Special to the AmNews
With 17 games remaining in the Brooklyn Nets’ regular season schedule and exactly one month left before NBA playoffs begin, the Nets are 37–28 and were the No. 6 seed in the East after a 118–96 road victory over the Houston Rockets on Tuesday night. It was their third win in a row after dropping the previous four.
The Nets are in Milwaukee tonight (Thursday) to play the Bucks and then will face the Timberwolves in Minnesota tomorrow and the Nuggets in Denver on Sunday. The Bucks are currently the No. 1 seed in the East and the Nuggets the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. The Timberwolves are at No. 7 in the West in a tightly contested race for the playoffs and Play-In Tournament. As of last night (Wednesday), the No. 6 seed Golden State Warriors (34-32) and the No. 10 seed New Orleans Pelicans (31-34) were separated by just 2.5 games in the standings.
The Nets’ recent surge has been fueled by forward Mikal Bridges, who came over to the team in the trade that sent Kevin Durant to the Phoenix Suns. Bridges scored 45 points versus the Miami Heat on February 15 in a 116–105 win; 30 or more in three of the last four games, including 30 against the Rockets; and 25 or more in all 10 games as a Net.
“My teammates just kind of (found) me,” Bridges said after pouring in 33 points to pace the Nets to a 102–86 win over the Charlotte Hornets at the Barclays Center on Sunday. “As I kept making shots, they just kept looking for me, Coach drawing up plays.”
After the Nets’ double-digit victory over the Rockets, Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn spoke about some of Bridges’s positive qualities.
“He is very unselfish,” Vaughn said. “He gives up his time, his knowledge in the locker room, during the games, so it’s really been a joy to be around and learn [about] him as an individual.”
The Nets end their five-game road trip versus the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday and return home to host the Sacramento Kings next Thursday.