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Carter Returns and Nets Beat Raptors

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The Nets showed Saturday night that they will not just be playing out the string. Despite a sore right ankle, Vince Carter returned to the lineup and led his team to one of their best wins of the season. The Nets pushed the tempo early and led by as many as 10 in the first quarter, and thanks to 18 first-half points from Richard Jefferson, they had an eight-point lead at the break. The Raptors took a brief lead late in the third quarter, but Carter took over from there, scoring 15 points as the Nets used a 20-8 run to take back control. They cruised from there. Carter led all scorers with 32 points and Jefferson finished with 28. The two also combined for 12 boards, 11 assists and four steals. Stromile Swift had his second straight strong game with 10 points and six boards off the bench. The Hawks won in Philadelphia, so the magic number to eliminate the Nets is down to two.