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NBA: Mikal Bridges helps Nets dump depleted Heat

Mikal Bridges Brooklyn Nets vs Heat NBA

Mikal Bridges shook off a slow start and scored 24 points as the Brooklyn Nets pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 112-97 victory over the short-handed Miami Heat on Saturday night in New York.

The Nets, who led most of the way, snapped a three-game losing streak and beat the Heat for the second time in three meetings this year.

Bridges missed his first five shots and finished 8-of-19 from the field three nights after tying a career best with 45 points at Atlanta.

Cameron Johnson added 19 and 10 rebounds and hit his first five shots to help the Nets seize control early on.

Dorian Finney-Smith contributed 16 while Spencer Dinwiddie finished with 14 points and 11 assists. Nic Claxton chipped in 13 points for the Nets, who shot 50 percent, hit 14s treys and led by as many as 21.

The Heat were without Bam Adebayo (hip) and also ruled out Jimmy Butler (ankle) about an hour before the opening tip. Miami also lost Haywood Highsmith early in the fourth when he injured his back on a collision with teammate Jamal Cain.

Caleb Martin scored a season-high 22 points off the bench and rookie Jaime Jaquez Jr. added 18 as Miami finished 2-3 on a five-game road trip. Miami also shot 43.7 percent and committed 17 turnovers for its second-highest total this year.

After racing out to a 12-point lead, the Nets were outscored 14-6 over the final 5:40 and settled for a 26-22 edge through the opening quarter. The Nets surged ahead in the final five-plus minutes of the second half and held a 63-53 lead by halftime.

Bridges scored 10 points in the third when the Nets held four 17-point leads and built a 90-76 edge into the fourth. The Nets never let the lead slip under 14 and finished it off when Bridges sank a 3 for a 106-85 advantage with 4:33 left.

--Field Level Media/Reuters