In your face, Raptors!

MIKE GANTER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 11:12 AM ET

Apparently, Vince Carter is not even close to being done torturing this franchise.

Carter, as only Carter can do, was at it again last night, hitting the game-tying three with .8 seconds remaining, Anthony Parker in his face and well behind the three-point line, to force overtime.

Then, with 1.9 seconds remaining in overtime and after Parker had just hit an improbable game-tying three of his own from just in front of the Jersey bench, Carter, with the aid of a well-designed play by head coach Lawrence Frank, got open under the basket on the ensuing inbounds and put the dagger in the Raptors with a reverse dunk to finish off a 129-127 Nets win.

STUNNED SILENCE

As he stood there basking in the silence he had just created, Carter's work here was done .... again.

He comes back to this building and he's the focus of the fans' wrath and more often than not, he leaves them not just speechless but shocked at how good he is in the clutch.

"Obviously, I'm happy to have a game like that here," Carter said. "My career started here, I had six wonderful years here, I grew up here and learned so much here. It is the same as if you had the game in Daytona Beach (his hometown) and I got to hit the winning shot at home. It would be just as sweet."

Carter led the Nets with 39 points and was ably asssisted by a star in the making in Devin Harris, who had 30 points, 23 of them in the fourth quarter and overtime.

In the Raptors locker room after the the game, the mood swung from disbelief from a guy like Andrea Bargnani, who had a career high 29 points -- "I don't even know what to say, I'm so upset about this game" -- to overwhelming disappointment on the part of Chris Bosh, who had a careerhigh tying 42 and simply could not fathom the mistakes the Raptors made as a team in the final minute of regulation.

Bosh said he couldn't consider this one a tough loss to swallow.

"It's not tough because it's not like we did everything right. We made a lot of mistakes, especailly in the last minute of the game," he said. "We came off shooters and threes hurt you more than twos and we have to remember that. We gave guys wide-open looks. We were up by seven points and we give away two wide-open three-point baskets to three-point shooters. Down the stretch of the game, that can't happen."

Bosh was referring to the open threes both Carter, in the fourth quarter, and Jarvis Hayes, in overtime, knocked down when they were left completely unguarded.

As for the Carter heroics, it's not like Bosh hasn't seen them before. He gave Nets coach Frank props for drawing up a great play that got Carter open under the basket for the winning bucket.

"He's is one of the best athletes in the game," Bosh said. "There's only so much you can ask from your guys. It really shouldn't have got to that point. It shouldn't have got to overtime if you ask me. It is what it is. Lawrence Frank drew up a fantastic play and he left it up to his best player and he capitalized."

For Raptors head coach Sam Mitchell, last night's game was one he can't forget soon enough and was advising his players to do the same.

"It was a tough loss," Mitchell said. "We had a lot of good things, but we just didn't close out the game. We just have to bounce back and watch the tape (today).

"We have to let it go as hard and as difficult as that is. You have to let it go."

Bosh said it was up to the individual players to recognize why they let a game they lead by 18 at one point and by seven with 52 seconds to go get away and learn from it.

"You can give advice all day but you just have to play basketball," Bosh said. "Do what got you here. Just because it's the fourth quarter doesn't mean you change up your plays.

"Maybe you should be more aggressive instead of being passive. You live and you learn. We'd be crazy not to learn from this experience so that's all I can say. That's what kind of night this has been."

---

REPLAY

EVANS HAMS IT UP

Sitting courtside and playing along during a timeout in one of the Raptors' many entertaining skits was Buffalo Bills wide receiver Lee Evans. Evans came out on the floor and caught a pass from the Raps' mascot before signing and then throwing it into the crowd.

BIG NUMBERS

The 33 points by the Raptors in the first quarter was their largest total of the season as was the 11 point lead after 12 minutes. The Raps had poured in 61 by the half tying their biggest offensive output for a half this season.

PRESSURE PLAYER

Devin Harris is fourth in the league in fourth quarter scoring and he showed it again last night scoring 23 of his 30 points in the final frame and overtime.


Videos

Photos