Carter injured in Nets' narrow loss to Warriors

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- The Golden State Warriors are prepared to play their share of close games this season, contests that come down to the final possession.

Derek Fisher is one of the veterans the Warriors hired to handle such situations.

Fisher scored nine of his 22 points in the fourth quarter and the Warriors snapped a five-game losing streak to the New Jersey Nets with a 100-97 victory Monday night.

The Nets had to plug away on both ends without Vince Carter, who suffered a strained muscle in the middle of his back 4:43 before halftime when he stretched his arm out to catch a pass.

Carter returned briefly in the second half before leaving for good with 10:20 remaining in the third and heading to the locker room.

"I couldn't run down the court," Carter said. "Just wait, just let it heal and go from there."

Jason Richardson added 25 points and Baron Davis had 17 points and eight assists for the Warriors, who began a stretch with eight of nine games at home.

"The good thing with having Baron and myself on the floor together is sometimes I'm able to handle the ball and take some pressure off him," Fisher said. "We are still searching for better offensive consistency. We just want to continue to play consistent defense and make it tough for teams to score on us. As you have seen tonight, most games are going to come down to making a defensive stop at the end."

Richard Jefferson scored 23 for the Nets, who began a five-game road trip with their first loss to Golden State since a 105-97 defeat in Oakland on Jan. 23, 2003.

After Jeff McInnis made one of two free throws with 1:03 to play, the Nets got the ball back trailing 98-93 when Troy Murphy
was whistled for an offensive foul with 47.7 seconds left. Jefferson made both free throws and then the Warriors missed on the other end, giving New Jersey another possession.

Jason Kidd made two free throws with 9.2 seconds to go, but then Richardson hit two free throws at 8.3. With a final chance to tie it, Kidd lost control of the ball and the Nets didn't get a shot off before the final buzzer.

"The difference in the game was they were making uncontested shots and we had to work for every shot," McInnis said.

Murphy scored nine of his 21 points in the last 2:54 of the third quarter during a 13-6 spurt that gave Golden State an 82-74 lead heading into the final period. He also grabbed 10 rebounds.

Fisher came off the bench and provided just the kind of lift the Warriors have counted on from the playoff-tested veteran since signing him before last season. He hit back-to-back jumpers to start the fourth to extend Golden State's lead to 86-74, its
biggest of the game to that point. He also made a key 3-pointer.

Nenad Krstic scored New Jersey's first six points in the third period and then pulled the Nets to 95-92 on a running six-footer with 2:14 to play. Richardson answered with a 3 from the top of the arc.

Krstic finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds, and Kidd had 15 points, nine rebounds and five assists.

Warriors guard Mickael Pietrus limped to the locker room 4:35 before halftime with a sprained right knee and did not return. He will be examined Tuesday, though he left the arena on crutches and said he could be sidelined as long as six weeks.

"The X-rays weren't real bad," he said. "It's not like I'll miss a year. ... I'm 23 years old. I'm still a puppy. I have time to recover."

Golden State coach Mike Montgomery has been stressing the importance of his team playing well for longer spurts and having fewer lulls, a problem in several of the Warriors' losses so far. They were steady for most of the game Monday.

The Warriors shot 48.6 percent in the first half on the way to a 47-44 lead at the break.

Game notes
Golden State is yet to lose consecutive games. ... Carter finished with nine points. ... Nets forward Jason Collins missed another game with a right lower leg injury after also sitting out Nov. 11 at Indiana. He hopes to return by Sunday, when New Jersey plays the Lakers in Los Angeles. ... New Jersey forward Clifford Robinson returned to face his former team, starting in place of Collins. Robinson is
the father of new twins, Lyle and Clifford, born Nov. 7. "I enjoyed my time here," said Robinson, who played for Golden State in 2003-04 and part of last season. "I wish these guys the best. They're playing a lot better."