Tonight, the Sacramento Kings (5-11) hosted Vince Carter and the New Jersey Nets.
The visiting Nets still face questions about their future. There has been a long in-the-works move to Brooklyn that has been delayed again, and part owner Jay-Z would love to lure his buddy LeBron James when he hits free agency in 2010.
On the court, there are questions as well. In particular, what about Carter?
The Nets are rebuilding around Devin Harris and a group of big guys including Brook Lopez, Sean Williams, and Yi Jianlian. Carter (and his contract) wouldn’t seem to fit in with what the Nets are trying to do.
For over a year, there have been rumors and speculation about the possible departure of Carter. For now, he remains the elder statesman on a rebuilding Nets team.
On this night, Carter was a key figure in the Nets' first half dominance. He had 14 points and showed he could still get to the hole. The Nets led 56-45 at the break.
New Jersey rookie Lopez had 15 points at the half and had success against the Kings’ Brad Miller.
For the Kings, John Salmons kept them in the game with 18 first half points.
The Nets led by as many as 16 in the third quarter, but the Kings closed the lead to 82-77 heading into the fourth.
The Kings had the lead down the stretch, but couldn’t make their free throws in the last minute. Harris made a big three-point shot to send the game to overtime.
In overtime, Harris was too much. The Kings’ Bobby Jackson had a shot for the win, but came up short. The Nets held on to beat the Kings 116-114.
New Jersey was led by 25 points from Vince Carter. Salmons had a career high 38 for the Kings.
With the loss, the Kings fall to 5-12 and will next play at Utah on Friday.