To the Nets, the whole point of the nine-player, three-team deal struck on the eve of the NBA trading deadline was to get Stephon Marbury in a New Jersey uniform.
There has never been a question about Marbury's talent, and Monday night he showed off his skills with 31 points and 12 assists as the Nets stopped the Toronto Raptors' five-game winning streak, 106-87.
But Chris Carr, basically considered a throw-in in the big deal, may prove to be a key addition for the Nets. He scored a career-high 24 points in helping New Jersey for just the third time in 19 games.
"I always like Chris Carr's game," said Nets center Jayson Williams, who had 15 rebounds. "If he can come off the bench and score like that, we'll be OK."
Carr, who scored all of his points in the first three quarters, credited Marbury with getting him the basketball.
"I was getting into open spots and knocking down my shots," he said. "That's the great thing about playing with Stephon. If you can get to the open sports, he'll find you and get you the ball."
Nets interim coach Don Casey, who saw the Nets lose 100-85 to the Raptors one week ago in his first game after replacing John Calipari, enjoyed the turnaround.
"The difference in a week gives us a little sense of accomplishment," he said. "They all played well. We defended well. I'd like to say that they responded to coaching, but that might be a little strong."
"Every win is important to us," he said. "We don't want to win-lose, win-lose. We'd like to put a little streak together."
The Nets took the lead for good with an early 8-0 run that made it 14-6. Carr hit three 3-pointers and a pair of foul shots as New Jersey extended its lead to 32-14 after the first quarter.
Toronto closed to 49-37 midway through the second period before Marbuy and Carr led the Nets to a 58-41 halftime lead. The Raptors never got within 13 points in the second half.
Kerry Kittles added 14 as the Nets surpassed the 100-point mark for only the second time this season.
John Wallace led the Raptors with 19 points.
"They were making their shots," Raptors coach Butch Carter said. "We just played them a week ago when they were going through a lot of turmoil. Tonight they played with a lot more confidence and pride." Notes: Prior to the game the Nets put center Jim McIlvaine on the injured list. He will undergo surgery on his shoulder March 30 and probably be lost for the season. ... New Jersey signed forward Jamie Feick to a 10-day contract. ... Scott Burrell (right ankle) and Rony Seikaly (right foot) both missed the game. ... The Nets hired Albert King as a radio analyst to replace Mike O'Koren, recently made an assistant coach. ... Forward Kevin Willis missed his second straight game for the Raptors with a sore left shoulder.
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