Final

Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 11/12

Game 1: Monday, November 12th
Hornets84Final
Nets82
Game 2: Friday, March 7th
Nets96Final
Hornets107

Hornets 84

(6-2, 4-1 away)

Nets 82

(4-3, 3-3 home)

Coverage: YES

7:30 PM ET, November 12, 2007

IZOD Center, East Rutherford, NJ

1 2 3 4 T
NO 26 23 16 1984
NJ 21 16 30 1582

Top Performers

New Orleans: C. Paul 27 Pts, 6 Reb, 7 Ast, 3 Stl

New Jersey: R. Jefferson 32 Pts, 6 Reb, 4 Ast, 2 Stl

Hornets-Nets Preview

STATS LLC

The New Jersey Nets will be without star guard Vince Carter when they close out their four-game homestand Monday night against the New Orleans Hornets.

Carter is out indefinitely with a sprained right ankle suffered in a 112-101 loss to the Boston Celtics on Saturday. The eight-time All-Star landed on the foot of Celtics forward Paul Pierce after a dunk. He left the arena wearing a walking cast and an MRI on Monday revealed Carter sustained a Grade 1 sprain.

Carter, who is second on the Nets (4-2) with 17.0 points per game, had 17 points on Saturday as New Jersey's three-game winning streak was snapped. New Jersey was outrebounded 49-34 and allowed the Celtics to connect on 10 3-pointers.

Boston held the Nets without a basket for more than eight minutes in the third quarter, and New Jersey was outscored in the period, 28-14.

"It's one game," said Richard Jefferson, who led the Nets in scoring for the sixth straight game with 28 points. "We're not going to play our best ball now."

Jefferson is shooting over 48 percent, but he is the only starter for New Jersey currently over 40 percent. Carter (39.5 percent), Jason Kidd (35.2) and Nenad Krstic (37.5) are all off to slow starts with their shots.

Nets coach Lawrence Frank may insert Antoine Wright in the lineup with Carter out. The third-year swingman is off to a strong start, averaging 11.8 points on nearly 51 percent shooting off the bench.

Like the Nets, the Hornets (5-2) are also off to a quick start. They matched their best start in team history by beginning with four consecutive wins, and after dropping two straight, bounced back with a 93-72 win at Philadelphia on Sunday.

David West and Chris Paul led New Orleans with 16 points apiece. The Hornets outscored the 76ers 54-30 in the second and third quarters to take control of the game.

New Orleans connected on 10 of its 20 3-point attempts, and its big lead allowed coach Byron Scott to rest his starters for much of the second half. Four starters played fewer than 30 minutes, and the bench stepped up to score 37 points, led by 12 from Bobby Jackson.

"We really share the ball really well because we have a lot of great shooters," Paul said. "When guys are making shots, I think we're going to be a tough team to defend."

The Hornets won eight of their first 11 games last season before finishing 39-43 and missing the playoffs for the third straight season. They are trying to avoid a repeat.

"Our guys are starting to learn you've got to have that killer instinct," Scott said.

New Jersey and New Orleans split their two meetings last season, with each winning on the road. Scott is 1-5 against the Nets -- the team he coached to the franchise's only NBA Finals appearances in 2002 and 2003.

SPONSORED HEADLINES