Enter Vince Carter, who might have saved the Nets' season.
Carter caught Kidd's air ball and dunked it at the buzzer to force overtime, then took over in the extra period in a 40-point outing that led New Jersey to a 113-107 win over the undermanned Charlotte Bobcats on Saturday night.
"I knew it was short," Kidd said. "But it was straight and I saw two blue jerseys. Then when (No.) 15 rolls up above everybody else, it was up to him to finish. He did a great job.
"We got lucky."
Indeed. Carter bailed out the Nets, who snapped a two-game losing streak and moved into a three-way tie for seventh place in the Eastern Conference with idle Orlando and Indiana.
Carter, who caught the ball in front of the rim and in one motion dunked it behind his head, roared on the court as the buzzer sounded, but was low-key after the game.
"I was just in the right place at the right time," Carter said. "It looked short, so I just tried to get there."
Carter's three-point play 11 seconds into the extra period put the Nets ahead to stay. His 3-pointer just over a minute later gave the Nets a four-point lead and his two free throws with 22 seconds left put the game away.
"It was Tar Heel intervention," Nets coach Lawrence Frank said of Carter, who was back in the state where he starred in college. "Once again we were fortunate."
Matt Carroll matched his career high with 27 points and Walter Herrmann added a career-high 20 for Charlotte, which stayed in it without its leading scorer, rebounder, point guard and two other part-time starters.
"We had guys sick, guys hurting, but we continued to battle," Knight said. "We knew we didn't have enough bodies to try to run around with their guys. Their athleticism was probably a little too much for us in one-on-one situations."
Boone, whose previous career high was 11 points, was the only Net who took advantage of the Bobcats' depleted frontcourt. Playing ahead of Clifford Robinson, who never got off the bench, Boone also grabbed six rebounds.
"When you get down the stretch, it's whoever has it going that night, is going to play," Frank said.
Charlotte stayed in it behind Herrmann, who had reached double figures twice in his first 28 games -- and had failed to get off the bench in 34 games - and Carroll, who shot 11-for-19.
"That's your chance and I think Walter has learned that, too," said Carroll, who two years ago was in the developmental league. "He's got some great minutes in the past few games and has taken advantage of it. That's how this league works."
Carroll's 3-pointer with 3:36 left gave Charlotte an 89-88 lead. His driving layup with 1:41 left put the Bobcats ahead 92-90.
Jefferson's four free throws sandwiched around Herrmann's jumper tied the game with 29 seconds left. Knight's jumper with 8.2 seconds left put Charlotte ahead before Carter's heroics.
Charlotte, which lost its second straight, ran out of steam in its second overtime game in five days as the Bobcats remain without a go-to player like Carter.
But with Carter eligible to become a free-agent this summer, there is speculation part-owner Michael Jordan may try to recruit him.
"We'll have to see. It's a long ways away," Carter said. "As of right now, I'm a Net. I'll always be a Net, so we'll just go from there when it's time."
- Nets F Antoine Wright air-balled a free throw in the fourth quarter.
- Voskuhl was called for a flagrant foul in the third quarter when he took down Jefferson.
- Bobcats coach Bernie Bickerstaff picked up his 10th technical foul in the third.
- Bickerstaff was a few minutes late for his pregame media availability so he could watch the end of the first half of the Ohio State-Memphis NCAA Tournament game. Buckeyes big man Greg Oden could be the No. 1 overall pick -- a pick the Bobcats could have.