NBA: Mikal Bridges hits 30 again as Nets beat Rockets
Mikal Bridges posted his third consecutive 30-point game, Spencer Dinwiddie added 23 points and the Brooklyn Nets extended their winning streak to three games with a 118-96 road victory over the Houston Rockets on Tuesday.
Bridges finished with 30 points and five assists to pace a balanced Nets scoring attack that featured a double-double from Nic Claxton (18 points, 13 rebounds) and a combined 35 points from Joe Harris, Seth Curry and Royce O’Neale off the bench.
Houston had its modest two-game win streak snapped. Jalen Green led the Rockets with 25 points while Alperen Sengun added 16 points and 12 rebounds but had four turnovers. Jabari Smith Jr. finished with 15 points and eight rebounds for the Rockets, who gave the ball away 19 times.
The Nets, up by five at halftime, smothered Houston early in the second half and siphoned off any opportunity for a Rockets rally. Brooklyn opened the third quarter on an 11-2 run capped by a Dinwiddie three-point play that extended the lead to 70-56.
Mikal Bridges dropped 30 PTS, 5 AST, and 4 threes in the Nets W tonight 🔥 pic.twitter.com/EUlBO84RPi
— NBA (@NBA) March 8, 2023
The Rockets’ extended slump continued for another two minutes, with Kenyon Martin Jr. providing just Houston’s second field goal of the period with an 8-foot floater with 6:34 left to cut the deficit to 16.
The Rockets shot just 7 for 21 in the third and missed 6 of 7 3-point attempts. Houston left an additional six points at the free-throw line, with Green missing 3 of 8 attempts at the line during the period. Two O’Neale free throws at the 5:53 mark provided Brooklyn its first 20-point advantage.
Houston led by as many as 11 points in the first quarter on the strength of 58.3 percent shooting and 22 points in the paint. Dinwiddie kept the Nets afloat with 13 points in the frame, and the Rockets took a 32-27 lead into the second.
A 16-0 run gave the Nets a 43-35 lead with Harris and Curry combining for three 3-pointers during that stretch. Curry added a midrange jumper and Cameron Johnson another trey as Brooklyn pushed to a 48-37 lead before the Rockets rallied behind Green with a 17-6 surge.
Green tallied seven points to lead the comeback, and when Smith converted a second-chance basket with 48.2 seconds left in the half, Houston pulled even at 54-54. However, Bridges beat the buzzer with a 3-pointer and the Nets never looked back, pulling away at the start of the third.