Jason Kidd's knee looked fine. Same with Vince Carter's shot.

In fact, it was hard to find anything wrong with the New Jersey Nets last night.

Kidd had a playoff career-high 19 assists in his 10th postseason triple-double, Carter scored 37 points, and the Nets beat the visiting Toronto Raptors, 102-89, to take a 2-1 lead in their Eastern Conference quarterfinal.

One day after missing practice because of a bruised left knee, Kidd was back in the starting lineup and added 16 points and 16 rebounds. He had 14 assists by halftime and easily passed his previous best of 16, set when he was playing for Phoenix. He also had the previous New Jersey record of 15.

"I don't know if he's healthy or not, but he did do something special," Carter said. "He definitely played phenomenal on both ends. I'm just glad that he was able to come in and play tonight."

Kidd snapped a tie with Wilt Chamberlain and moved into one with Larry Bird for second on the career postseason triple-doubles list. He is 20 behind Magic Johnson, the career leader.

"You just keep playing, and if I'm hurting the team, coach [Lawrence Frank] has to sit me down," Kidd said. "Tonight I felt great."

The Nets, who never trailed and led by as many as 21 points, host Game 4 tomorrow night.

T.J. Ford scored 27 points for the Raptors, who haven't won a postseason road game since beating the 76ers on May 6, 2001, in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Carter was only 13-for-43 (30 percent) from the field in the first two games. But just as when he was traded to New Jersey in 2004, getting out of Toronto did wonders for his game.

Kidd averaged 11 points, 11 assists and 10.5 rebounds in the two games in Toronto, where he hurt his knee attempting to take a charge early in Game 2. He is trying to become the first player to average a triple-double in a postseason series since he did it against the Boston Celtics in the 2002 Eastern Conference finals.

In another game:

* At Miami, Ben Gordon scored 27 points, Luol Deng added 24 points and 11 rebounds and the Chicago Bulls used a 15-2 fourth-quarter run to beat the Heat, 104-96, and take a 3-0 lead in their Eastern Conference quarterfinal, despite 28 points from Dwyane Wade and 23 points and 13 rebounds from Shaquille O'Neal.

Kirk Hinrich added 22 points for Chicago.


* Sacramento Kings forward Ron Artest won't face animal cruelty charges for allegedly failing to feed his dog, because there is insufficient evidence, officials said. The Great Dane appeared to be losing weight, but an exam revealed a bone infection in his leg that might have contributed to his condition.

* Golden State's Stephen Jackson was fined $50,000 by the NBA for leaving the court in a contentious manner after being ejected late in the Warriors' Game 2 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night.

* Denver Nuggets 33-year-old center Marcus Camby was named the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year. Camby averaged a league-best 3.3 blocks to go with 11.2 points and 11.7 rebounds per game. He averaged 1.24 steals, tops among centers.

* Four more college players announced that they will enter the draft early, but not hire agents, leaving the door open for them to return to school: Oklahoma State junior guard JamesOn Curry, New Orleans junior guard Bo McCalebb, Southern California guard Gabe Pruitt and Kansas sophomore guard Brandon Rush.

* WNBA player Deanna Jackson was arrested on an assault charge after slugging an opposing player in a Jerusalem parking lot following a game, and will not be allowed to leave Israel until after the Chicago Sky's preseason opener. *