Mikal Bridges scored 26 points and dished out six assists to help the visiting Brooklyn Nets pull away from the Detroit Pistons 123-108 on Wednesday night.
Nic Claxton contributed 19 points and seven rebounds for Brooklyn, and Joe Harris supplied 18 points, all in the first quarter. Royce O’Neale supplied 15 points, eight assists and seven rebounds, Cameron Johnson added 15 points and Spencer Dinwiddie had 16 assists.
The Nets (44-36) extended their lead over the Miami Heat (42-37) for the sixth-best record in the Eastern Conference to one-and-a-half games with Brooklyn having two games to go. The sixth-place team will avoid the play-in tournament.
Detroit (16-64) lost its 11th straight game and fell for the 22nd time in 23 games. R.J. Hampton’s career-high 27 points led the Pistons, who were playing their home finale.
Jaden Ivey logged 23 points and 10 assists for the Pistons. Jalen Duren had 18 points and eight rebounds, James Wiseman scored 16 points and Cory Joseph added 12.
Harris made six of eight 3-point attempts in just seven minutes of first-quarter action as the Nets raced to a 47-34 lead. Brooklyn finished the period with a 29-9 run.
Detroit opened the second quarter with a 19-9 surge to cut Brooklyn’s lead to three. Ivey had nine points and three assists during that span.
Brooklyn scored the next eight points, including a pair of Johnson baskets. The Nets also finished the half with a 10-2 spurt for a 74-57 lead.
Dinwiddie didn’t make a field goal in the half but dished out half of the team’s 22 assists. Ivey led Detroit with 13 points and eight assists before the break.
Claxton’s three-point play with seven minutes left in the third quarter gave Brooklyn an 81-65 advantage. Hampton carried the Pistons back within striking range. He scored 14 points in the last three minutes of the quarter, sparking a 17-7 run to make it 96-90.
The Nets used a 7-0 spurt early in the fourth to establish an 11-point lead. From there, Detroit never got closer than six points.
Bridges dunked with four minutes left to make it 114-101, and Brooklyn increased the advantage to as much as 18 points.
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