Vintage Carter sinks Magic

Vince Carter scores 33 as New Jersey drops Orlando to .500 for the first time this season.

Associated Press
Published March 14, 2005

ORLANDO - Vince Carter and the Nets broke out of a slump at the expense of the fading Magic.

Carter had 33 points, seven rebounds and four steals to lead New Jersey to a 98-82 win over Orlando on Sunday night.

Jacque Vaughn added 22 points on 11-for-17 shooting for the Nets, who enjoyed their largest margin of victory in a month. Before the 16-point win, they had lost four of their past five by an average of 20.3 points.

Carter shot 33 percent (31-of-94) in that five-game span, but hit 10 of 19 shots against the Magic. He went to the free-throw line 16 times, hitting 12.

"I've been getting good shots, but just not making them," Carter said. "I told myself to just shoot the ball with confidence, and that's the way I approached it. It was a fun game to be a part of."

Orlando forward Grant Hill tried to defend Carter most of the game.

"There are about 20 guys in this league who when they get going there is nothing you can do about it and Vince had it going," Hill said. "I know Vince has been having a tough season and I wish I could have done a better job on him, but he was vintage Vince tonight."

The Magic lost its fourth straight game and is 3-7 since the All-Star break. Hill, who missed the previous three games with a shin injury, had 23 points in his return. Hedo Turkoglu also scored 23.

Orlando dropped to .500 (31-31) for the first time this season, and the frustration is showing. Steve Francis was ejected, rookie Dwight Howard received the first technical foul of his pro career, Turkoglu got in a shoving match with Zoran Planinic before the buzzer and reserve guard DeShawn Stevenson booted the ball into the stands at the buzzer.

"The time to get upset about things is during the game when you can do something about it like play better defense, communicate, move the ball ... that's the way you should respond," Magic coach Johnny Davis said.