Efficiency has been one of Mikal Bridges’ calling cards for most of his career.
Of course, most of that came as a role player with the Suns. It’s taken him time to master that in a starring role. But in the Nets’ 124-97 win over the Wizards at Barclays Center on Friday night, Bridges continued his scoring streak while remaining accurate from the field.
Bridges had 21 points in 30 minutes, his fifth consecutive game with at least 20 points. He also shot 9-for-15 from the field, the sixth time in eight games he’s shot over 50%.
All of it came while sitting out the entire fourth quarter.
“Obviously, I was happy with my scores going up [last season], but I still didn’t like how much I was missing at times,” he said. “But that’s fine. It’s just knowing where I want to get to and continue to work throughout the season and getting that feel. Just more reps.”
The Nets (12-9) won their third consecutive game and are 6-1 in their last seven.
Bridges had plenty of help against the NBA’s worst-ranked defense. The Nets had 76 points in the paint, and each Net who played had at least seven points.
Day’Ron Sharpe had a season-high 15 points to go with 11 rebounds off the bench for his career-high third double-double of the season. Nic Claxton had a season-high 15 rebounds to go with 13 points.
It was the first time this season that both centers had a double-double in the same game.
“We got that chemistry together,” said Sharpe, who’s been Claxton’s teammate for three seasons. “Some things he sees out there, he’s telling me I need to do, I’m listening. Some things I see when I’m on the sidelines, he’s like, I got you. We just complement each other just like that.”
Said coach Jacque Vaughn: “I’ve been with them from the beginning and I get a chance to push them and want more for them. They want more for themselves.”
Spencer Dinwiddie had 14 points and nine assists and tied his career high with four steals. His final steal gave him a breakaway layup as the Nets finished with 22 fast-break points.
Cam Thomas had 10 of his 17 points and Bridges had nine in the Nets’ 40-point third quarter.
“We just hit him them in the mouth; they just backed off. So we just kept playing hard,” Sharpe said.
The Nets led by 19 points after three quarters and scored 76 points in the second half.
Maybe the only thing they didn’t do well was something they’ve thrived with all season. They shot 10-for-33 on three-pointers, their fewest made threes in a game since making nine in the season opener.
Despite being the NBA’s second-best three-point shooting team, the Nets shot 3-for-18 before halftime, including 1-for-10 in the second quarter. They fixed that in the third quarter, going 5-for-8 from outside the arc.
“[We] came out just more focused in what we wanted to get accomplished,” Vaughn said. “I think our activity level was higher in the second half. Ball started going in. Sometimes it’s just that simple, seeing the ball go in for you.”
The Wizards (3-18) missed their first nine three-point attempts and were 2-for-15 at halftime. They finished with 6-for-33 shooting from beyond the arc as they lost for the 13th time in 14 games.
With the game well in hand, Harry Giles III made his third appearance of the season with 4:57 remaining and scored a season-high eight points.