Raptors Tear By Nets


Charles Oakley thinks the Toronto Raptors seem to have found the right mix of talented young players and seasoned veterans.

The combination worked Friday night as emerging star Vince Carter scored 26 points and 14-year veteran Kevin Willis added 20 as the Raptors rolled to a 112-92 victory over the winless New Jersey Nets.

"It's only three games and we still have a lot of work to do, especially on the defensive end, but this was a good game for us especially coming on a back-to-back," said Oakley, also a 14-year vet.

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  • "As long as we understand our roles and continue to work hard, this team has a lot of talent and a lot of weapons."

    Carter, the second-year swingman, feels Toronto has put its game together with victories over Miami and New Jersey after a season-opening loss to Boston.

    "The first game was ugly," Carter said, "but tonight we executed and that made everything easier. We'll try to keep it going from here."

    The Nets fell behind almost immediately as Toronto snapped a 4-4 deadlock with 9-2 spurt that included Carter's three-point play.

    New Jersey tallied just two points in the first 6:06 of the second quarter as the Raptors opened a 47-31 edge behind Willis' eight points.

    Two free throws by Jamie Feick and a jumper by Stephon Marbury allowed New Jersey to cut the deficit to 65-50 at halftime.

    "To be honest I don't know what to say," said Marbury, who was 10-of-26 and had only three assists as the Nets dropped their third straight. "And when you don't know what to say, you should say nothing. But I've never fellike this, never."

    Carter, who had 12 third-quarter points, opened the second half with a basket and two free throws. New Jersey was unable to get closer than 15 the rest of the way.

    "I've told the players to be disappointed but not to get despondent," Nets coach Don Casey said. "We still have 79 more to go."

    With Carter on the bench most of the fourth quarter, the Raptors opened their biggest lead at 102-75 on two free throws by Willis.

    Tracy McGrady added 16 for the Raptors and Doug Christie and Antonio Davis each had 12. Toronto shot 50.6 from the field and outrebounded the Nets 52-38.

    Marbury led the Nets with 25 points, Lucioud Harris had 19 and Keith Van Horn 16. New Jersey shot 38.2.

    Notes

  • This was Toronto's first road game of the season.
  • The Raptors play five of their first seven games at home.
  • This was the first of three straight home games for the Nets, who then play six of eight on the road.
  • New Jersey came into the game ranked 23rd in shooting percentage at 39.3.

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