Vince Carter returned home Wednesday and gave his family and friends, and the Nets, a nice early Christmas present.
He put the bow on top of his terrific night by taking a Jason Kidd alley-oop feed and throwing it down over his head. The Nets' bench players erupted one last time on a night when they left their seats plenty in the fourth quarter.
Behind Carter's 32 points, the Nets scored their season-high fourth straight win, a 96-85 beating of the Magic at TD Waterhouse center. Carter scored 20 of his points in the second half and 10 in a 20-8 game-ending run.
Richard Jefferson added 18 points as the Nets moved one game above .500 at 13-12. Lamond Murray chipped in 11 points, six rebounds and three steals off the bench.
Steve Francis and Grant Hill each had 16 points to lead the Magic (9-14). Dwight Howard had 14 points and 15 rebounds.
The last time the Nets played here they turned around their season with a 24-point win. They took 15 of their next 22 and made the playoffs on the last day of the regular season. They go to Miami now on a roll to face the team that ended their season in the first round.
But they may be without Jason Collins against Shaquille O'Neal tonight. Collins left five minutes into the game after reaggravating the right ankle he sprained Sunday.
The Nets led, 76-67, after Scott Padgett opened the fourth with a 19-foot jumper from the right wing. But the Nets missed their next five shots and committed two turnovers, and their lead was gone.
Orlando scored 10 straight points, capped by Jameer Nelson picking Kidd's pocket and turning it into a fast-break slam to make it 77-76 with 8:23 left.
But the Nets answered and went up, 81-77, after Jefferson stole an inbounds pass and gave it to Kidd, who fed Carter for an alley-oop slam with 6:37 remaining.
They took an 83-77 lead after a Jefferson baseline jumper. But Jefferson thought he was fouled and received a technical for yelling something to the official. Hedo Turkoglu made the technical and then hit the foul shot after the Nets were whistled for a defensive three-seconds violation to make it 83-79. Murray had a dunk to put the Nets back up by six with 5:08 left.
After a Hill jump shot cut it to four again, Carter made four consecutive foul shots. Following a miss on Orlando's end, Hill was called for a foul on Jefferson, who made both from the line to put the Nets up, 91-81 with 2:46 remaining.
Murray hit a three with 2:19 remaining to put the Nets up, 94-81.
The Nets led, 64-55, with 3:51 left in the third after one of the rarest four-point possessions.
Carter threw a behind-the-back bounce pass to Marc Jackson, who was fouled. He made the first but missed the second and Orlando lost the rebound. Then Carter drove and slammed over Howard, who fouled him. Carter converted the free throw to complete a three-point play.
Howard got his revenge on Carter moments later. The talented second-year big man swatted Carter's short-shot attempt, then threw down a monster dunk in transition.
The Nets took their biggest lead up to that point after Jacque Vaughn's driving layup and ensuing free throw with 54.6 seconds left made it 74-64. But Nelson knocked down a three as the buzzer sounded, making it a seven-point game going into the fourth.
In other NBA action: Philadelphia 111, Golden State 100; Indiana 97, LA Clippers 75; San Antonio 109, New York 96; Boston 101, Utah 89; Minnesota 88, New Orleans 69; Memphis 89, Portland 79; Toronto 94, Houston 81; Washington 116, Denver 110.