The Nets' offense was out of sync until the final 2 minutes.
Jason Kidd was almost held scoreless for the first time since Nov.
17, 2001, and Carter started limping early in the first quarter and
didn't score during the first 9 minutes of the fourth.
But the Nets finally got their act together in the final
minutes. After Hinrich hit a jumper to give Chicago a 76-71 lead
with 2:11 left, New Jersey responded with a 10-0 run.
Carter scored four straight points, then Kidd hit Krstic with a
nice pass for a layup to give the Nets a 77-76 lead with 1:04 left.
Chicago's Luol Deng made a turnover and Kidd picked a good time to
make his only shot -- a 3-pointer that gave New Jersey an 80-76 lead
with 27.8 seconds left.
"Vince made a great read. I acted like I was on fire and
pointed like 'throw me the ball,' " said Kidd.
Kidd finished with just four points, but contributed with 11
rebounds and 11 assists.
Jefferson secured the victory for the Nets with a block on
Andres Nocioni with 20 seconds remaining.
"I know [Nocioni]," Jefferson said. "He has the reputation
that he wants to take a big shot. He's been in some big games over
Europe and I played against him in the Olympics and in Puerto
The Bulls' offense sputtered when Gordon fouled out with 2:56
"He wasn't ready, he was caught unaware, he didn't know what
was going on, got caught in a bad spot," Bulls head coach Scott
Skiles said. "And obviously that hurt us because him and Kirk were
really the only ones that could get anything going."
Chicago committed 25 turnovers, 15 in the second half.
"I thought we just didn't make plays," Hinrich said. "They
kind of kept pushing it, while we kind of slowed down, maybe got a
little tentative. We probably should have been more aggressive the
last three minutes of the game, we got a rebound and we kind of
slowed it up."
Carter missed his first four shots in his first start for the
Nets and New Jersey missed its first 10 overall before Krstic
scored with 5:47 left in the first quarter.
"We got shots and the looks that we wanted early in the first
quarter and early in the third quarter," Carter said. "It just
didn't go down."
The Nets finished 5-of-21 in the first period, but the Bulls
were just as bad, shooting 5-of-18. The two teams entered the
second quarter tied at 12.
Things didn't improve much in the second, and Chicago led 31-30
at the break. Carter had 13 points during the first half, when the
Nets shot 27.5 percent.