EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP)—Vince Carter added another buzzer beater to his resume, and this one was from really long range.
Carter ran down a tipped inbounds pass in the backcourt and hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer from about 10 feet behind the arc 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.
“Once it left my hand it felt darn good,” Carter said. “I can say I have had shots, in 2001 vs. Philly in Game 7, that shot felt darn good, and then halfway it didn’t feel darn good. This one I let it go, and it had the proper arc and felt darn good from start to finish.”
Carter ran the ball down and then got a break when Josh Smith didn’t press him. That allowed Carter to bring the ball into the frontcourt and he pulled up and shot for the final three of his 18 points.
“I had no idea,” Carter said when asked if he knew how much time was left. “There might have been a second or two to go and I just wanted to hurry up and get my feet set and get a good shot. Once I let the ball go either we win or we don’t.”
Nets point guard Devin Harris called Carter’s shot incredible.
“It was the best, most-worst, most terrific shot I have ever seen go in,” said Harris, who led the Nets with 26 points and 11 assists.
The win was the Nets’ third straight over the Hawks this season, and it prevented Atlanta from having its first seven-game winning streak since 1998-99. This one came after coach Lawrence Frank was ejected in the second quarter with his team playing horribly.
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.
“It was good shot, there was nothing you could do about that, it was almost halfcourt,” Bibby said.
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 final seconds are now part of the Carter lore.
“That was a great shot,” Williams said. “But he has made plenty of those in his career.”
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 opened an 85-80 lead with 2:30 to go in regulation but the Hawks tied the game on a layup by Al Horford with 47 seconds to go. Horford missed the ensuing free throw, one of 10 the team missed.
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.
“I felt like I had a good shot in the regulation and faded on it, which threw off my mechanics,” said Carter, who was 5-of-7 from long range but only 6 of 18 from the field. “I was fortunate to get another opportunity and was just shot it like a regular jump shot.”
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.
The game see-sawed the rest of the way.
The ejection was the second for Frank since becoming the Nets coach on Jan. 26, 2004. He also was tossed against San Antonio on March 10, 2007. Assistant coach Brian Hill directed the Nets after the ejection. … The Hawks have not won seven in a row since the 1998-99 season.