Nets player grades: Mikal Bridges drops 38 in 114-102 win over Hawks

NEW YORK — The Brooklyn Nets welcome the Atlanta Hawks to Barclays Center on Saturday for the fourth and final matchup between these teams this season and Brooklyn won 114-102.

For the Nets, Mikal Bridges had 38 points and five rebounds while Cam Johnson had 23 points and five rebounds. Dennis Schröder had 14 points and Nic Claxton had 12 points.

For the Hawks, Saddiq Bey had 23 points and three rebounds while Dejounte Murray had 20 points and 11 assists. De’Andre Hunter had 15 points off the bench and Bogdan Bogdanovic had 13 points.

In the first half, this game began like a reversal of roles as it was the Hawks who came out strong on both ends of the floor while the Nets were unable to get much going on either end in the early going. In the second quarter, it looked like the Nets recovered from the Hawks’ initial punch to win the period thanks to Mikal Bridges exploding for 15 points in the quarter.

In the second half, Brooklyn continued the turnaround that they began in the second quarter as they did not give Atlanta much daylight to make anything happen on the offensive end. Similar to Thursday, Atlanta waived the white flag in the middle of the fourth quarter after being able to make a run to get back into the game to make things interesting.

Here are your Nets player grades following Saturday’s win:

Dennis Schröder: B

Schröder had a game opposite of the one that he had against the Hawks on Thursday as he didn’t take many shots and for the few shots that he did take, he couldn’t buy a bucket. From the way the game started, it made sense that Schröder did not take many shots within the offense as Mikal Bridges and Cam Johnson did much of the scoring in the early going. Schröder did a good job of passing the ball so that he could still bring some value to the floor outside of scoring points.

Mikal Bridges: A+

Bridges broke out of his scoring slump in a big way as he started catching fire from three-point range in the second quarter. While Bridges had an efficient shooting game on Thursday against Atlanta, Saturday showed a Bridges who was efficient while pouring on the points like he was doing last season. Despite having some tough sledding in the paint with some of Atlanta’s frontcourt players, Bridges did a good job of rebounding the basketball and made some nice passes to boot.

Cam Johnson: A+

Johnson picked up where he left off against the Hawks as he resumed drilling three-point shots whether Atlanta left him open or not. Johnson’s greatest asset on the offensive end is his three-point shooting and with the way that he’s been shooting the ball lately, it should open up chances for him to drive to the rim as the season goes on. Aside from his overall scoring, Johnson also did a good job of rebounding the basketball against the Hawks’ athletic frontline.

Dorian Finney-Smith: B

Finney-Smith did not have the most explosive scoring game in this one, but he made some nice plays on the offensive end to keep the Hawks honest. Finney-Smith wasn’t able to get going from behind the three-point line, but he was able to drive past some closeouts and actually had an efficient time finishing at the rim despite the presence of Clint Capela. Finney-Smith did a good job of rebounding the ball and he had more than a few instances of setting his teammates up for buckets.

Nic Claxton: A+

Claxton was not too involved on the offensive end of the floor, but his impact was felt everywhere else on the floor. To his credit, Claxton was efficient with the few touches that he received, but this game showed why he is looking at a big pay day this summer. Claxton was great on the glass and he also showed how intimidating of a shot-blocker he can be when the chances are there and he’s engaged.

Lonnie Walker IV: D

Walker once again struggled with his shot as he just couldn’t get anything to fall no matter how open he was and what looks he got within Brooklyn’s offense. Coming into this contest, Walker shot just 37.5% from the field and after this outing, his field-goal percentage is sure to drop due to how much he has struggled overall on the offensive end. When Walker is struggling like he has been lately, it’s hard for him to make an impact coming off the bench given his role on the Nets.

Day'Ron Sharpe: B

Sharpe had a good performance coming off the bench for the Nets in this one as he provided some much-needed energy and physicality against how the Hawks were playing at certain points of this contest. He isn’t the most skilled big man in the league, but Sharpe has more skill than he shows on a nightly basis and he also does a good job of staying in his comfort zone. Sharpe did a good job of rebounding the basketball and he had some nice moments of protecting the rim and rejecting shots as well.

Jalen Wilson: C

Wilson saw some more minutes during this homestand and fresh off netting a three-year contract, he played some solid ball for the Nets in this one. Wilson has been doing a good job of staying within his role and not getting too far ahead of himself despite being able to do multiple things on the floor already as a rookie. Wilson’s impact in this game was on the glass and that is just one of the many areas that he can contribute when he is on the floor.

Dennis Smith Jr.: B

Smith had a good outing for the Nets in this one despite not being able to get much to fall on the offensive end. Smith couldn’t repeat what he did on Thursday from a scoring perspective, but he didn’t need to as he did a lot for the team with grabbing rebounds and setting up guys like Mikal Bridges and Cam Johnson with dimes on a regular basis. Smith was also impactful on the defensive end of the floor to show that he can still make a difference even when his shot isn’t falling.

Story originally appeared on Nets Wire