Final

Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 1/29

Game 1: Saturday, January 29th
Nets99Final
Jazz82
Game 2: Friday, March 18th
Jazz80Final
Nets94

Nets 99

(18-26, 9-17 away)

Jazz 82

(15-30, 9-12 home)

    Coverage: FSRM

    7:00 PM ET, January 29, 2005

    EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake City, UT

    1 2 3 4 T
    NJ 29 34 19 1799
    UTAH 19 26 13 2482

    Top Performers

    New Jersey: V. Carter 30 Pts, 8 Reb, 10 Ast, 2 Stl, 4 Blk

    Utah: R. Bell 20 Pts, 1 Reb, 3 Ast

    Jazz drop fourth game in last five

    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Vince Carter is having a good time on the court again -- and it shows.

    Carter made his first five shots on his way to 30 points and the New Jersey Nets defeated the Utah Jazz 99-82 on Saturday night.

    He was 5-for-5 from 3-point range and scored on a variety of drives to the basket as New Jersey never trailed in its season-high third straight win. It was Carter's second straight 30-point game. He added 10 assists and was two rebounds short of a triple-double.

    And he looked happy doing it, flashing a smile that was hard to find before he was traded from Toronto to the Nets on Dec. 17.

    "I am having fun. This is a new situation for me. It's a new start and I'm trying to make the most of it," he said.

    Carter was aggressive from the opening tip as the Nets got off to a 9-1 lead and took a 13-point advantage in the first quarter after his driving lay-up.

    "It's not the points that matter, it's just doing something for my team to get the win. Some nights it's scoring. Some nights it's rebounding. Some nights it's finding the open man," he said.

    Jason Kidd scored 19 points and Nenad Krstic added 13 for the Nets, who dressed only nine players on the last game of a five-game road trip. It hardly mattered the way they shot. New Jersey made 9 of 13 from beyond the arc.

    "Jason obviously set the tone, imposing his will and personality on the game, attacking down in the post. And Vince had another sensational night," New Jersey coach Lawrence Frank said after the Nets won for just the second time in the last 11 games at Utah.

    Raja Bell was the only Jazz player in double figures with 20 points.

    "It's not about making shots or missing shots or who's an All-Star and who's not an All-Star," Bell said. "It's just about fighting and we don't fight. It's frustrating because we have enough talent to do it and we just don't use it."

    Utah shot 38 percent and looked lethargic after dropping a 93-91 game at Minnesota on Friday. The Jazz have lost four of five games despite the return of Andrei Kirilenko, who scored seven points.

    "Everybody should take a look at ourselves," Kirilenko said. "We didn't stay like team, like we usually stay. Usually we help each other."

    Quick ball movement kept the Jazz defense one step behind and led to open looks all over the court for New Jersey. When the Jazz tried a zone defense the results were the same.

    "We had a difficult time trying to guard them, zone them; they made shots and we couldn't react. They did a terrific job of getting everything they wanted," Utah coach Jerry Sloan said.

    When the Jazz defense collapsed on penetration by Kidd or Carter, the Nets found an open teammate. Kidd also had 10 assists and the Nets recorded 28 on their 37 field goals.

    "Vince makes the game easy, and I try to make it easy for him. We just try to play off each other. I don't think people expected him to be so unselfish," Kidd said.

    The Nets pushed a five-point lead to as many as 21 in the second quarter before settling for a 63-45 halftime lead. New Jersey shot 69 percent as Carter had 20 points and Kidd added 17 in the half.

    The Nets completed a successful back-to-back road set after beating the Lakers 109-103 on Friday and finished their Western Conference swing with a 3-2 record.

    "We talk about priority games and this was the fifth game in seven nights, last game of a road trip. Huge character-type game, and I think our character shined quite brightly," Frank said.

    Game notes


    New Jersey center Jason Collins was listed as out with a strained hamstring but started and played 33 minutes and scored 10 points. Jason and his twin brother, Utah center Jarron Collins, guarded each other on a few plays in the second half. ... New Jersey claimed Elden Campbell off waivers but he is not yet with the team. Utah waived Campbell on Wednesday after acquiring him from Detroit in the Carlos Arroyo trade.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    NJ
    UTAH
    Points 99 82
    FGM-FGA 37-70 (.529) 32-83 (.386)
    3PM-3PA 9-13 (.692) 6-13 (.462)
    FTM-FTA 16-24 (.667) 12-15 (.800)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 6-41 11-37
    Assists 28 20
    Turnovers 13 15
    Steals 9 5
    Blocks 5 3
    Fast Break Points 10 9
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 21 (0/0) 22 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 26 0

    Top Performers

    New Jersey
    Utah
    Vince Carter Carter
    Points: 30
    Reb: 8
    Ast: 10
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 4
    Raja Bell Bell
    Points: 20
    Reb: 1
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0