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Mikal Bridges’ career-night fuels Nets past Heat 116-105

Bridges was clearly the best player on the floor in a game with Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo.

Miami Heat v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Well, the Miami Heat just got Mikal Bridges’d.

In the final game before the NBA All-Star break, the Brooklyn Nets pulled off the 116-105 victory over the Miami Heat on Wednesday evening behind Bridges’ career performance.

He tallied a career-high 45 points on 17-of-24 shooting en-route to their 11-point win, adding eight rebounds, five rebounds, two steals and two assists. He had a string of 15 straight points in the 4th quarter to put Brooklyn up nine with over four minutes left, never looking back.

The Heat, meanwhile, had five double figure scorers. Bam Adebayo had 24 points with 13 rebounds and six assists; Gabe Vincent had 21 points on 6-of-14 shooting and 3-of-9 from 3-point range. Max Strus had 18 points on 7-of-15 shooting.

Jimmy Butler had just 13 points with six dimes in 32 minutes while Caleb Martin had 13 points and seven boards. Duncan Robinson returned for the first time since Jan. 2 after missing 20 games with a finger injury. He played 23 minutes, finishing with six points, three rebounds and two assists — one being a lob to Adebayo!

Cam Thomas and his unwavered confidence added 19 points on 6-of-11 shooting with four assists and two rebounds. Cam Johnson had 18 points on 6-of-14 shooting with three assists in 34 minutes.

Neither team led by more than six heading into halftime, with Miami ahead 56-52. Both teams were struggling shooting the ball; Miami shot 45.5 percent — 33.3 percent (5-15) from deep — while Brooklyn shot just 44.7 percent, including 6-of-21 (28.6 percent) from distance. Bridges led all scorers with 17 points at halftime; Vincent led Heat scorers with 12 points.

The Heat and Nets toggle between leads for much of the third quarter. Back-to-back triples from Thomas and Harris gave Brooklyn a 73-72 advantage with 3:21 left. Miami trailed by three heading into the final period, but Robinson’s lob to Butler plus Adebayo’s two-handed slam put them back ahead by one.

Bridges eventually rattled off 15 consecutive points to give Brooklyn a 105-96 lead with 4:16 left — preemptively slamming the door shut on any late comeback attempt. Consequently, Miami’s loss now puts them a half-game behind the New York Knicks for the sixth-and-final non-play-in playoff slot in the Eastern Conference.