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Carter, Raptors Soar By Nets


New coach. Same old misery.

Rookie Vince Carter had 20 points and a career-high 15 rebounds as the Toronto Raptors routed New Jersey 100-85 on Tuesday night in Nets coach Don Casey's first game since replacing John Calipari.

The Nets, who fired Calipari on Monday, dropped to 3-18 and looked miserable in the process. Only the Los Angeles Clippers, at 1-20, have a worse record than the Nets.

"We need a breakthrough to get some tangible hope," Casey said. "A change of coach is not a magic wand."

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  • Tracy McGrady added 14 points and 13 rebounds for Toronto, while Stephon Marbury had 22 points 13 in the fourth quarter for the Nets, Keith Van Horn added 17 points and Jayson Williams grabbed 14 rebounds.

    "I'm not hanging my head," said Marbury, who unlike Williams and Van Horn didn't scowl or shake his head throughout the game. "It's a tough time right now, a coach has been fired, were 3-and-18, but we have to keep our heads up."

    New Jersey shot only 37 percent from the field, were outrebounded 55-41 and trailed by 27 points entering the fourth quarter.

    "Its been a rough year for us," Kerry Kittles said. "It's painful to go out there and give all you have and still come up short. It's very frustrating."

    The Raptors went on a 18-3 run in the third quarter to build their big lead. The Nets started the fourth quarter on a 13-3 run but only got as close as 14 points.

    The Raptors used a 19-5 run in the first half to take 41-24 lead.

    "We knew they've been struggling, their guys didn't know the plays and they looked disorganized," Toronto coach Butch Carter said. "So we jumped on that and went straight at them."

    Casey looked uncomfortable standing at the edge of the floor, pulling up his pants, shaking his head and tugging at his hair.

    "Case got tbe careful stomping his feet. The bones are fragile. The heart is weak at that age. I don't want to go through three coaches in two days," said Williams, who hasn't lost his sense of humor.

    Notes: Motivational guru Tony Robbins met with the Nets players for 3@1/2 hours Monday. Each of the players broke a piece of wood with a karate chop. "They broke wood, but I don't know what that has to do with a jump shot," Casey said. ... The Nets activated center Rony Seikaly from the injured list. He played seven minutes. ... Williams maintains he didn't want to see Calipari fired. "If I wanted Cal fired I would had surgery two weeks ago," said Williams, who needs surgery to repair ligament damage in his left thumb. "My hand is not getting any better, I think it's getting worse. We got to see how Rony comes back and how many minutes gets and how the team reacts. I'll play for as long as I can," Williams said. ... Casey was assisted by Hal Wissel, who primarily served as a scout under Calipari, and ex-Nets player Mike O'Koren, who has been doing analysis on Nets radio broadcasts for the past nine seasons. ... Carter showed no ill effects after spraining his left thumb Monday.

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