Carter and Kidd Leading Nets

Jason Kidd and Vince Carter are doing all they can to help the New Jersey Nets close in on the injury-riddled Washington Wizards in the Eastern Conference standings.

After each player recorded a triple-double in the opener of a home-and-home series with the Wizards, the duo looks to lead the Nets to a sweep when the clubs meet at the Verizon Center on Tuesday.

The New Jersey stars joined elite company Saturday when they became the first teammates with triple-doubles in the same game since Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen on Jan. 3, 1989.

Oddsmakers have made New Jersey -3 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for todays game, the over/under has been set at 205 total points (View NBA Sports Books). Our public betting information

shows that 74% of bets for this game have been placed on New Jersey -3 (View NBA Bet Percentages).

Carter had 46 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists, while Kidd recorded 10 points, 16 boards and 18 assists to lead New Jersey (36-40) to a 120-114 overtime win over Washington (39-37).

"I don't know how many (points) Vince had tonight, but he was off the charts tonight," Kidd said. "He was aggressive. He found the open guy and made all the right plays. That's what Vince does. Tonight he filled up his stat sheet. I wish I could have a triple-double like that."

The All-Stars will try to carry their momentum into Tuesday's season series finale and lead the Nets to their fifth straight win over the Wizards. New Jersey can pull within two games of sixth-place Washington with six games to go - and possibly give it some breathing room over Orlando and Indiana. The ninth-place Pacers are only two games behind New Jersey.

Kidd and Carter seem to have a good chance to provide an encore of Saturday's performances. Kidd is averaging 17.0 points, 15.0 assists and 11.7 rebounds in his last three contests against the Wizards. He had another triple-double with 15 points, 18 assists and 11 rebounds in the last matchup at the Verizon Center, a 105-93 Nets win Nov. 12.

Carter scored 34 points in that contest and has averaged 35.7 in the three games against Washington this season.

The Wizards will try to contain the duo as they look to avoid having their losing streak extended to a season-high five games. Washington hasn't dropped five in a row since April 7-14, 2006.

If they are able to halt the streak, the Wizards will clinch a playoff berth for the third consecutive season. They could secure a postseason spot even if they lose Tuesday if the Pacers are defeated at Philadelphia.

Washington is trying to get into the postseason without Gilbert Arenas (torn meniscus) and Caron Butler (broken hand), who are averaging 28.4 and 19.9 points per game, respectively. Neither player is expected to return unless the club advances deep into the playoffs.

Without them, Antawn Jamison has had to carry the team offensively, and averaged 29.7 points in the last three games to increase his season average to 19.9. The forward had a season-high 37 points and 11 rebounds against New Jersey on Saturday, and his 3-pointer with 1.1 seconds left in regulation forced overtime.

"For us to be in a game like this, to fight and do the things we had to do to take it to overtime, I give credit to our guys," said Wizards coach Eddie Jordan, whose club lost for the eighth time in 10 games.

By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us

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