Carter finds Magic
ORLANDO, Fla. — The high-flying layups. The fall-away jumpers. The step-back 3-pointers.
Vinsanity was back.
Vince Carter had a season-high 48 points, leading the Orlando Magic back from a 17-point second-half deficit to beat the New Orleans Hornets, 123-117, last night.
After one of the most sensational games in his storied career, all Carter could do was shake his head and smile.
"Been a while," he said.
Shooting just 28 percent in January and being booed on his home floor suddenly seems like a distant memory since the calendar flipped. The kid from nearby Daytona Beach had his adopted hometown fans with their jaws dropped like never before in a Magic uniform.
"It's a new month. A new month brings new things. The past is the past, and it's going to be that," Carter said. "I've had rough months. That's just how it goes. And I know the expectations, and you work so hard to have an impressive resume, so it's expected each and every night. I understand that, and I don't have a problem with that."
Carter was 19 for 27 shooting and had 34 points in the second half with some of the most sizzling moves since he joined the Magic, who have won nine of their last 11 games. He added seven rebounds, two assists and a stockpile of highlights to his already illustrious career.
"I've never see anybody do that on my team," point guard Jameer Nelson said. "I called his number like six times in a row, and he made it six times in a row."
Peja Stojakovic had 29 points, and Darren Collison and David West added 27 points apiece for the Hornets, who have lost four of five since Chris Paul went down with an injured left knee. New Orleans led 72-55 early in the second half.
It was the most points by a Magic player since Tracy McGrady — Carter's cousin — had 62 points against Washington on March 10, 2004.
It was by far Carter's best performance since he was traded from New Jersey in the offseason, finishing three shy of his career high.
MAVERICKS 127, WARRIORS 117
OAKLAND, Calif. — Jason Terry scored a season-high 36 points and Dallas rallied from a 14-point deficit to beat Golden State.
Josh Howard and Drew Gooden also had season bests with 25 and 24 points, respectively, for the Mavericks. Jason Kidd added 17 points and 12 assists.
Anthony Morrow scored a season-high 33 points and had 11 rebounds to lead the Warriors, who lost their season-worst ninth straight. Monta Ellis scored 27 points before leaving the game with an apparent right knee injury in the final four minutes.
LAKERS 101, SPURS 89
LOS ANGELES — Pau Gasol had 21 points and 19 rebounds to lead five players in double figures, and Los Angeles beat San Antonio without injured Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum.
Bryant missed his second consecutive game with a sore left ankle, while Bynum sat out with a bruised right hip.
Ron Artest added 18 points, Lamar Odom 16 points and 10 rebounds, and Jordan Farmar and Derek Fisher had 13 each.