Carter pours in 37 as Nets wear down Hawks

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- The New Jersey Nets have six days
off to savor their current eight-game winning streak.

In a scheduling quirk, the Nets don't play again until they host
Orlando on Jan. 6. Vince Carter scored 37 points and reserve guard
Jacque Vaughn had six late in the fourth quarter to give the Nets a
99-91 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night.

"It gives all your nagging injuries a chance to heal a little
faster," Carter said. "Everybody deserves it. Everybody is
committed to this team. We've turned things around."

Richard Jefferson had 21 points, and shot 11-of-13 from the
free-throw line for the Nets, whose streak is fourth-longest in
franchise history and six short of the record set in 2003-04. Jason
Kidd also scored 21 points and added nine assists.

Al Harrington had 26 points for Atlanta. Joe Johnson had 20 and
Tyronn Lue 18 for the Hawks, who lost their third straight.

"I don't have any complaints with our crew," said Hawks coach
Mike Woodson. "They are playing hard and we have been in every
game we've played this year."

It was a close game throughout with 25 lead changes and wasn't
decided until Vaughn gave the Nets the lead for good -- at 85-84 --
with a jumper with 4:53 remaining.

"Our best players trusted that I would shoot the ball and knock
down shots," Vaughn said. "It feels good and builds a team
kinship that helps us now and down the line."

Carter followed with a layup to give New Jersey a three-point

Trailing 48-42 at halftime, Atlanta opened the third quarter
with a 9-2 run to take a 51-50 lead on Johnson's 3-pointer with
8:59 remaining.

The Hawks, one of the NBA's best 3-point shooting teams, had
four more 3s in the quarter -- three by Harrington.

The Nets had their own 3-point weapon in Carter who had three
among his 15 points in the quarter. The period ended with Jefferson
sinking a buzzer-beating 3 to tie the score at 74.

In the end, the Nets veteran experience prevailed over the Hawks
youthful enthusiasm.

"We are right there, right before we can consistently win night
in and night out" Harrington said. "If we continue to play with
the same effort, we'll be fine."

Game notes
Nets C Nenad Krstic went to the locker room with 55.3
seconds left in first half after a hard fall after colliding with
Atlanta's Zaza Pachulia. He jammed his left wrist, which was
bandaged when he returned to start the second half. He scored only
2 points and went to a local hospital after the game for
precautionary x-rays. ...The Nets have won four in a row from the
Hawks and eight straight from Atlanta in New Jersey. ... Carter hit
the 30-point mark for the seventh time this season.