It did not take long before Mikal Bridges showed why the Brooklyn Nets coveted him in the Kevin Durant trade.
Bridges made his best Durant impersonation Wednesday night, firing from all angles en route to a career-high 45 points as the Nets beat a depleted Miami Heat, 116-105, at Barclays Center.
The Heat were only trailing by one, 90-89, when Bridges single-handedly led the Nets’ breakaway with 15 straight points. Their lead ballooned to 105-96 then Spencer Dinwiddie and Cam Johnson joined the fun with back-to-back hits from downtown that ripped the game wide open.
Bridges punctuated the win with an exclamation dunk.
“I just had it going, and my teammates found me every time,” said Bridges, who added eight rebounds, five assists, two steals, and two blocks in a complete performance.
Bridges just became the second player in Nets history to have at least 45 points, five rebounds, five assists, multiple steals, and multiple blocks in a game. And the first player to have ever done it was the one he’s trying to replace — Kevin Durant.
“You traded a future Hall of Famer that averaged damn near 30 for his career, so I’m just trying to continue to get better and get to a point where I can score a little more,” Bridges said.
The huge win against the Heat, who did not have Tyler Herro, Kyle Lowry, and Victor Oladipo due to various injuries, has given the Nets (34-24) a two-game cushion over their across-the-borough rivals New York Knicks (33-27) heading into the All-Star break.
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