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Nets Hang Tough Again, Lose Again

Once again, the Nets hung tough with one of the best teams in the league. And once again, they came up a little short. The Lakers led by 14 midway through the second quarter at the IZOD Center Friday night, but the Nets got back in the game with a 11-2 run and were down just two at halftime. They tied it early in the third, but the Lakers immediately responded with a 16-0 run and went up by as many as 22 late in the period. The Nets came back again, cutting that 22-point lead all the way down to three midway through the fourth, but they never got a chance to tie it again. Vince Carter led the Nets with 20 points on 8-15 shooting, while Devin Harris returned to action with 13 points, six rebounds and 14 assists. Brook Lopez finished with a double-double and Jarvis Hayes scored 19 points off the bench. But the Nets couldn't keep track of Pau Gasol, who led the Lakers with 36 points and 11 rebounds. The Nets outrebounded the Lakers 48-37, but committed 22 turnovers and shot just 8-17 from the line.