Sun, Apr 17, 2005 - Page 24 News List

Vince Carter returns with a vengeance

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION Despite a nasty reception from the fans of his former team, the All-Star guard had 39 points, nine rebounds and had four assists


Vince Carter ignored the boos and scored 39 points in his first game in Toronto since being traded, and the New Jersey Nets kept their playoff hopes alive by coming back from a 14-point halftime deficit for a 101-90 victory over the Raptors on Friday.

Fans booed Carter from the moment stepped on the court, heckled him during the US national anthem and jeered every time he touched the ball.

"When they go home tonight they have something to think about," Carter said.

Carter went 15-for-26 from the field. He also grabbed nine rebounds and had four assists, and his four free throws in the final 1:23 put the game away.

Jason Kidd added 15 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists for the Nets, who moved within one game of Cleveland for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East. Jalen Rose had 20 points for the Raptors.

"Everything around Vince helped us focus and concentrate," Kidd said. "As much as he wanted to win, we wanted to win too."

Pistons 99, Bucks 73

In Auburn Hills, Michigan, Tayshaun Prince scored 17 points, and Ben Wallace added 15 points and 11 rebounds as Detroit beat Milwaukee for its ninth consecutive victory.

The Pistons, already locked into the Eastern Conference's second seed, extended their longest winning streak of the season despite none of their starters playing more than 30 minutes.

Milwaukee, which has lost 13 straight on the road, lost leading scorer Michael Redd early in the third quarter to a sore left Achilles tendon.

Ronald Dupree added a career-high 20 points, including five dunks, for the Pistons, while fellow reserve Antonio McDyess had 13. Rookie Carlos Delfino had a career-high seven assists.

Celtics 101, Heat 99

In Boston, Paul Pierce's 6m shot with nine seconds left gave Boston its third straight win and kept Miami in its deepest slump of the season.

The Celtics won despite a 34-point performance from Shaquille O'Neal in his second game since missing three with a stomach ailment and viral infection.

Boston, which needs one more win or a loss by Philadelphia to clinch the Atlantic Division title, won for the fifth time in six games. Miami, which has already clinched the top seed for the Eastern Conference playoffs, lost its season-high fourth consecutive game.

Wizards 119, Cavaliers 111

In Washington, Gilbert Arenas made 12 of 16 shots, scored 33 points and had nine assists, Larry Hughes scored 16 of his 31 points in the fourth quarter and had five steals, and Antawn Jamison had 21 points as Washington shot 59 percent to beat Cleveland and win its their third straight.

LeBron James played all 48 minutes and scored 38 points as the Cavaliers, clinging to the East's eighth and final playoff position, lost for the fifth time in seven games and had their lead over ninth-place New Jersey cut to one game.

Cleveland's only lead in the game was 2-0, although the Cavaliers tied the game late in the third quarter before wilting when the Wizards opened the fourth with a 17-9 run. Hughes was the catalyst, scoring a fast-break three-point play after a steal and a 3-pointer in the spurt that put Washington ahead 102-92 with 5:29 to play.

76ers 90, Pacers 86

In Indianapolis, Allen Iverson had 43 points, seven assists and four rebounds to beat Indiana and give Philadelphia sole possession of seventh place in the Eastern Conference standings.

Iverson was quick enough off the dribble to consistently draw fouls, and he finished the game by scoring 16 of Philadelphia's 24 fourth-quarter points. It was his ninth 40-point game of the season, extending his own franchise record.

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