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Jefferson scored 28 points in another outstanding shooting performance, and the New Jersey Nets extended their winning streak to seven Tuesday night with a 96-91 victory over James and Cleveland Cavaliers.
Carter was limited to 30 minutes because of foul trouble, Jefferson was 9-of-11 from the field, a night after going 8-for-8 in the Nets’ 109-101 win at New York.
James had 31 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists, but Cleveland had its six-game winning streak snapped.
Zydrunas Ilgauskas scored 21 points, Larry Hughes had 16 and Eric Snow 10.
The Nets seemed on their way to an easy win until the Cavaliers, led by seven points from Ilgauskas, went on a 12-0 run to cut the Nets’ lead to 89-83.
“We didn’t want to get blown out or get embarrassed, being that it’s an Eastern Conference team,” James said. “We picked it up.”
New Jersey finally scored on a pair of free throws by Carter with 2:22 remaining, and he followed with a basket to give the Nets a 10-point lead.
James and Hughes made 3-pointers in the final minutes to trim the New Jersey lead to 93-89. Carter made one free throw with 21 seconds left and Snow made a layup before Kidd closed out the scoring with a pair of free throws.
The Nets overcame a slow start to take a 29-21 lead after one period. James scored Cleveland’s first seven points of the second as the Cavaliers cut the Nets’ lead to 33-28.
Kidd later added consecutive 3-pointers as New Jersey finished the quarter with a 14-4 run and an 80-62 lead.
“We can’t come back against a team like that being down 18 points,” Cavaliers coach Mike Brown said. “That’s tough to do.”
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