EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP)—Jason Kidd and Vince Carter seemingly didn’t care that the New Jersey Nets almost squandered an eight-point lead in the final 24 seconds. Winning a couple in a row makes every thing right.
Carter scored a season-high 41 points and Kidd had 13 assists as the Nets held off the 76ers on Saturday night, posting a 112-107 victory, for their second straight win after six consecutive losses.
“It’s good to get our swagger back and gain confidence as a unit,” Carter said.
Kidd was smiling just as wide despite missing his 78th career triple-double by one point and one rebound. It would have tied him with Wilt Chamberlain for third best overall.
“I think winning becomes contagious and anytime you win the locker room is more soulful and a little more joyful, maybe not because it’s the holiday, but winning can help,” said Kidd, who also had nine points and nine rebounds. “Everybody who played contributed tonight and that’s what we are going to need.”
Iverson scored 37 points and rookie Rodney Carney added a career-high 20 in his first NBA start as Philadelphia lost its sixth straight road game. Chris Webber returned to the 76ers lineup after missing six games with a back problem and had 15 points and 12 rebounds.
“I just have to get back to having fun out there,” Iverson said after Philadelphia lost for the 10th time in 12 games after opening the season 3-0.
“It’s tough so far,” he added. “We have a 5-10 records and, at time, things are getting real frustrating and it’s coming into the game. It’s hard to play basketball when you are not having fun, because it’s a fun game and it’s something I want to do everyday of my life.”
The Nets, who led by 11 points entering the final quarter, didn’t put the 76ers away until Carter hit four free throws in the final four seconds. Philadelphia had drawn to within 108-107 on a three-point play by Iverson with 4.3 seconds to go.
“For him, it was 41 quiet points,” Kidd said of Carter. “It’s something we can’t always count on. He makes the game easy for everyone else.”
New Jersey seemingly was in control in the final minute when Jefferson hit one of two free throws for a 107-99 lead with 23.4 seconds to play.
However, Webber sandwiched a layup and 3-point shot around two missed free throws by Kidd to cut the lead to 107-104 with 9.7 seconds to play.
After Jefferson hit a free throw, Iverson converted his three-point play but it wasn’t enough for the 76ers.
“Nobody panicked,” Kidd said. “We’re a veteran ball club. We didn’t finish it on a high note but we finished the game and got the win.”
Carter hit 15-of-22 from the field on a night that the All-Star guard gave New Jersey a scare with a hard fall in the third quarter after being fouled by Webber on a fastbreak. The eight-year veteran held his right wrist for a couple of seconds and then created more concern getting up and missing badly on the first of his two free throws.
After holding his wrist for a second, Carter made the second free throw and then hit 5-of-8 shots from the field the rest of the quarter to score 14 points and help the Nets built an 11-point cushion.
Philadelphia forward Kyle Korver had a streak of playing in 205 consecutive games snapped when he sat out with a sprained left ankle. He was hurt in practice on Friday. He last missed a game on Feb. 19, 2004. … Iverson has scored at least 15 points in 143 straight games. … Nets G Eddie House (knee surgery) and rookie F Josh Boone (shoulder) made their first appearances this season.