EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) – Vince Carter scored 19 points and Richard Jefferson had 16 points and 13 rebounds, leading the New Jersey Nets to an 89-83 victory over the Washington Wizards on Saturday night.

Jason Kidd and Clifford Robinson had 12 points apiece, and Nenad Krstic added 11 before fouling out for the Nets (5-4), who won their second straight and beat the Wizards for the 15th time in the last 18 meetings.

Antawn Jamison had 23 points and 13 rebounds to lead Washington (5-4), which lost its third straight.

Gilbert Arenas, the NBA’s third-leading scorer at 27.8 points per game, was held to 17 on 6-of-17 shooting before fouling out in the closing seconds. Brandon Haywood added 13 points and nine rebounds for the Wizards, who were just 17-of-31 (54 percent) from the free-throw line.

Leading by seven at halftime, the Nets increased the lead to 65-55 on a free throw by Clifford Robinson with about 21/2 minutes left in the third.

However, Arenas, held to just nine points in the first three periods, scored six points in the Wizards’ 8-0 Wizard run to start the fourth quarter that cut New Jersey’s lead to 69-68 with 9:35 remaining.

Robinson connected on two straight corner jumpers, pushing the lead back to 75-70 with 7:10 left.

Caron Butler’s jumper cut Washington’s deficit to 83-80 with 1:45 remaining, but Carter made two free throws 13 seconds later and Kidd had four in the final 18 seconds to seal the Nets’ win.

Jamison was the main cog in the first quarter for the Wizards, scoring 12 points and collecting five rebounds in the first 12 minutes, helping his team to a 27-19 lead after one period.

The Nets went on a 15-1 run during a span of 4:23 in the second quarter to take control.

After Jefferson scored on consecutive dunks to start the run, Arenas made one free throw for the Wizards before the Nets scored 11 straight points. Carter capped the spurt with a breakaway layup and a high-flying dunk to give the Nets a 36-30 lead with 5:35 remaining in the second quarter.

Washington cut the lead to 40-39 on a long jumper from Jarvis Hayes with 1:10 left, but the Nets scored the final six points of the first half, highlighted by another fastbreak dunk from Carter, to take a 46-39 lead at the break.

Notes: Nets F Jason Collins, questionable before the game with a right leg muscle strain that forced him to miss two of the last three games, started and played sparingly. He finished with three points in 18 minutes. … Arenas was inexplicably absent from action to start the second half. Team officials said that there was nothing wrong with Arenas, who came into the game with consecutive 30-point performances, but was held to just six first-half points on 2 of 8 shooting. Arenas entered the game with 2:55 left in the third quarter and quickly picked up two fouls in 34 seconds after returning. … It was a homecoming of sorts for Washington coach Eddie Jordan and assistant coach Mike O’Koren, who not only played with the Nets, but also served as assistant coaches with the team during their consecutive appearances in the NBA Finals (2002 and 2003). … The Nets failed to shoot 50 percent from the floor for the ninth straight game, connecting on 44 percent (34 of 77).

AP-ES-11-19-05 2232EST


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