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New Jersey bags Hornets

Associated Press

Jason Kidd’s poise during the manic final seconds of overtime rescued the New Jersey Nets from a potentially demoralizing loss to one of the NBA’s worst teams.

Kidd ran down a blocked shot, then hit a driving layup as he was fouled with 2.5 seconds left, lifting the Nets to an 86-85 victory over the New Orleans Hornets on Wednesday night at New Orleans.

“I took a peek at the clock to see we had time,” Kidd said, describing the moment he grabbed a loose ball along the sidelines with about 5 seconds remaining. “Everybody was scrambling, so my first reaction was drive to the basket – if I get fouled just make the free throws, if not, lay it in.”

Vince Carter led the Nets with 24 points and 10 rebounds, while Kidd finished with 15 points and nine assists, as the Nets, who still hope to make the playoffs, halted a three-game losing streak.

Jacque Vaughn scored 13 points and Nenad Krstic 12 for New Jersey, which nearly blew a 19-point lead.

Rookie J.R. Smith had 23 for New Orleans, including a 3-pointer with 1:23 left in regulation that helped New Orleans rally to tie the game. Chris Andersen had 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Hornets, while Lee Nailon and former Gonzaga Bulldog Dan Dickau both scored 10.

Celtics 95, Hawks 91: At Boston, Antoine Walker picked former teammate Al Harrington clean with 35 seconds left and then fed Ricky Davis for a clinching layup to give Boston the victory over Atlanta. Walker had 15 points and nine rebounds for the Celtics. Harrington scored 21 points with 13 rebounds.

Pistons 92, Warriors 88: At Auburn Hills, Mich., Antonio McDyess had 20 points and eight rebounds and the defending champions snapped a three-game losing streak with a victory over Golden State. Baron Davis led the Warriors with 21 points.

Suns 107, Spurs 101: At Phoenix, Amare Stoudemire scored 44 points and Phoenix beat San Antonio for its first win over the Spurs this season. The Spurs played without injured All-Stars Tim Duncan (ankle) and Manu Ginobili (groin), so it was no preview of a possible playoff meeting between teams battling for the NBA’s best record.

Bulls 97, Trail Blazers 84: At Portland, Eddy Curry had 25 points, Kirk Hinrich added 22 and Chicago reached its highest win total in seven years with a victory over Portland. Shareef Abdur-Rahim had 22 points and 10 rebounds for the Blazers.

Raptors 106, Magic 96: At Toronto, Chris Bosh had 15 points and 15 rebounds, and six other Toronto players reached double figures in scoring to lead the Raptors to a victory over Orlando. Orlando rookie Dwight Howard had 17 points and tied a season-high with 20 rebounds for the Magic, who were missing the injured Grant Hill for the second straight game.

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