Carter's deep 3-pointer lifts Nets over HawksJan 3, 2009 - 5:43 AM By Joe Rizzo PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Ticker) -- Coach Lawrence Frank could not stand to watch another home loss by his New Jersey Nets. He should have hung around to watch Vince Carter's heroics.
Carter nailed a 33-footer at the overtime buzzer Friday to make the Nets' 20-point rally complete with a stunning, 93-91, victory over the Atlanta Hawks.
Carter had just the second ejection of his career Wednesday in a loss at Detroit and followed it with a heated exchange with referee Derrick Stafford.
After Frank received a double-technical with 6:59 left in the second quarter Friday, it appeared the short-handed Nets - on their way to being down 20 points by halftime - would suffer defeat once again at the IZOD Center.
Led by Devin Harris, who had 26 points and 11 assists against eight turnovers, the Nets eventually erased the deficit.
However, they blew a five-point lead at the end of regulation and yielded a three-point edge toward the close of overtime trailing, 91-90, with seconds to play.
Then Carter saved the day.
Carter, who finished with 18 points, corralled an inbounds pass tipped by Marvin Williams with 5.3 seconds left and went into the backcourt to gain his dribble as Josh Smith did not pressure.
Carter crossed over the center line and released a bomb from a slight left angle that went through the net at the buzzer, sending the crowd into frenzy.
"Once it left my hand, it felt darn good," said Carter, whose Nets are 6-12 at home and snapped a four-game losing streak in New Jersey. "Once I let it go, it had the proper arc and it felt good from start to finish."
"I was fired up," Frank said. "I waited in the hallway. Sometimes the basketball gods are for you."
While many players would make a heave from that distance, Carter was able to set his feet and sink it in the mode of his regular jump shot.
"It was 1.8 seconds, the clock was running so I just wanted to make sure I could get to it and get my feet set," Carter said. "(Smith) didn't run so I was able to turn around and get my head around and get my feet set to make it happen."
"The way he shoots it, like regular jump shot, not many (players can do that)," Harris said. "It was the worst, most-best shot I have ever seen in my life."
A frustrated Frank received a double-technical with 6:59 left in the second quarter, near the end of what appeared to be a game-breaking 15-0 run by Atlanta. Head down, Frank stormed off the court to the locker room to give Nets fans their singular cheering opportunity of the first half.
"There was good reason for me to get thrown out," Frank said. "You're just trying to find a spark, trying to change the rhythm of the game. You get your money's worth. We got a win, that's all I care about.
"I'll do it every single game. Everyone will be fired up. Everyone will be excited."
When Mario West hit a half-court buzzer-beater to make it 49-29 at the break, it appeared the Hawks were well on their way to another win and New Jersey to another disappointing home defeat.
But the Nets scored the first eight points of the third quarter as part of a 19-3 run, capped by Carter's 3-pointer, to get within 52-48 with 6:58 left.
"Twenty points was gone like that," Frank said.
Atlanta, which had its six-game winning streak snapped, fought back to make it 69-61 by the end of the period, but Harris finished a 10-0 fourth quarter-opening run with a 3-pointer to give New Jersey a 71-69 lead with 8:43 left.
Atlanta scored the final five points of regulation - although Al Horford missed a free throw that would have completed a three-point play with 48 seconds left - to force the extra session. It also scored what looked like the last four points of overtime - before Carter came up big.
"I didn't know if he was going to get to it or not," Williams said. "He obviously got to it and did what he's done many times in this league. He shot it like it was a 15-footer. It was a big-time shot, a big-time shot."
Mike Bibby scored 22 points and Smith scored 20 to pace Atlanta, which lost for just the second time in 12 games.
"It was a game we definitely should have tried to put away," Bibby said.
NEW JERSEY 93 FINAL IN 1ST OT
Jan 2 10:11 PM
NEW JERSEY 85 END OF 4TH QTR GOING INTO OVERTIME
Jan 2 10:00 PM
NEW JERSEY 61 END, 3RD QTR
Jan 2 9:18 PM
NEW JERSEY 29 HALFTIME
Jan 2 8:36 PM
NEW JERSEY 16 END, 1ST QTR
Jan 2 8:05 PM
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