Net takes it as a compliment

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:40 AM ET

If the fans wearing bibs last night were trying to mock Vince Carter, Jason Kidd feels they failed miserably. "I thought they were giving him a compliment since his wife is due to have a baby," the New Jersey Nets' star point guard said last night after Carter scored a game-high 39 points in a huge 101-90 win over the Raptors at the Air Canada Centre.

"I always look at it in a positive way. I thought that was support."

Carter had the last laugh in his much-anticipated return to Toronto, so it was easy for teammates to crack a few jokes in the aftermath. It was a Vince love-fest in the Nets dressing room, with teammates and coaches offering heaps of praise for No. 15 as Carter kept his team in the playoff hunt.

WRONG APPROACH

"It says the next time you probably don't want to take that approach (of booing Carter)," Nets forward Clifford Robinson said. "For him to come here and play as well as he did says a lot. I told him to let the game come to him and he pretty much did that."

While many players have been booed when returning to a town where they used to play, Kidd felt Carter's reception was extra intense.

"It's a lot different," he said. "Everybody in their career has maybe been through that. But when you have a country like Canada that he left and comes back, it was a playoff-type atmosphere."

The Nets, who are one game behind the Cleveland Cavaliers for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, certainly didn't mind the electricity in the building.

"With everything around Vince, it helped us focus and concentrate," Kidd said.

"As much as he wanted to win, we wanted to help him win, too."

The Nets are 18-4 when Carter scores 30 or more points.

"Vince, obviously, was just tremendous," Nets coach Lawrence Frank said. "You think about all the boos and to be able to lock in and focus is just outstanding."

The Nets need Carter to keep up the good work tomorrow in a critical home game against the Philadelphia 76ers.

"I look at it like these last four games our back is against the wall and we need to come out with four wins," Nets forward Brian Scalabrine said.


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