Jefferson scored 26 points to lift the Nets past the Charlotte
Bobcats 94-91 on Tuesday night and snap Charlotte's five-game,
Jefferson scored 11 of New Jersey's final 14 points. Vince
Carter, recently acquired by the Nets in a trade with Toronto,
still hasn't played for New Jersey because of a sore Achilles'
Nets center Nenad Krstic had 13 points and 12 rebounds in his
first NBA start but was ejected midway through the third quarter
for hitting Gerald Wallace in the face with an elbow while clearing
room after a rebound. Krstic was averaging 11 minutes and four
points per game, but was the game's leading scorer and rebounder
when he was tossed.
"The ref's interpretation was that it was an elbow foul and
cause for automatic ejection," said Nets coach Lawrence Frank, who
raced onto the court to angrily dispute the call. "I didn't feel
it warranted an ejection, but I'll reserve judgment."
Krstic said, "I just turned around to protect the ball. They
hit me first in the head, I just spun around."
The ejection didn't seem to faze the Nets, who never lost the
"We were not very good," Bobcats coach Bernie Bickerstaff
said. "The thing about the NBA is that it is very humbling, very
quickly. This was one of the few basketball games where we were not
ready to play. New Jersey, I'm sure, would like to see us quite
frequently, they get well on us."
Kareem Rush led Charlotte with 23 points. Rookie Emeka Okafor,
the Bobcats' leading scorer, was held scoreless in the first half
before finishing with his 13th consecutive double-double -- posting
11 points and 10 rebounds.
The Bobcats struggled from the free throw line, going 15-for-29.
Krstic dominated inside early on, nearly posting a double-double
in the first half with nine points and 10 rebounds as the Nets led
45-39 at the break.
The Bobcats started slow, falling behind by 10 in the first
quarter, but rallied to tie it behind Rush's barrage of
Jason Hart had a career-high 15 assists for the Bobcats.
... Among those sitting courtside were Carolina Panthers
quarterback Rodney Peete and his wife, actress Holly