NBA: Mikal Bridges shines again as Nets romp Hornets
Mikal Bridges scored 33 points as the Brooklyn Nets led most of the way in a 102-86 victory over the Charlotte Hornets Sunday night in New York.
The Nets followed up their stirring comeback from a 28-point deficit Friday in Boston by leading for the final 43:36 and leading by as many as 37 points before withstanding a slight Charlotte charge in the fourth quarter. Brooklyn improved to 3-6 with Bridges in the lineup and earned consecutive wins for the first time since beating the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers Jan. 28-30.
Bridges made his first nine shots and scored 19 points in the first quarter for his most points in any quarter this season. He surpassed the 17 he scored in the fourth quarter against Miami Feb. 15 when he finished with a career-high 45 points.
Bridges shot 12-for-21 and surpassed 30 points for the fourth time in nine games since the Nets acquired him from Phoenix for Kevin Durant on Feb. 9.
Mikal Bridges dropped 33 PTS and 8 REB in the Nets W 🔥 pic.twitter.com/9FJpksq4Zl
— NBA (@NBA) March 6, 2023
Spencer Dinwiddie added 24 points as the Nets swept all four meetings with Charlotte this season and moved 2 1/2 games ahead of seventh-place Miami in the Eastern Conference. Joe Harris contributed 12 points and Cameron Johnson chipped in 11 as the Nets survived shooting 39.1 percent.
Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 17 points for Charlotte, which dropped its third straight. Terry Rozier added 16 points but shot 5-for-17 as the Hornets shot 37.5 percent.
Bridges went 9-for-9 as the Nets took a 36-21 lead through the opening quarter when he hit an 11-footer with 2.4 seconds left.
Consecutive threes by Harris opened a 51-26 lead with 7:44 remaining in the first half, and the Nets held a 70-41 lead at the break. After a sluggish start to the second half, the Nets opened a 79-47 lead on a 3-pointer by Bridges with 6:40 remaining in the third quarter, and he surpassed 30 points with a finger roll layup that made it 82-47 a little over two minutes later.
The Hornets scored 15 straight points bridging the final 55 seconds of the third and the first 1:47 of the fourth, getting within 86-71 on a trey by Svi Mykhailiuk. Gordon Hayward’s basket made it 96-82 with about 4 1/2 minutes left, but a basket by Dinwiddie with about two minutes to go made it 100-83 and effectively sealed matters.