EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- The last thing Vince Carter needed
to see in his first game against his former team was a well-rested
Carter struggled in his first game against the team that traded
him to New Jersey earlier this season, missing 17 of 25 shots while
being outplayed by Rose in the Toronto Raptors' 100-82 victory over
the Nets on Tuesday night.
Rose shot 12-for-15, scored 30 points and did a fine defensive
job on Carter, who seemed to be pressing in a game he acknowledged
meant a lot to him. Rose led the Raptors on a 14-4 run early in the
fourth quarter, and New Jersey never recovered.
"He probably was a little tired from All-Star weekend. While he
was running up and down the court throwing it off the backboard, I
was laying on the beach drinking a fruity drink with an umbrella,"
Rose said. "So I probably gave myself an unfair advantage on that
Chris Bosh had 16 points and 12 rebounds, and Milt Palacio added
13 points for Toronto, which had six players in double figures.
Carter scored 22 points, and Jason Kidd added 20 for the Nets,
who had no one else in double figures.
Carter seemed loose before the game as he discussed last
weekend's slam dunk contest won by Josh Smith of Atlanta. Carter
said he has a dunk in his repertoire that no one had seen yet, a
specialty he plans to keep under wraps until the next time he
enters the dunk contest.
But once the game began, Carter missed several drives, was
off-target with his jumper, committed four turnovers and missed
four free throws.
"It's disappointing, the way we played. I think we've played
better," Carter said. "It's always a concern coming out of the
All-Star break how your team makes its comeback after the break. It
looked OK early, it got worse the rest of the night."
Toronto led 71-64 after three quarters, getting 20 points from
Rose on 8-for-10 shooting. Carter was 6-for-20 for 15 points.
Rose had a 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter as the shot
clock expired before Carter came up with his lone highlight-reel
move of the night, spinning 360 degrees as he drove beneath the
basket before spinning in a reverse layup.
But Rose answered by driving around Carter for a layup, then
stealing the ball from Carter as he was double-teamed. The steal
led to a 3-pointer by Donyell Marshall that made it 79-66, and
Carter followed by missing a running jumper to make the Nets
1-for-9 in the period.
"I won't say it was necessarily a personal challenge, but it
was a reason to come out and want to play well. In Toronto,
definitely all eyes were on this game," Rose said. "Being the
leader of the team, I tried to lead the pack."
Carter fouled Marshall on a 3-point attempt with 5:09 left, and
Marshall made two of the free throws for a 17-point lead.
That was it for the Nets, who were without starting center Nenad
Krstic (viral infection) and Rodney Buford (left ankle), leaving
them with only 10 players in uniform, one of whom, Jabari Smith,
made his first career start.
"It's disheartening," Kidd said. "We all know what the
picture is. We're chasing two teams, not one. If this is the way
we're going to play, I'll sit down and give the young guys some
time. There's no need to waste our energy if everybody's not going
to show up."
Bosh, 20, became the third-youngest NBA player in NBA
history to reach 1,000 career rebounds. Only Kevin Garnett and
Tracy McGrady reached the plateau at a younger age. ... Krstic has
a viral infection, and the team was worried he had mononucleosis
before tests came back negative. "Hopefully antibiotics and rest
will be the cure," coach Lawrence Frank said. Krstic will miss
Wednesday night's game at Milwaukee, and Rodney Buford (left ankle)
also will sit out against the Bucks. "He's not ready to roll,"
Frank said. We'll give him two more days and see where he's at."