buzzer forced overtime, where he scored 10 of his 40 points to lift the Nets to a 113-107 victory over the pesky Charlotte Bobcats.
Rookie Josh Boone scored 21 points without missing a shot for the Nets (32-38), who had lost two in a row and eight of their last 11 games to drop out of the Eastern Conference playoff picture.
"We have to learn to put together a balanced game on both ends," Nets coach Lawrence Frank said. "That is going to determine the fate of our team in terms of our ability to do both. It was a good team win and that's what we'll need as we get down the stretch.
"We got lucky tonight. The ball bounced our way," Nets guard Jason Kidd said.
New Jersey pulled into a virtual three-way tie with Orlando (32-38) and Indiana (31-37) for the final two postseason spots in the East. It has not missed the playoffs since 2002.
"I think it was a Tar Heel intervention," Frank said. "Obviously, we're very fortunate to get this win."
There were seven ties and two lead changes in the last 6 1/2 minutes of the fourth quarter. The Nets appeared to be in trouble when Bobcats guard Brevin Knight sank a foul-line jumper for a 96-94 lead with 8.3 seconds to go.
On the next possession, Jason Kidd fired a 3-pointer from the left wing that was an airball. Lurking beneath the basket, Carter leaped, caught the ball in mid-air and dunked it over his head just before the horn.
"I was on the right corner baseline," Carter said. "I just took off and caught it and I just tried to throw in it before time ran out. Once I got my hands on it, the rim was right there and I just tried to throw it in."
"We were fortunate to get the game in overtime," Frank said.
Bobcats coach Bernie Bickerstaff was not bothered by the breakdown.
"Vince just followed the ball. That's what great players do," he said. "You never give up in those situations. That's what Vince did. The defense was good, and he just caught it and dunked it."
Carter opened overtime with a driving three-point play and added a 3-pointer at the 3:52 mark. A 3-pointer by Kidd built a 107-100 lead with 2:08 to play, and the Nets never looked back.
Carter made 13-of-20 shots and 11-of-13 free throws in his fifth 40-point game of the season.
"I was just trying to make something happen and be aggressive and try to get to the basket and get some easy ones," he said. "They played zone all night and we just kept trying to find ways to attack it."
Boone made 10-of-10 shots and his only free throw. Eight of his baskets were dunks, many courtesy of passes from Kidd, who had 15 assists.
"It was fun out there tonight," Boone said. "We just went out there and played and had a lot of fun. Ultimately, we won the game and this was a game that we needed to win desperately."
"Josh was the recipient of a lot of passes right at the rim," Frank said.
Boone scored nine points in the fourth quarter, including a three-point play and a layup that gave New Jersey an 84-82 lead with 5:48 remaining. He added a dunk that pulled New Jersey into a 90-90 tie with 2:39 left.
Richard Jefferson twice made a pair of free throws to answer baskets by Matt Carroll and rookie Walter Herrmann, leaving the game tied at 94-94 with 29 seconds left. Knight responded with his jumper.
Carroll scored a career-high 27 points and Herrmann contributed a season-high 20 for the Bobcats, who have lost two in a row and 12 of 16. Charlotte was without injured starters Gerald Wallace, Emeka Okafor and Raymond Felton.
"You have to give Charlotte credit," Frank said. "Every single game comes right down to the wire. They compete and they play hard. It's a testament to the players and their coaching staff."
NEW JERSEY 113
CHARLOTTE 107 FINAL IN 1ST OT
Mar 24 9:54 PM
NEW JERSEY 96
CHARLOTTE 96 END OF 4TH QTR GOING INTO OVERTIME
Mar 24 9:31 PM
NEW JERSEY 69
CHARLOTTE 66 END, 3RD QTR
Mar 24 8:48 PM
NEW JERSEY 48
CHARLOTTE 45 HALFTIME
Mar 24 8:06 PM
NEW JERSEY 19
CHARLOTTE 25 END, 1ST QTR
Mar 24 7:34 PM
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