HOUSTON — The Nets confronted the last-place Rockets on Tuesday evening, and so they did precisely what a group heading for the playoffs is meant to do to a cellar dweller.

Mikal Bridges scored a game-high 30 factors and the Nets throttled Houston 118-96 for his or her third straight win, earlier than a crowd of 14,833 at Toyota Middle.

The rating was knotted at 54-all within the waning seconds of the second quarter when the Nets reeled off a 21-3 run that spanned halftime. That surge broke the tie — and broke the Rockets.

The Nets tightened the defensive screws, holding the Rockets to simply 1-for-10 taking pictures with three turnovers within the game-changing blitz.

“We’re staying collectively as a unit, as a group. Regardless of not all of us being right here for that lengthy, we simply received that camaraderie the place it’s us on the market. And all of us really feel it,” Bridges stated. “That’s the most important factor. Even after they go on runs. We’re all simply staying mellow and preparing for the subsequent possession. Simply staying collectively is the most important factor.”

For the primary time all season, the Nets (37-28) have received three straight video games by double digits. And Bridges is quick turning into the important thing.

Mikal Bridgets, who scored a game-high 30 factors, shoots over Kevin Porter Jr. through the Nets’ 118-96 win over the Rockets.

Bridges, who had 18 factors within the second half, is averaging 25.5 factors on .526/.481/.922 taking pictures splits since he was acquired within the commerce that despatched Kevin Durant to Phoenix. He’s the primary participant in NBA historical past to prime 25 on 50/40/90 splits in his first 10 video games with a brand new group.

“He’s an final competitor,” coach Jacque Vaughn stated. “I really like that piece about him.”

Bridges wasn’t alone.

Spencer Dinwiddie scored 23 factors and helped maintain Houston’s Kevin Porter Jr. to simply seven. Nic Claxton had a stellar evening with 18 factors on 8-for-9 taking pictures, 13 rebounds, 4 blocks and glorious protection each in switching and in drop protection.

After giving Houston’s younger, drive-happy group a parade to the rim within the first half, permitting 57.5 % taking pictures, the Nets packed the paint and held the Rockets to simply 30.2 % within the second half.

Spencer Dinwiddie, who scored 23 points, celebrates after hitting a 3-pointer during the Nets' win.
Spencer Dinwiddie, who scored 23 factors, celebrates after hitting a 3-pointer through the Nets’ win.

“Simply needed to lock in. Plenty of that’s on me, particularly with us being within the drop, simply paying attention, being prepared to guard the rim. Houston, they lead the league in rim makes an attempt, so going into the sport I knew that might be a factor I’ve to lock in,” stated Claxton, who’s getting used to taking part in within the drop to ease the transition of Bridges and Cam Johnson.

“It’s all part of the sport. If I say I wish to be a defensive participant of the yr, I want to have the ability to be efficient in any protection. So it’s one thing that I’m engaged on. And it’s going to be a piece in progress. However I’ve been doing good staying lively and defending the rim.”

Jalen Inexperienced had 25 factors to steer the Rockets (15-50).

The Nets stumbled out of the beginning blocks, trailing 12-2 and falling behind by as a lot as 23-12 with 4:51 left within the first quarter. They nonetheless had been down 35-27 after they modified the sport, reeling off 16 unanswered factors, principally from their bench. They by no means trailed once more.

New Net Nerlens Noel reaches to grab a rebound during Brooklyn's victory.
New Internet Nerlens Noel reaches to seize a rebound throughout Brooklyn’s victory.
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“That second quarter was an enormous difference-maker for us. That group [Johnson], Seth [Curry], Joe [Harris] was on the market, they actually shifted the momentum,” Vaughn stated. “Their capability to get stops and get out in transition and create tempo was enormous.”

Throughout that 16-0 run, they held Houston to 0-for-4 taking pictures with three turnovers because the Nets received out and ran. A Harris 3-pointer capped the run and gave the Nets a 43-35 lead with 8:07 remaining within the second quarter.

The Rockets managed to drag even at 54-all on a Jabari Smith Jr. put-back with 48.2 seconds left within the half. However that’s when the Nets put it away.

A Dinwiddie layup broke the tie and Johnson stole a nasty Alperen Sengun cross and located Bridges, who hit a 3 that simply beat the buzzer. Smith’s ensuing technical received the Nets off on the proper foot after the break, and so they scored the primary six factors popping out of the locker room.

Claxton capped the 21-3 spurt with a spotlight play, a steal and coast-to-coast dribble for a 75-57 lead with 6:49 left within the third. The Nets’ lead reached 22 within the fourth.

“We’re beginning to determine it out,” Claxton stated. “All of it begins on the defensive aspect of the ball.”