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New JerseyNetsNJ
13-12, 6-6 Away
96
Final
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ORL1921271885
85
9-14, 5-8 Home

New Jersey goes over .500 in first of 3-game road swing

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- Vince Carter is having a big December, and
the struggling Orlando Magic certainly couldn't stop him.

Carter scored 32 points and Richard Jefferson added 18 to lead
the New Jersey Nets over the Orlando Magic 96-85 on Wednesday
night.

It was New Jersey's fourth straight win and Orlando's third
consecutive loss. The Nets are now over .500 (13-12) with the
victory, their first on a three-game road trip.

It was Carter's fourth game this month with at least 30 points --
and third in the past four games. He scored 10 of New Jersey's 22
fourth-quarter points.

"We're not putting any pressure on ourselves," Carter said.

Jameer Nelson scored seven points in a 13-2 Magic run that gave
them a 77-76 lead with 8:23 left. But Carter made two free throws
and threw down an alley-oop from Jason Kidd that gave the Nets an
81-77 edge. Poor shooting and turnovers kept the Magic from
threatening again.

"We get the game where we have the opportunity to win it, then
we turn it over," Magic coach Brian Hill said. "The turnovers in
the second half I thought killed us -- along with our inability to
make shots."

Carter also had a spectacular, reverse dunk off an alley-oop
from Kidd later in the fourth quarter.

"Vince is a rough matchup for anybody," Hill said.

In his fourth game back from surgery on Oct. 31, Grant Hill had
16 points, as did Steve Francis. Dwight Howard added 14 points and
15 rebounds for the Magic, while Tony Battie had 13 points and 10
rebounds.

Kidd finished with nine points, six assists and six rebounds,
while Lamond Murray added 11 points off the bench for New Jersey.

"We're starting to see what we need to do to win," Nets coach
Lawrence Frank said.

The Magic hung around in the third quarter on jumpers from Hill,
but trailed most of the period by five. After scoring just two
points in the first half, Hill scored 10 of Orlando's 27 in the
third.

Nelson's 3-pointer just before the buzzer drew Orlando within
seven at the end of the third.

New Jersey led 46-40 at halftime. The Nets built the lead as
Carter had 12 points, despite missing much of the half with two
fouls. When he wasn't scoring, Carter was driving to open up the
perimeter, helping to set up Jefferson's 3-pointer from the corner
just before halftime.

Game notes
Nets F Jason Collins left in the first quarter with a sore
right ankle and did not return. ... Orlando shot just 65.5 percent
from the free-throw line, compared with 85.2 percent for the Nets.
... The Magic have lost eight of the last 10 matchups against New
Jersey in Orlando.