Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 1/10

Game 1: Friday, January 10th
Game 2: Friday, January 17th
Game 3: Sunday, April 6th
Game 4: Saturday, April 12th

Nets 96

(48-29, 16-22 away)

Raptors 87

(24-52, 15-24 home)

    1:30 PM ET, April 6, 2003

    Air Canada Centre, Toronto, ON

    1 2 3 4 T
    NJ 28 21 29 1896
    TOR 27 19 19 2287

    Top Performers

    New Jersey: K. Martin 24 Pts, 10 Reb, 4 Ast

    Toronto: V. Carter 28 Pts, 4 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Raptors' Carter injures ankle with 31 seconds left

    TORONTO (AP) -- On a day when Kenyon Martin and Lucious Harris returned from injuries for the New Jersey Nets, Vince Carter went down with a sprained ankle that could sideline him for the rest of the season.

    Vince Carter

    Martin, in his first game back after missing three with a sprained right knee, had 24 points and 10 rebounds as the Nets defeated the Toronto Raptors 96-87 Sunday. Harris added 15 points after missing three games with a sprained left ankle.

    "There's no better time than now than to get everybody back and playing well going into the playoffs,'' Martin said.

    Carter had a team-high 28 points before he sprained his left ankle with 31 seconds remaining.

    Raptors spokesman Jim LaBumbard said Carter will "most likely miss'' the final six games of the season. Carter did not comment after the game.

    Embattled coach Lenny Wilkens defended his decision to keep Carter in the game despite being down by nine with 31 seconds left.

    "There was still time and guys want to win,'' Wilkens said.

    Carter landed hard on his ankle after taking a shot over Richard Jefferson. He was helped to the locker room, and X-rays of the ankle were negative.

    The All-Star guard missed 23 games earlier this season with a strained right knee. He also missed 10 games with a left knee injury.

    Jefferson added 16 points for the Nets, including an alley-oop pass on which Jason Kidd bounced Jefferson a pass off the backboard.

    Martin's undefended layup gave New Jersey a 94-87 lead with 1:08 left, and Harris made a jumper with just under a minute left. Martin scored six of New Jersey's final eight points.

    "I'm sore now,'' Martin said. "We've got three days, so I've got three days to rest.''

    Carter went 1-for-10 from the field in the second half before making two free throws and a running jumper, cutting New Jersey's lead to seven with 3:07 left.

    Starting center Jason Collins had a season-high 14 points on 5-of-6 shooting for the Nets, who have won six of seven.

    Dikembe Mutombo, who complained about playing time Saturday, had four points and six rebounds in 18 minutes off the bench.

    "I'm not here to create controversy. I'm a man for peace,'' Mutombo said.

    Kidd was 0-for-6 from the field before sparking an 8-0 run with a layup in the third quarter.

    Kidd later stole the ball from Rafer Alston and passed it off the backboard to Jefferson, whose dunk gave New Jersey a 13-point lead. A 3-pointer by Kidd gave the Nets a 15-point lead just before the end of the quarter.

    Carter had 20 points, including 17 in the first quarter, but New Jersey led 49-46 at halftime. Martin had 12 and Harris 11 the first half.

    Toronto's Morris Peterson dunked over Mutombo in the first quarter.

    Game notes

    Toronto's Antonio Davis missed his fifth straight game with a strained groin. ... Voshon Lenard missed the game with a bruised knee. ... Kidd had 13 assists. ... Wilkens lost his 1,108th game. He surpassed Bill Fitch's record for career coaching losses Friday when San Antonio beat Toronto 124-98. Wilkens is the winningest coach in league history with 1,292 victories.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 96 87
    FGM-FGA 37-77 (.481) 34-82 (.415)
    3PM-3PA 2-9 (.222) 5-14 (.357)
    FTM-FTA 20-24 (.833) 14-16 (.875)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 10-39 12-39
    Assists 28 15
    Turnovers 10 11
    Steals 4 5
    Blocks 4 4
    Fast Break Points 12 6
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 17 (0/0) 20 (0/0)

    Top Performers

    New Jersey
    Kenyon Martin Martin
    Points: 24
    Reb: 10
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0
    Vince Carter Carter
    Points: 28
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 1