"These are the moments he was acquired for," one of the ESPN analysts said.
There were 34 seconds left in a huge game. The Magic trailed by three points. They got the ball to Carter who drove the lane and was fouled.
It was the kind of moment that reminded everyone why you don't acquire Carter for that kind of moment.
"When you are playing big games, it's the little things that get you the win," Dwight Howard said.
Boston is doing them and Orlando is not. The results speak for themselves, though they didn't right away on Tuesday. Immediately after the Celtics' 95-92 win, Paul Pierce went before the media and spouted the requisite lingo.
"In order to get to the NBA Finals you have to win four," he said. "This is a team that doesn't take that stuff for granted or get overjoyous for two wins. This is a great Orlando Magic team."
A few minutes later, Pierce's true feelings came out on his Twitter page.
The Celtics quickly sent word that somebody had hacked into Pierce's Twitter account. Pierce would never be so undiplomatic. But in the privacy of their chartered jet flying home, the Celtics had to have visions of brooms running through their heads.
Orlando may become the first team to sweep its first two series and then get swept away. Or to paraphrase Moses Malone's famed 1983 playoff recap "Four, Four, Gag."
Calling it a Magic choke job doesn't give the Celtics proper credit. The old guys are looking younger by the win. Young guy Rajon Rondo is playing like he wants to join Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen in the Hall of Fame. Doc Rivers just needs a cigar to complete his Red Auerbach look.
But to say it's all Boston's defense doesn't give the Magic proper discredit. On a night when Howard got loose for 30 points, everybody else got tight. That included official Joe DeRosa, who tossed a ball to a heckling fan at halftime.
The fan tossed it back, which caused DeRosa to toss him out of Amway Arena. It was the stupidest move by an NBA ref since Tim Donaghy bet that Isiah Thomas would be named Executive of the Year.
Speaking of which, Magic GM Otis Smith has done a fine job building his team. Silly me figured if any team would get swept, it would be the men in green. I should have looked closer at the playoff pedigree.
When the going gets tough, the tough stay in their offense, make free throws and remember the instructions their coach just yelled at them during a timeout. It's called keeping your composure, and the Celtics have hoarded theirs.
When the going got tough Tuesday night, Vinsanity set in.
You can't blame it all on Carter, but he's a good place to start. This was supposed to the spring of his redemption. He would make people forget all those fabulous dunks that amounted to nothing. In their place would be a steady veteran who was the missing piece on a title team.
He had 23 points in Game 1, but was 5 for 15 on Tuesday. He did hit all five free throws going into the final minute. Not surprising, since he made 84 percent of his free throws this season.
"Don't remind me," he said.
The look on his face as he stepped to the line with 31.9 seconds left was blank. One person said he looked scared. I thought he looked more like Howard.
Him you expect to miss. Carter? Come to think of it, you probably expected him to miss, too.
You also just knew Pierce would make his two free throws in the final minute. Who would you rather have on the line, a guy with an NBA championship ring or a guy with an NBA dunk title?
"He's human. He can miss," Marcin Gortat said of Vinsanity. "He's made some big free throws for us. Thanks to him we've won a lot of games."
Yeah, but no big games.
As bad as Carter's misses were, at least they weren't caused by brain flatulence. J.J. Redick suffered a case of that when he rebounded a Garnett shot with 6.9 seconds left and Boston leading 95-92.
Stan Van Gundy had just told his team to call an immediate timeout. Among other niceties, that would have let the Magic inbounds the ball in the frontcourt.
Redick took three dribbles, got tied up and called timeout. That wasted three precious seconds and forced Orlando to inbound in Boston's backcourt. Essentially it turned a fair chance of getting off a tying shot into a desperation heave. Vinsanity, meet JJsanity.
"They've won only two games," Howard said. "We're going to stay humble and stay focused. This series is not over."
It is if you go by history. The Celtics are 32-0 in seven-game series they've led 2-0.
Of course, they were 32-0 in series they led 3-2. Then last year the Magic won the last two games in the Eastern Conference semifinal, including the deciding one in Boston.
But inevitably in the next two games, there will be more moments that require clear thinking, moments that require poise, moments that Carter was supposedly acquired for.
Even if it won't say so, no wonder Boston is looking for a broom.