"How is it I make less money than you and have more points right now?" Carter recalled Jefferson saying at halftime.
Instead, Carter went out and earned his money.
The All-Star guard scored 38 second-half points, including driving layups on back-to-back possessions in the final minute to rally the New Jersey Nets to an 89-85 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday night.
Jason Kidd added his fourth triple-double of the season for the Nets, who snapped the Bucks' six-game home winning streak and won in Milwaukee for the first time since 2000.
"When the scorer is going like that, you've got to get him the ball," said Kidd, who had 12 points, 13 assists and 12 rebounds for the 71st triple-double of his career. "He puts so much pressure on the defense."
Carter scored the Nets' final 14 points and finished with 45.
"We got tight, and they put the ball in their best player's hands," Bucks forward Joe Smith said.
The Bucks have been playing good defense of late but fell apart in the fourth quarter.
"Sometimes you try and not let him get the ball, but they throw it up there, there's nothing you can do," Milwaukee guard Charlie Bell said.
This was one of those times, as Carter scored on a mixture of dunks and drives, 3-pointers and free throws. The second of his two straight driving layups put the Nets ahead 86-83 with 27.8 seconds to go.
"I thought we should have sent him the other way but he got to the rim two times," Bucks coach Terry Stotts said. "One time was too easy -- we had to foul him. The other time he scores in 2 seconds out of a timeout. It was too easy."
Nets coach Lawrence Frank noted that this was only his team's third victory when trailing after three quarters.
"He obviously was really special," Frank said. "Probably most importantly, his intent in the last 1:32, getting to the rim was obviously huge."
A steal and dunk by Carter drew the Nets to 81-80 with 2:05 remaining. But then he was called for a foul, and Smith hit two free throws to put the Bucks ahead by three with 1:32 left.
Two free throws by Carter made it a one-point game again, and the Bucks turned the ball over out of bounds. Carter hit driving layups on two straight possessions, putting the Nets ahead 86-83 with 27.8 seconds to go.
Smith answered with a layup with 16.1 seconds left.
Carter was fouled on the inbounds pass and made one of two free throws. Bucks guard Mo Williams, in his first game back from an ankle sprain, missed a frantic jump shot on the other end.
Williams said he was fouled on the play, but Kidd made a "veteran move" on defense to avoid the whistle.
"I thought I got fouled -- I know I did," Williams said. "The call just wasn't made."
Carter sealed the win with two more free throws.
Stotts was called for a technical in the third quarter after questioning a foul call on Bobby Simmons, and Kidd was hit with a technical near the end of the first half for complaining to a referee after he was called for two quick defensive fouls.
Michael Redd scored nine points in the first half, all on free throws. Redd, the Bucks' leading scorer, only attempted two first-half shots and was held to 18 points for the game.
Kidd credited Jefferson for his defense on Redd.
"RJ sacrificed a lot of his offense to guard Michael Redd and [make] it tough for him," Kidd said.
Simmons also scored 18 for the Bucks.
It was Kidd's 33rd triple-double with the Nets. ... Referees briefly stopped the game after a shot-clock malfunction on the Nets' offensive end near the end of the game. They couldn't get the Nets' shot clock working, so the Bucks' shot clock also was
turned off, and the public address announcer was instructed to announce when each team had 15 and 10 seconds remaining on the shot clock. ... The Nets made only seven of their first 27 shots. ... Williams marked his return by hitting a 3-pointer with 0.1 seconds remaining in the first quarter, giving the Bucks a 24-12 lead. ... It was New Jersey's first victory in Milwaukee since March 10, 2000.