Nets beat Hawks in 'must-win' game

March 19, 2008 7:23:41 PM PDT
Vince Carter had a season-high 39 points and 10 assists and the New Jersey Nets moved into a tie with Atlanta for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with a 125-117 victory over the Hawks on Wednesday night.Richard Jefferson added 33 points and Devin Harris had a career-high 26 points and nine assists despite playing on a sprained ankle as the Nets had a season-high point total in winning for eighth time in the last 10 home games.

New Jersey also won the season-series with Atlanta 3-1, which means it has the tiebreaker should they finish tied. Both teams (29-39) have 14 games left in the regular season.

Joe Johnson had 24 points to lead six Hawks in double figures. Rookie Al Horford added 20 points and 15 rebounds, while Josh Smith had 20 points.

The Nets shot almost 58 percent in the second half in rallying from a 13-point deficit.

Carter and Jefferson were spectacular, combining for 42 points on 14 of 23 shooting.

The big run for New Jersey came late in the third quarter and early in the fourth when they outscored the Hawks 26-12. Carter had 11 in the spurt and Harris had six.

Atlanta, which shot 68 percent in the first half in taking a 70-60 lead, was limited to 38 percent shooting in the second half, 15 of 40.