Mikal Bridges (1) of the Brooklyn Nets drives against De'Andre...

Mikal Bridges (1) of the Brooklyn Nets drives against De'Andre Hunter (12) of the Atlanta Hawks prior to shooting what ends up being the game-winning basket during the fourth quarter at State Farm Arena on Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2023, in Atlanta. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images/TNS) Credit: TNS

ATLANTA — Mikal Bridges held one finger in the air as he walked to the Nets bench following the final buzzer Wednesday.

His go-ahead jump shot with 5.1 seconds left gave the Nets a 114-113 win over the Hawks at State Farm Arena. Not only did it avenge an overtime loss to the Hawks on Nov. 22, it was Bridges’ first win in Atlanta after six failed visits in his career.

Cam Johnson walked over and embraced him in a tight hug. He shared the court with Bridges for five of those losses and together, they could finally leave the city with a win.

“Took six years,” Bridges said. “Took me to get to the East so I guess that’s God’s way of telling me, ‘OK you can’t just play them once a year. You got to at least come here twice.’ ”

Bridges’ game-winner came after Trae Young gave the Hawks the lead on a three-pointer with 17.3 seconds left. As the crowd roared, the Nets (11-9) didn’t call timeout and Bridges drove to the top of the paint before making an 18-foot fadeaway jumper with De’Andre Hunter guarding him.

It capped a 32-point night by Bridges and his fourth consecutive game with at least 22 points. It was also the 43rd lead change of the game, setting an NBA record for the most in a game since play-by-play was first tracked in 1996-97

Bridges also guarded Young on the final sequence as he and Dennis Smith Jr. forced the Hawks (9-11) guard into an off-balance shot as the clock expired.

Bridges and Young entered the game tied for second in the NBA with 53 clutch points. With two baskets in the final 35 seconds, Bridges showed his growing comfort this season in delivering tough shots late in games.

“That’s it. Calm. Cool. Trusting the work. Getting to his spots,” said Johnson, who had 17 points.

“He’s getting to that little setback and it was working for him so he just went right back to it. Didn’t think twice about it and [got] the result we could ask for.”

Trailing 110-109, Bridges scored on an out-of-bounds play after Spencer Dinwiddie found him cutting to the rim. Dinwiddie later made one of two free throws to push the lead to 112-110.

Young, who had 30 points, gave the Hawks the lead again with a step-back 27-foot three-pointer.

Nets coach Jacque Vaughn chose to keep playing and Bridges had the ball in his hands to take the shot.

“I didn’t want them to set their defense and I didn’t want them to get their best defensive lineup in the game,” Vaughn said.

“So I put the ball in the hands of Mikal with trust. He got to a spot and we can live with the results.”

Since losing to the Hawks 147-145 in overtime, the Nets have won five of their last six games. It was the seventh consecutive meeting between the teams decided by single digits.

This time, neither team led by more four points from 4:12 in the third quarter to the end of regulation.

“I can literally remember saying to myself ‘We’re going to get this one.’,” Vaughn said. “And so that feels good, that I believe in our group that somehow we were going to figure it out.”

Dinwiddie shot just 5-for-19 but scored 11 of his 13 points in the fourth quarter. Smith, who missed the first meeting with a back injury, had 13 points off the bench.

The win was a collective effort but it also validated the Nets’ growing trust in Bridges late in games. Bridges said it helped him relax and have little worry when he took his final shot and could finally enjoy a win in Atlanta.

“When you have that feeling of everybody around you confident in you, you get that extra confidence in yourself,” Bridges said.

“So now I just appreciate I got them on my side and it gets me going.”

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