TORONTO (AP) -- Vince Carter thrived in front of his former fans.
Carter ignored the boos and scored 39 points in his first game
in Toronto since being traded, and the New Jersey Nets kept their
playoff hopes alive by coming back from a 14-point halftime deficit
for a 101-90 victory over the Raptors on Friday night.
Fans booed Carter from the moment stepped on the court, heckled
him during the U.S. national anthem and jeered every time he
touched the ball.
"When they go home tonight they have something to think
about," Carter said.
Additional security guards were posted by the Nets bench to
protect Carter, who was once beloved but now reviled because he
demanded a trade and acknowledged he didn't push himself as hard as
he should have in Toronto.
"I just kind of blocked it out," said Carter who demanded out
less than halfway into a six-year, $94 million contract. "I'm
happy with the way things turned out. Maybe they are not, but this
was a fun game believe it or not."
Carter went 15-for-26 from the field. He also grabbed nine
rebounds and had four assists, and his four free throws in the
final 1:23 put the game away.
Jason Kidd added 15 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists for
the Nets, who moved within one game of Cleveland for the eighth and
final playoff spot in the East with three games left.
"Everything around Vince helped us focus and concentrate,"
Kidd said. "As much as he wanted to win, we wanted to win too."
Jalen Rose had 20 points for the lottery-bound Raptors.
Fans also brought signs mocking Carter, and they chanted his
name derisively. One even brought crutches, wore a Carter jersey
and had his head heavily bandaged. Others wore baby bibs with the
No. 15 written on the front.
"I thought they were trying to give him a compliment since his
wife is due to have a baby," Kidd joked.
New Jersey trailed by 14 at the half, but Carter scored 14 as
New Jersey went on a 17-4 run to give the Nets a four-point lead
midway through the third quarter.
Carter had 24 points in the second half, including 17 in the
"You give that guy any kind of daylight, and he gets hot,
there's nothing you can do about it," Toronto forward Chris Bosh
New Jersey outscored Toronto 60-35 in the second half.
Toronto general manager Rob Babcock has been criticized for
getting little in return for Carter. The Raptors acquired forwards
Eric and Aaron Williams, who both didn't play against New Jersey.
They also got Alonzo Mourning, who was bought out, and two draft
picks. ... New Jersey coach Lawrence Frank said if Carter had
played in Vancouver they'd still have a team.
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