Regular Season Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series starts 11/30

Game 1: Tuesday, November 30th
Game 2: Tuesday, December 21st
Game 3: Friday, February 25th
Game 4: Monday, March 28th

Nets 95

(33-38, 14-22 away)

Bobcats 91

(15-54, 12-23 home)

    7:00 PM ET, March 28, 2005

    Charlotte Coliseum, Charlotte, NC

    1 2 3 4 T
    NJ 19 21 29 2695
    CHA 19 25 24 2391

    Top Performers

    New Jersey: V. Carter 39 Pts, 6 Reb, 2 Ast, 5 Stl

    Charlotte: P. Brezec 20 Pts, 12 Reb, 2 Ast

    Carter burns Charlotte for 39 points; Nets eye eighth spot

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- With New Jersey's playoff hopes in jeopardy, Vince Carter took charge.

    Carter scored 39 points as the Nets hung on to beat the Charlotte Bobcats 95-91 Monday night.

    Most 30-point games after switching teams midseason
    '71-72 Archie Clark, BAL 19
    '04-05 Vince Carter, NJ 17
    '99-00 Larry Hughes, GS 7
    '69-70 Happy Hairston, LAL 7
    '67-68 Flynn Robinson, CHI 7

    Carter, who scored 15 of the Nets' 19 points in the first quarter, helped the team end a two-game skid. The Nets have won six of their last eight and moved within three games of Philadelphia for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

    "It was important for us to find some energy, so I just tried to get us started early," Carter said. "Once I got going and got double-teamed, it opened things up for everyone else. In the situation were in, we have to have the mentality to get off to a fast start."

    Nenad Krstic added 15 points and 15 rebounds for the Nets, who completed a four-game season sweep of the Bobcats.

    With the Nets leading 71-70 early in the fourth quarter, New Jersey went on a 7-0 run, fueled by four Bobcats turnovers.

    After Jason Kapono's 3-pointer cut it to 78-75, Carter scored on an off-balance runner in the lane, then on an alley-oop dunk from Jason Kidd to put New Jersey ahead 82-75 with 6:04 left.

    "Vince and Jason imposed their will on the game," Nets coach Lawrence Frank said.

    The Bobcats cut it to 91-87 on Primoz Brezec's free throw with 36.8 seconds left, but Krstic, Carter and Jacque Vaughn combined to hit 4-of-6 free throws to seal the win.

    "Vince is an All-Star, we all know he's going to get his, but we still had a chance to win," Bobcats forward Gerald Wallace said. "If you execute and do what you have to do on the offensive end, you can still win. We didn't do that tonight."

    Brezec had 20 points and 12 rebounds for the Bobcats, who made just 7-of-22 from the field in the fourth quarter. Charlotte had won its last two games, including a home victory over East-leading Miami on Saturday.

    New Jersey missed 12 of its first 16 shots in the second quarter as Charlotte built a 44-40 halftime lead.

    "You have to find a way to win, and they are not all going to be masterpieces, especially coming off two losses," Frank said. "Winning on the road is not easy, and Charlotte competes hard every night."

    Bobcats leading scorer and rebounder Emeka Okafor, who suffered a sprained left ankle in Saturday's win over Miami, was not expected to play 45 minutes before tipoff, but started and had 15 points and 10 rebounds for his 37th double-double.

    "It felt a lot better than I thought it would," Okafor said. "I was out there during pregame warm-ups and decided to give it a go. Its nothing too serious."

    Game notes

    Carter, held to 16 points in a 21-point loss to Minnesota on Saturday, has scored 20 or more points in 27 of the past 29 games. ... Bobcats guard Keith Bogans played after missing three games with back spasms. He had two points in six minutes. ... The Nets hope to gain ground in the playoff race this week as they have three more games against sub .500 teams -- the Los Angeles Clippers, New York and Orlando.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 95 91
    FGM-FGA 35-83 (.422) 34-81 (.420)
    3PM-3PA 3-13 (.231) 1-9 (.111)
    FTM-FTA 22-32 (.688) 22-30 (.733)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 14-46 11-45
    Assists 19 21
    Turnovers 14 16
    Steals 10 9
    Blocks 2 4
    Fast Break Points 12 16
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 25 (1/0) 24 (1/0)
    Largest Lead 8 8

    Top Performers

    New Jersey
    Vince Carter Carter
    Points: 39
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 5
    Blk: 0
    Primoz Brezec Brezec
    Points: 20
    Reb: 12
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0