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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.