Player grades: Mikal Bridges scores 26 as Nets lose to Clippers 125-114

The Brooklyn Nets visited Arena on Sunday to take on the Los Angeles Clippers and lost 125-114.

For the Nets, Mikal Bridges had 26 points, six rebounds, and five assists while Cam Thomas had 20 points and six assists off the bench. Spencer Dinwiddie had 16 points and Nic Claxton had 16 points.

For the Clippers, James Harden had 24 points and 10 assists while Russell Westbrook had 23 points, nine rebounds, and six assists off the bench. Kawhi Leonard had 21 points and Terance Mann had 13 points.

In the first half, it seemed like the Nets were going to run away with this one after starting the first quarter with a 16-0 run. However, after the Clippers put forth a massive run of their own to get back into the game, the game was closely contested until the second quarter when Brooklyn was able to create some cushion thanks to contributions from Mikal Bridges and Spencer Dinwiddie.

In the second half, the Nets continued their dominance from what they did in the first half until things changed in the fourth quarter. The game turned once there were less than six minutes left in the fourth quarter as the Clippers ended the game on a 22-0 run thanks to some great plays out of Harden and Leonard.

Here are your Nets player grades following Sunday’s loss:

Spencer Dinwiddie: B

Dinwiddie played well in this one as he was efficient from the field and from the three-point line, something that hasn’t been the case for him most of this season. It has been said multiple times throughout this season that Dinwiddie has had one of his least efficient seasons to date, but he on this road trip, he has been anything but inefficient on the offensive end. In addition, Dinwiddie did a great job of passing the basketball and his defense was solid in this contest.

Mikal Bridges: B+

Bridges was great in this one as he was effective from all over the floor and was providing scoring for the Nets ever since the opening tip. Bridges was getting wherever he wanted to on the floor and he had some impressive moves getting to the basket as well. Actually, Bridges had a good all-around game as he was active on the boards and he was making some good passes to his teammates as well.

Cam Johnson: C-

Johnson had a rough outing in this one as he could not get much to fall, especially from three-point range. His scoring isn’t only from three, but most of Johnson’s shot attempts/points come from three meaning that it is a significant part of his offensive impact. However, Johnson showed on a few possessions, mostly ones that didn’t count, that he can get to the basket even against good defenders and should lean into that more when he is struggling with his three-point shot.

Dorian Finney-Smith: D

Finney-Smith’s offense was nonexistent in this one as he couldn’t get anything to go from anywhere on the court. Granted, he did not shoot the ball much in this one, but that could have been part of the gameplan given how much he was struggling to contribute any scoring on the offensive end. Finney-Smith did a great job of rebounding the basketball, but other than that, he did not do much else for the Nets other than rebounding and playing some solid defense on Kawhi Leonard.

Nic Claxton: B+

Claxton played well in this one as he was lights out around the rim for the Nets whenever the ball came his way. While Claxton is capable of doing more things on the offensive end, he has shown that when he receives the ball in the dunker’s spot or on lobs, he is virtually unstoppable and indispensable for Brooklyn’s offense over the long-term. To his credit, Claxton did a good job of rebounding the basketball, passing, and protecting the rim, similar to what he has done for the throughout this season.

Cam Thomas: B+

Thomas played well in this one as he continued his efficient scoring from the field along with his improved playmaking prowess. He wasn’t particularly efficient from behind the three-point line, but he was effective everywhere else as he was taking plenty of the Clippers’ good defenders off the dribble for some easy buckets. Not only did Thomas bring some value with his scoring, but he also showed some of his playmaking chops after the Clippers started double-teaming him.

Dennis Smith Jr.: B

Smith played well in this contest as he was efficient on the offensive end of the floor as he was getting to the rim repeatedly and had some nice finishes over tough defenders like Paul George. Smith did a good job of playing his role of being an opportunistic scorer/passer along with being arguably the best defender on the team and did all of that with the energy that Nets fans have grown to love.

Royce O'Neale: D

O’Neale did not play his usual minutes as he couldn’t get anything going from beyond the three-point arc which is usually the sign that his offensive game won’t be so impactful. Other than that, O’Neale wasn’t able to make much else happen and that’s why he didn’t play down the stretch.

Trendon Watford: D

Watford had a solid performance in this one as he gave the Nets some kind of size to put out on the floor when Nic Claxton had to leave the game due to foul trouble. Watford competed hard, but he did not make of an impact for the Nets.

Lonnie Walker IV: B+

Walker played well in this one as he was lights out with his scoring and it was a continuation of how he played against the Lakers. When Walker comes into the game, he is always looking for his shot and when he is making his shots, he is invaluable off the bench. Walker did not play much in this one, but for the time that he was on the floor, he played well and with a lot of energy.

Story originally appeared on Nets Wire