18-26, 9-17 away
99
1234T
NJ2934191799
UTAH1926132482
15-30, 9-12 home
82

Jazz drop fourth game in last five

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Vince Carter is having a good time on the

court again -- and it shows.

Carter made his first five shots on his way to 30 points and the

New Jersey Nets defeated the Utah Jazz 99-82 on Saturday night.

He was 5-for-5 from 3-point range and scored on a variety of

drives to the basket as New Jersey never trailed in its season-high

third straight win. It was Carter's second straight 30-point game.

He added 10 assists and was two rebounds short of a triple-double.

And he looked happy doing it, flashing a smile that was hard to

find before he was traded from Toronto to the Nets on Dec. 17.

"I am having fun. This is a new situation for me. It's a new

start and I'm trying to make the most of it," he said.

Carter was aggressive from the opening tip as the Nets got off

to a 9-1 lead and took a 13-point advantage in the first quarter

after his driving lay-up.

"It's not the points that matter, it's just doing something for

my team to get the win. Some nights it's scoring. Some nights it's

rebounding. Some nights it's finding the open man," he said.

Jason Kidd scored 19 points and Nenad Krstic added 13 for the

Nets, who dressed only nine players on the last game of a five-game

road trip. It hardly mattered the way they shot. New Jersey made 9

of 13 from beyond the arc.

"Jason obviously set the tone, imposing his will and

personality on the game, attacking down in the post. And Vince had

another sensational night," New Jersey coach Lawrence Frank said

after the Nets won for just the second time in the last 11 games at

Utah.

Raja Bell was the only Jazz player in double figures with 20

points.

"It's not about making shots or missing shots or who's an

All-Star and who's not an All-Star," Bell said. "It's just about

fighting and we don't fight. It's frustrating because we have

enough talent to do it and we just don't use it."

Utah shot 38 percent and looked lethargic after dropping a 93-91

game at Minnesota on Friday. The Jazz have lost four of five games

despite the return of Andrei Kirilenko, who scored seven points.

"Everybody should take a look at ourselves," Kirilenko said.

"We didn't stay like team, like we usually stay. Usually we help

each other."

Quick ball movement kept the Jazz defense one step behind and

led to open looks all over the court for New Jersey. When the Jazz

tried a zone defense the results were the same.

"We had a difficult time trying to guard them, zone them; they

made shots and we couldn't react. They did a terrific job of

getting everything they wanted," Utah coach Jerry Sloan said.

When the Jazz defense collapsed on penetration by Kidd or

Carter, the Nets found an open teammate. Kidd also had 10 assists

and the Nets recorded 28 on their 37 field goals.

"Vince makes the game easy, and I try to make it easy for him.

We just try to play off each other. I don't think people expected

him to be so unselfish," Kidd said.

The Nets pushed a five-point lead to as many as 21 in the second

quarter before settling for a 63-45 halftime lead. New Jersey shot

69 percent as Carter had 20 points and Kidd added 17 in the half.

The Nets completed a successful back-to-back road set after

beating the Lakers 109-103 on Friday and finished their Western

Conference swing with a 3-2 record.

"We talk about priority games and this was the fifth game in

seven nights, last game of a road trip. Huge character-type game,

and I think our character shined quite brightly," Frank said.Game notes
New Jersey center Jason Collins was listed as out with a

strained hamstring but started and played 33 minutes and scored 10

points. Jason and his twin brother, Utah center Jarron Collins,

guarded each other on a few plays in the second half. ... New

Jersey claimed Elden Campbell off waivers but he is not yet with

the team. Utah waived Campbell on Wednesday after acquiring him

from Detroit in the Carlos Arroyo trade.