Vince Carter was ready to play. He just didn't expect to have to be that ready to play.

He got called into the Utah game with barely two minutes gone. Jason Kidd's calf injury forced Carter, who had missed the previous five games with a sprained left foot, into early action.

"They called me in a little earlier than I expected, but I felt good," Carter said. "I put a lot of work in trying to make sure my conditioning was somewhat decent. I felt like a kid in a candy store."