Player grades: Mikal Bridges scores 26 as Nets lose to Heat in OT 96-95

NEW YORK — The Brooklyn Nets welcomed the Miami Heat to Barclays Center on Monday for a matchup on Martin Luther King Jr. Day and lost in overtime 96-95.

For the Nets, Mikal Bridges had 26 points, nine rebounds, and six assists while Cam Thomas had 23 points and three assists off the bench. Royce O’Neale had 15 points and Nic Claxton had nine points.

For the Heat, Jimmy Butler had 31 points and five rebounds while Tyler Herro had 29 points and 11 rebounds. Bam Adebayo had 11 points and Caleb Martin had nine points.

In the first half, it was the makings of a game that would not be appealing to the eye as neither team was good on the offensive end. Fortunately for the Nets, they appeared to be more rested than the Heat and their effort and energy on both ends allowed them to score some crucial points in transition.

In the second half, this game flipped on its head as Miami won the third quarter 37-24 on the backs of Butler and Herro combining for 26 points in the period to allow the Heat to steal the momentum. That made this game an intense one down the stretch as Brooklyn matched Miami’s energy and it came down to Butler missing one of his patented shots to force overtime.

In overtime, there were some crucial possessions where the Nets and the Heat had plays that could have gone either way and it took some reviews to sort out the madness happening on the court. Towards the end of overtime, it took a Butler foul that probably should have been challenged by Brooklyn head coach Jacque Vaughn given that the Nets had one challenge left. Bridges missed a decent look on the other way and took some contact along the way, but no foul was called.

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

Spencer Dinwiddie: F

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, Dinwiddie did not have one of his better offensive performances in this one. It’s unknown what is going on with him, but Dinwiddie has not shot the ball well at all this season and it’s starting to have a negative effect on the Nets’ offense. At this point, Dinwiddie isn’t trying to break down his matchup off the dribble anymore and is resorting to being a spot-up shooter instead of being the dynamic combo guard that he has been.

Mikal Bridges: A-

Bridges had a solid game on the offensive end despite the fact that he couldn’t find his touch from three-point range. He did a good job of getting to his sweet spots in the mid-range and had some strong finishes at the rim, but his three-point shot has been off this season compared to his career average. Unlike last season, Bridges’ games where he has put together his overall game in the same game have been few and far between. However, he was more active on the glass than he usually is and he showed some of what he can do on the defensive end when he’s engaged.

Cam Johnson: F

Johnson had a rough game shooting the ball as he couldn’t get much to go from behind the three-point line. To that point, he seems reluctant to use his dribble-drive more often even though he’s better at it than he gives himself credit for. With that being said, when Johnson’s shot isn’t going in, he has a hard time making an impact on that end of the floor and that showed in this contest.

Dorian Finney-Smith: C+

Finney-Smith had one of his tougher performances on the offensive end of the floor as he also couldn’t find his shot from three-point land. As has been said plenty of times before, when Finney-Smith is not hitting his threes, he doesn’t provide much else for the Nets on the offensive side of the ball. To his credit, he did a great job of rebounding the basketball and picked up some impressive blocks on the defensive end.

Nic Claxton: B

Claxton had a solid performance in this one as he made some good contributions on both ends of the floor. On offense, he did a good job of taking advantage of matchups against some of the smaller Heat players, but you would have liked to see him be more efficient at the rim. Claxton did a great job of rebounding the basketball and he played solid defense as he mostly held Bam Adebayo in check.

Cam Thomas: B-

Thomas had a solid performance in this one as he was one of the only players on the Nets who had anything going in terms of shooting the ball. Thomas did not shoot the ball well from three-point range, but he was effective shooting the ball in the mid-range and at the basket. There wasn’t much to criticize from Thomas’ game in this contest as he fulfilled his role as a scorer for Brooklyn when he was in the game.

Dennis Smith Jr.: B

Smith played well in his minutes off the bench as he brought what he is expected to bring every night which is energy, ball-handling, and some intense defense. Smith did a good job of picking his spots over the course of the game and he played within himself while making some nice plays on both ends of the floor for the Nets. He did a good job of organizing the offense, passing the ball, and he was great on the defensive end with his quick feet and active hands.

Royce O'Neale: B+

O’Neale had a good performance in this one as he was making enough of his three-point shots to remain a threat that the Heat had to keep track of on every possession. He did a good job of getting on the boards and giving effort towards rebounding the basketball and he showed some of his uncanny passing chops as well. O’Neale had one of his more well-rounded games this season for the Nets.

Lonnie Walker IV: D

Walker had a rough game in this one as he couldn’t get any of his shots to go as he played just nine minutes. Jacque Vaughn said prior to the game that Walker is still on a minutes restriction after missing so much time with his hamstring injury, but he did not play a lot in this one in what seemed to be for other reasons. Walker has looked like his usual self since his return, but it looks like Brooklyn is slowly working him back into the rotation.

Story originally appeared on Nets Wire