Carter, Harris storm back to stun RaptorsNov 22, 2008 - 5:31 AM TORONTO (Ticker) -- Just when the New Jersey Nets thought they were out, Vince Carter pulled them back in.
The veteran guard buried a last-second 3-pointer to send the game into overtime, then added the game-winning dunk with 1.7 seconds left in the extra period to give the Nets a 129-127 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Friday.
After Anthony Parker's 3-pointer tied the game for the Raptors two seconds earlier, the Nets called a timeout and came up with a miraculous game-winner - as Bobby Simmons connected with Carter on the inbounds pass for a reverse dunk.
"I don't care if you're a young man just learning how to dunk or make an alley-oop, (but) that would be the pass," Carter said. "It was that perfect."
Carter collected 39 points, nine rebounds and six assists to outduel Toronto superstar Chris Bosh, who poured in a career high-tying 42 points and added nine boards. It wasn't enough, as the Nets erased an 18-point deficit in the second half to storm back and steal a victory on the road.
"It shows we've got a lot of grit and fight on our team and we don't give up," Nets guard Devin Harris said. "We've got guys who are competitive and we need to keep this through the rest of the season. We never got deflated and always had a chance to win."
Harris scored 17 of his 30 points in the fourth to bring the Nets back, but it was Carter who came up with the biggest shot of regulation. The veteran guard buried the game-tying 3-pointer from the top of the key in front of a stunned Toronto crowd - which had been roundly booing its former star attraction throughout.
"I just wanted to treat it like any other shot in the game and get my feet set and it went down," Carter said. "About midway, I knew it was going in and I was at about halfcourt by that time. It was a great feeling to get us into overtime and it gave us some momentum."
The final five-minute period was a hectic, back-and-forth affair, with both clubs coming up with seemingly improbable shots, leaving the game's outcome truly in question until the buzzer sounded.
Carter hit a turnaround jump shot to open up the overtime period, then added a long jumper two minutes later. Jarvis Hayes buried a tying 3-pointer and Harris' 17-footer put the Nets on top, 123-121, with 45 seconds on the clock. Harris scored six points in the overtime period.
With less than six seconds remaining and the Nets nursing a 125-121 edge, Bosh buried a desperation 3-pointer - his first of the season - from the left wing to pull the Raptors to within one.
Hayes knocked down a pair of foul shots to push the lead back to three, but the Raptors' heroics weren't done yet. Parker took the inbounds pass in the corner and drained a fall-away jumper from the arc with Hayes in his face - tying the game once again, 127-127.
"It was a great play from out of bounds," Parker said. "They anticipated us switching everything and it was a great pass and well executed."
An unusual defensive breakdown cost the Raptors in the end.
With 2.6 seconds on the clock, the Nets had few options to attempt a game-winner, but somehow Carter found a crease right down the middle of the lane and went to the basket virtually untouched. Simmons made the easy read, Carter dunked it and Parker's ensuing desperation heave at the buzzer misfired.
"If they switched, I was going to try to get it to V.C. and they ended up doing that, so I did what I could to get it up to the rim and he went up and got it," Simmons said of his game-winning assist. "I knew if I threw it up there he was going to go get it and it worked out for the better."
The Raptors held control for most of the evening before Harris singlehandedly seized the momentum in the final frame. He drained consecutive buckets to tie the game at 93-93, but Bosh had the answer.
With 4 1/2 minutes on the clock, Bosh drove down the middle of the lane for a layup, drew a foul and drained the foul shot to take back the lead. Moments later, Jose Calderon knocked down a pair of free throws and Kris Humphries dropped in a layup to give Toronto a 100-93 advantage.
Calderon registered 26 points and 15 assists, while Andrea Bargnani had his second stellar effort in a row, collecting 29 and 10 boards for the Raptors.
"We made a lot of mistakes, especially the last minute of the game," Bosh said. "We came off shooters and threes hurt you more than twos. We've got to remember that. We were up by seven points and we gave away two wide-open 3-point baskets ... Down the stretch in the game, that can't happen."
NEW JERSEY 129
TORONTO 127 FINAL IN 1ST OT
Nov 21 10:07 PM
NEW JERSEY 111
TORONTO 111 END OF 4TH QTR GOING INTO OVERTIME
Nov 21 9:46 PM
NEW JERSEY 76
TORONTO 85 END, 3RD QTR
Nov 21 8:56 PM
NEW JERSEY 47
TORONTO 61 HALFTIME
Nov 21 8:10 PM
NEW JERSEY 22
TORONTO 33 END, 1ST QTR
Nov 21 7:41 PM
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