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Magic-Nets Preview 2009-10-29 News New Jersey Nets

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News » Magic-Nets Preview 2009-10-29

Magic-Nets Preview 2009-10-29

Magic-Nets Preview 2009-10-29Judging by his reaction after the season opener, Vince Carter likes his new surroundings. It won't take him long to visit his old ones.

Carter makes his return to New Jersey with the Orlando Magic when they try to spoil the Nets' home opener Friday night.

Orlando decided to upgrade its roster after reaching the NBA finals last season, acquiring Carter in a five-player deal with the Nets less than two weeks after the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Magic for the title.

The eight-time All-Star came to Orlando with Ryan Anderson while New Jersey received point guard Rafer Alston, shooting guard Courtney Lee and power forward Tony Battie.

Carter was acquired by the Nets from Toronto on Dec. 17, 2004, and helped them reach the Eastern Conference semifinals twice. He was second on New Jersey with 20.8 points per game last season.

Carter is a Daytona Beach native who has made his home in Orlando for years. He had 15 points Wednesday in his home debut, a 120-106 win over Philadelphia.

"You look around," Carter said, "this is like heaven."

He'd probably describe the current state of the Nets in less flattering terms. New Jersey has posted back-to-back 34-win seasons under Lawrence Frank - the longest-tenured coach in the East - and has a very young team this season.

The Nets showed some growing pains Wednesday in a 95-93 loss to Minnesota in their opener, blowing a 19-point lead in the fourth quarter. They were outscored 10-2 in the final 3 minutes.

"These are hard lessons, but the lesson is try to maintain your poise," Frank said. "Teams are going to make runs, and it's how you respond to them, and we obviously didn't respond well tonight."

Brook Lopez had 27 points and 15 rebounds while Yi Jianlian and rookie Terrence Williams also had double-doubles. Lee made 2 of 11 shots for five points in his Nets debut.

Lee started 16 of the Magic's 21 games in the playoffs last season, averaging 8.0 points and developing a reputation as a solid defender.

Anderson was considered a throw-in in the Carter deal after he averaged 7.4 points for the Nets last season as a rookie. He scored 16 on Wednesday and started in place of Rashard Lewis, who is suspended for the first 10 games for testing positive for an elevated level of testosterone.

The Magic placed six players in double figures as All-Star center Dwight Howard led the way with 21 points and 15 boards. Orlando led by 23 points at halftime and 31 after three quarters.

"With all the surrounding talent that we have, it really cuts down on the starters' minutes and keeps us fresh," Carter said.

Orlando has won six of eight against New Jersey, taking two of three last season. Howard posted eight straight double-doubles against the Nets, averaging 20.2 points and 14.3 rebounds, before he played sparingly and finished with seven points and eight boards in a meaningless 103-93 loss in the final week of last season.

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Added: October 29, 2009


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