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News » VINCE RETURNS, BUT HOWARD STEALS THE SHOW AS NETS FALL


VINCE RETURNS, BUT HOWARD STEALS THE SHOW AS NETS FALL


VINCE RETURNS, BUT HOWARD STEALS THE SHOW AS NETS FALL Magic 95 - Nets 85

The NBA schedule maker planned a reunion party for Vince Carter at the Meadowlands last night, as the Nets' home opener featured Carter and the defending Eastern champ Orlando Magic. But Carter didn't stay around very long.

Unfortunately for the Nets , neither did Brook Lopez. Even worse, Dwight Howard did.

"Howard had such a profound impact on that game defensively," said coach Lawrence Frank, whose Nets fell to 0-2 through a 95-85 defeat that was sculpted by Howard with a 20-point, 22-rebound, four-block masterpiece. "That's why the guy is defensive player of the year. Not only did he do what he did to Brook, he did it to our whole team."

Carter, traded on draft night after nearly five seasons in the Swamp, was slugging his old mates with a variety of drives and jumpers for 16 points before spraining his left ankle and leaving after playing just 14 minutes.

"We won. It's never disappointing. I'm glad we won the game, so that's all that matters," said Carter who was diagnosed with a mild sprain (X-rays negative) and listed as day-to-day.

The glimmer of hope Carter's absence provided was darkened by foul trouble on Lopez. Then the light was eclipsed by Howard's inside dominance. Despite runs here and there and constantly bringing double-digit deficits back within reason, the Nets never overtook the Magic, especially after Orlando started the third quarter with a 7-0 run before the announced crowd of 17,525.

"They're the Eastern Conference champions for a reason," said Devin Harris, who started cold, warmed in the fourth but finished shooting 6-of-18 to end with 16 points and seven assists. Especially when a guy like Lopez is on the bench a lot.

"It was rough. It was very physical. Personally, I picked up a few fouls early," said Lopez, who had 11 points and five rebounds in 25 minutes. "That hurt us and got me in a bit of a funk I wasn't really able to recover from."

Unlike their bitter season-opener loss at Minnesota, where they led most of the night, the Nets enjoyed the lead for 15 seconds, at 31-30. They were looking up much of the game.

And usually at Howard.


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Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 3, 2009

 

 
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