Player grades: Mikal Bridges scores 34 in Nets’ 124-123 OT win over T’Wolves
The Brooklyn Nets visited Target Center on Friday to face the Minnesota Timberwolves and won 124-123. Brooklyn leads the regular-season series 1-0.
For the Nets, Mikal Bridges had 34 points and six rebounds while Spencer Dinwiddie had 29 points and 11 assists. Cameron Johnson had 15 points and Royce O’Neale had 12 points off the bench.
For the Timberwolves, Anthony Edwards had 32 points and six rebounds while Rudy Gobert had 26 points and 13 rebounds. Jaden McDaniels had 15 points and Kyle Anderson had 15 points.
In the first half, Minnesota started the game strong thanks to a strong Rudy Gobert. While Bridges and Curry were playing well for Brooklyn, no other Net came along to help with the scoring. Brooklyn also had trouble defending Edwards and Gobert.
In the second half, Brooklyn outplayed Minnesota on both ends of the floor until the end when the Timberwolves hit some timely buckets. Unfortunately, Nic Claxton fouled out in the fourth quarter, but it may have been a good thing for Brooklyn as Claxton didn’t look like himself for much of the night. Dinwiddie took over in the second half for the Nets and his play allowed Brooklyn to stay in the game until Minnesota’s Naz Reid hit a three to beat the buzzer and send the game into overtime.
In overtime, it was back and forth as expected as neither team gained an edge in the period. Dinwiddie continued his superb play by using his dribble to break down his defender to either score or find Mikal Bridges and Dorian Finney-Smith for clutch three-pointers. In a high-scoring game, Brooklyn made a great defensive play when it mattered.
Here are your Nets player grades:
Spencer Dinwiddie: B+
Dinwiddie did a good job shooting the ball in this one. He had a rough start to the game, but his offense picked up in the second half. He had his shot working from the three-point line and he had some explosive finishes at the rim once he concentrated on finishing at the rim as opposed to drawing contact. Dinwiddie spent a good amount of time complaining to the refs, but it didn’t stop him from being aggressive. He did a great job passing the ball as he was able to find his teammates for easy scores time and again.
Mikal Bridges: A
Bridges did a great job of scoring the ball in this game. He was swishing his patented mid-range jumper, but he was also nailing his shots from three-point land as well. Bridges has been incredible for the Nets ever since the trade and he looks to be a go-to scorer for the team. He did a good job helping to rebound as Brooklyn had its hands full with Rudy Gobert.
Cameron Johnson: B
Johnson did a great job of scoring the ball without taking a lot of shots. He did not take a lot of field-goal attempts, but he got to the free-throw line a lot and that helped him maintain an impact on the offensive end. Johnson did a great job rebounding and he gets extra credit for sticking with it in this game given how many times he got hit in the face.
Dorian Finney-Smith: C+
Finney-Smith had another tough shooting night in this one. He hasn’t been much of an offensive contributor for the Nets, but some of his shooting numbers have been awful to look at. He did a good job rebounding given his tough matchups with Kyle Anderson and Rudy Gobert.
Nic Claxton: B+
Claxton did a good job of scoring the ball in this one. He did not get many shots, but for the ones that he did get, he made sure that they counted. Despite being smaller than Rudy Gobert, Claxton did a good job of going at him, especially on the dribble. Claxton did a great job rebounding considering the matchup and he again had some sweet passes in this one when the defense collapsed on him. Claxton was also big defending the rim when he didn’t have to stay home on Gobert.
Cam Thomas: F
Thomas did not do much in this contest as he played just five minutes in the first half. He could not get anything going on the offensive end, but it was also not enough time to let himself get a rhythm. It’s clear that this game was meant for the starters given how competitive it was throughout.
Royce O'Neale: B+
O’Neale did not shoot particularly well in this one from inside the arc. His three-point shooting was crucial in this one as it helped open up Minnesota’s defense for some drives to the rim. O’Neale was a monster on the glass even while having to deal with Rudy Gobert on some possessions. He also did a great job of pushing the pace whenever he received the outlet pass and it helped generate some easy shots for Brooklyn.
Seth Curry: B-
Curry did a great job of scoring the ball in this one. He had his shot working from all over the floor, especially in the first half. Curry did not play as much in the second half as he didn’t bring enough to the table defensively to get extended minutes in the second half.
Joe Harris: F
Harris did not do much in this one as he also didn’t play much. Harris didn’t get much of a chance to show if his shot was on today, but it didn’t matter as Brooklyn’s offense picked up after the first quarter. Harris is not a strong defender so in a game like this, he wasn’t going to get much playing time.