Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series starts 12/30

Game 1: Thursday, December 30th
Game 2: Sunday, March 20th
Game 3: Tuesday, March 22nd
Game 4: Wednesday, April 13th

Nets 94


Pacers 85

(33-32, 19-14 home)

    3:30 PM ET, March 20, 2005

    Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN

    1 2 3 4 T
    NJ 16 24 31 2394
    IND 14 20 25 2685

    Top Performers

    NJ: V. Carter 39 Pts, 11 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Stl

    Ind: A. Johnson 18 Pts, 7 Reb, 8 Ast, 1 Stl

    Carter, rookie Krstic produce for Nets in stretch

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Maybe the Indiana Pacers can do better against Vince Carter on Tuesday night. They sure couldn't handle him Sunday.

    Carter scored 39 points, including 14 in the third quarter, and New Jersey beat the Pacers 94-85 for a season-best fourth straight win. The Nets and Pacers will play again Tuesday at New Jersey.

    "We wanted to see how they would play me. We wanted to see how they would react to us and see where we could attack them," Carter said. "I just continued to attack and we stuck with what worked."

    The Nets, who trailed most of the first quarter, took the lead in the second period and broke the game open in the third behind Carter and rookie center Nenad Krstic.

    Two straight baskets by Krstic off assists from Jason Kidd and a basket by Carter put New Jersey up by 10 early in the third quarter. Anthony Johnson hit two 3-pointers to help keep the Pacers close, but Carter countered with a 3-pointer and two free throws, and Krstic scored again as the Nets built their lead to 17 late in the period.

    "With that performance out there, I'm not sure we want to see Vince Carter again. But that's the schedule," Johnson said. "We've got to go out and do better against him."

    Reggie Miller, coming off a 39-point performance Friday night against the Lakers, was held to 13, although his steal and fast-break dunk and then free throw on a technical foul against Carter brought the Pacers within 12 midway through the final quarter.

    Once again, though, Carter took over, scoring on an offensive rebound and then on a three-point play to push the lead to 83-66. Indiana never came closer than 10 until the final minutes, when 3-pointers by Miller and Fred Jones made it 91-85. Two free throws by Travis Best and one of two foul shots by Kidd finished the scoring in the closing seconds.

    "For us to come in here and get a win is big," Kidd said. "Now we have to go back and protect home court."

    Krstic finished with 18 points, while Kidd had 14 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists.

    Stephen Jackson led Indiana with 21 points despite being out from midway through the first quarter to the start of the second with a shin injury, while Johnson added 18 and Jones 14.

    New Jersey coach Lawrence Frank said Carter's third-quarter scoring burst resulted from good defense by the Nets.

    "We were able to get consecutive stops, and then Vince obviously was very effective. ... He made a lot of perimeter shots and had a good diversity to his game," Frank said.

    The loss snapped Indiana's three-game winning streak against New Jersey.

    Pacers coach Rick Carlisle called Carter an "unusual player."

    "He can literally just take a dribble and jump over you from anywhere on the court," Carlisle said. "He threw in some shots that were breathtaking. ... When you let a great player get going like that, it's awful tough to deal with.

    Game notes

    Indiana is 5-3 since Jermaine O'Neal went out for the season with a sprained right shoulder. ... Dale Davis had 11 points and led Indiana with 10 rebounds. In eight games since he signed with the Pacers, Davis is averaging 9.8 rebounds a game. .... Carter is averaging 26.3 ppg in 42 games with the Nets and has scored 20 or more points in 30 of the last 32 games. ... Best was a first-round draft pick by Indiana in 1995 and played seven years with the Pacers. ... Kidd needs 22 assists to pass Terry Porter's 7,160 for 10th on the NBA career list.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 94 85
    FGM-FGA 32-72 (.444) 31-69 (.449)
    3PM-3PA 5-13 (.385) 7-23 (.304)
    FTM-FTA 25-28 (.893) 16-19 (.842)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 10-42 7-34
    Assists 20 19
    Turnovers 13 16
    Steals 5 6
    Blocks 1 0
    Fast Break Points 13 6
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 23 (1/0) 23 (1/0)
    Largest Lead 17 6

    Top Performers

    New Jersey
    Vince Carter Carter
    Points: 39
    Reb: 11
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0
    Anthony Johnson Johnson
    Points: 18
    Reb: 7
    Ast: 8
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0