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Hawks win streak snapped at 6

POSTED: January 2, 2009 10:52 p.m.
BILL KOSTROUN /The Associated Press

New Jersey Nets' Brook Lopez, right, battles for a rebound with Atlanta Hawks' Zaza Pachulia during the second quarter Friday in East Rutherford, N.J.

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Vince Carter hit a long 3-pointer at the buzzer in overtime and the New Jersey Nets rallied from a 20-point halftime deficit to beat Atlanta 93-91 on Friday night, ending the Hawks’ six-game winning streak.

Devin Harris added 26 points and 11 assists, and Carter finished with 18 points, with the final three coming from just inside 30 feet after he chased an inbound pass into the backcourt and hurried to get his shot off.

Atlanta’s Mike Bibby had 22 points, and Josh Smith added 20, with his layup with 11 seconds left in overtime seemingly destined to be the winning basket.

Carter was fouled by Smith with 5.3 seconds to play and that forced the Nets to inbound from in front of their bench. The inbound pass by Jarvis Hayes went into the backcourt and Carter made the play of the game to get the Nets a rare home win in a contest that saw New Jersey coach Lawrence Frank ejected in a dismal second quarter.

Hayes hit a 3-pointer with 1:35 to play to give New Jersey a 90-87 lead, but the Hawks came back, getting within two points when Bibby made two of three free throws after being fouled by Harris on a 3-pointer with 20.7 seconds left in the overtime.

Harris was stripped of the ball seconds later after being double teammed by Maurice Evans and Smith, with Smith finishing off the play for the lead.

The Nets seemed to take control late in regulation after Carter, who was ejected in the second quarter of Wednesday night’s loss in Detroit for arguing with official Derrick Stafford, hit a 3-pointer and Brook Lopez followed a Harris miss to put New Jersey ahead 85-80 with 2:30 to go.

It would be the last points the Nets would score in regulation.

Smith hit a free throw with 2:11 to go and Marvin Williams scored on a dunk with 1:32 to go.
Al Horford had a chance to put Atlanta ahead when he scored in the lane with 47 seconds to go and was fouled by Carter. However, he missed the free throw.

After Harris missed a drive and blocked Joe Johnson at the other end for a 24-second violation, Carter had a straight on jumper at the buzzer hit off the rim.

He hit nothing but net at the buzzer in overtime.

Frank was ejected by referee Luis Grillo 5 minutes into a very ugly second quarter.

To tell the truth, Frank seemingly wanted to leave. His team was scoreless in the quarter and it had only one basket in an 11-minute span that saw New Jersey fall behind 33-16 after Bibby hit the two free throws for the technicals and followed that with a basket.

The final embarrassment came at the halftime buzzer. The Nets got the ball back with 4.1 seconds to play after a 24-second violation, only to see Brook Lopez lose the ball in the forecourt and Mario West sink a half-court shot at the horn for a 49-29 lead.

The 29 points matched a season halftime low for the Nets, set two nights earlier against Detroit.
After shooting 31 percent in the first half, the Nets got back into the game in the opening minutes of the third quarter with a 22-5 spurt that cut the margin to 54-51 on a 3-pointer by Bobby Simmons, one of six treys New Jersey hit in the period.

Down 69-61 entering the fourth quarter, the Nets scored the first 10 points, taking a 71-69 lead on a 3-pointer by Harris with 8:43 to go.



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