Carter, Kidd deliver difference at end vs. Bucks

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The New Jersey Nets don't have problems winning the close games. It's the other ones that are giving them trouble.

Vince Carter scored eight of his 23 points in the final 3:55, Jason Kidd added 11 of his 17 in the fourth quarter, and the Nets beat the Bucks 97-95 on Saturday night.

The win pushed New Jersey's record to 11-3 in games decided by five points or less. The Nets are 14-16.

"We played like a committed team," New Jersey coach Lawrence Frank said. "There's a lot of parity in the league. A lot of times it comes down to a play. And we are able to find a way."

Richard Jefferson had 19 for the Nets, who have won four of five. Kidd finished with 15 assists but six turnovers.

Michael Redd led Milwaukee with 35 points. Mo Williams, on his bobblehead night, had 24 points, 20 in the first half, before fouling out with 2:03 remaining.

The Bucks have lost five of six.

"It's experience," Redd said. "They've got Jason Kidd, Vince Carter and Richard Jefferson. They're veterans. That's three All-Stars. They've got championship experience. We've got to get there."

The game was close throughout, with neither team leading by more than six. Kidd hit some big shots late, including a 3-pointer from the right wing with 1:33 remaining as the shot clock horn sounded to put New Jersey up 88-86.

Yi Jianlian tied it at 88 with a jumper, but Carter hit a reverse layup with 55 seconds left, and Malik Allen sank a 20-footer with 23.1 seconds remaining to make it 92-88 and put New Jersey up to stay.

New Jersey has won seven of seven against the Bucks.

Kidd had five first-quarter turnovers, made just one of his first eight shots. He finished 6-of-14 from the field and 2-of-7 from the free throw line.

But following Redd's two missed free throws with 6:37 remaining, Kidd sank a jumper from just inside the 3-point line and a 3 from nearly the same spot on the Nets' next possession to give New Jersey an 81-77 lead.

Milwaukee came back to take an 86-83 lead on a 20-footer by Yi before big plays late in the game by Carter, Kidd and others.

"It just shows that we're hopefully going in the right direction," Kidd said. "We stayed the course, and we got a big win on the road. If you're going to be a good team, you have to find a way to win on the road. If we want to be an elite team, we have to find a way to win at home."

New Jersey is 7-11 at home and 7-5 on the road. Milwaukee dropped to 9-4 at home.

Williams scored 20 points in the first half on 7-of-10 shooting, but picked up his fourth foul with 4:36 remaining in the third quarter and sat the rest of the period and well into the fourth.

He picked up his fifth within seconds of re-entering the game.

"If Mo Williams doesn't foul out, that probably changes the game completely," Jefferson said. "Then you're not able to load up on Michael Redd, and it changes the dimension of the game."

Bucks coach Larry Krystkowiak said the difference was that New Jersey had 17 second-chance points to the Bucks' five.

"I was pretty pleased with the effort," he said. "For the most part, we battled with those guys most of the night. They energy I didn't really have a problem with."

Milwaukee made just 26 percent of its shots in the second quarter and 32 percent in the third.

The game was tied at 43 at halftime.

The Nets started slowly, turning the ball over six times in the first 7 1/2 minutes and falling behind 25-19 after the first quarter. Kidd had five turnovers in the period.

Williams made his first four shots and had nine points in the first quarter.

"We just have to keep fighting," Williams said. "It will fall our way one day. Guys are not going at each other. Guys still want to turn things around. It's not like we're getting blown out. They're close games, and we're playing well. Close games are about catching breaks."

Game notes
New Jersey had a season-high 31 assists. ... The Bucks came in with the third-best home winning percentage in the Eastern Conference behind Boston and Detroit. Milwaukee is 2-14 on the road. ... Fan Michael Hall of East Troy, Wis., swished a halfcourt shot at halftime to win a 2008 Chevy Malibu.