Mikal Bridges Excels in Brooklyn Nets Loss to Orlando Magic

The Brooklyn Nets continued their downward spiral with a 119-106 loss to the Orlando Magic, but their trade deadline acquisition continues to give them a reason for hope. Mikal Bridges compiled 44 points, six rebounds, one assists, one steal, and one block.

Bridges was ruthlessly efficient, hitting 13 of his 22 field goal attempts (including six of nine from three) and all 12 of his free throws. Amazingly, it was his ninth 30+ point game since joining the Nets in February. He has been on an absolute tear since leaving the Phoenix Suns, averaging 26.8 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game with an exceptional .635 true shooting percentage over his 20 appearances. He is proving to be the jewel of the trade package the Nets acquired in exchange for Kevin Durant.

Despite Bridges' promising play, the Nets are in freefall. They're 40-35 and remain seventh in the Eastern Conference, but they've lost 13 of 20 games since the trade deadline. They still have a realistic chance of making the play-in tournament, but they won't go far in the postseason. They're focusing on the future now and should be secure in the knowledge that they have a piece to build on in Bridges.

The Nets will be off until they host the Houston Rockets on Wednesday.  

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