The Washington Post
Ex-suns help Brooklyn burn Boston
Mikal Bridges scored 38 points, and the Brooklyn Nets overcame a 28-point deficit to stun the host Boston Celtics, 115-105, on Friday night.
Part of the trade that sent Kevin Durant to Phoenix, Bridges has scored 30 or more points in three of Brooklyn’s past six games. He also had 10 rebounds, playing nearly 43 minutes.
Fellow former Sun Cam Johnson added 20 points. Dorian Finney-smith finished with 17.
It is the largest comeback by a Boston opponent since the Los Angeles Clippers also rallied from 28 down to beat Boston, 123-112, at TD Garden on Feb. 9, 2019.
The Celtics have lost two of three and lost more ground on East-leading Milwaukee, which was idle Friday.
Jaylen Brown led Boston with 35 points. Jayson Tatum, who was celebrating his 25th birthday, added 22 points and 13 rebounds.
Boston led by 28 in the first half before being outscored 69-43 over the second and third quarters.
The Nets scored just 23 points in the first 16 minutes of the game, allowing Boston to go up 51-23 with 7:23 left in the first half.
It evaporated in a rash of pull-up jumpers and one-anddone possessions for the Celtics as Brooklyn mounted a 57-23 run to nudge in front 80-74 with 3:56 remaining in the third quarter. The lead was 106-90 early in the fourth.
During one wild sequence, the Nets secured four offensive rebounds and had five shots on a single possession before the Celtics were finally able to corral the ball, triggering a fast break and layup by Derrick White. It was one of the few highlights for Boston the rest of the way.
The Nets’ frantic rally also saw the Celtics lose big man Robert Williams for the night after he left early in the third with left hamstring tightness.
A three-pointer by Marcus Smart got Boston as close as 110-102 with just over four minutes to play. But Finney-smith answered with a three of his own on the Nets’ next possession.
The lead grew as high as 51-23 early in the second, but the Nets chipped it down to 64-55 at halftime.
• KNICKS 122, HEAT 120:
Julius Randle scored 43 points, the last of them on a go-ahead three-pointer with 1.7 seconds left, and New York extended its winning streak to eight games with a win over host Miami.
Randle was 16 for 25 from the floor, including 8 for 13 from three-point range. Jalen Brunson scored 25 points, Immanuel Quickley added 21 and RJ Barrett scored 17 for New York.
Jimmy Butler scored 33 points and Tyler Herro scored 29 for Miami, including a layup that put the Heat up by one with 23.1 seconds left.
But Randle came through with what became the game-winner on a play on which he lost the ball momentarily, sending Miami to its sixth loss in seven games. The Heat had one last possession but turned the ball over on the inbounds pass and never got a last shot off.
• SUNS 125, BULLS 104: Devin Booker scored 35 points and matched his career high with six threes, Kevin Durant added 20 points in his second game with Phoenix, and the Suns beat host Chicago.
Josh Okogie scored 25 and made five three-pointers, and the Suns withstood big efforts by Demar Derozan and Zach Lavine to win for the eighth time in 11 games.
Derozan led the Bulls with 31 points, and Lavine had 27.
• HAWKS 129, TRAIL BLAZERS 111: Dejounte Murray scored a career-high 41 points to help host Atlanta overcome Damian Lillard’s 33 points and give new coach Quin Snyder his first win with the Hawks.
Murray scored 15 points in the second quarter.
Trae Young took over with 15 points in the third quarter and finished with 23 points and 11 assists.
Snyder, the former Utah coach, agreed to a five-year deal as Atlanta’s coach Feb. 26, five days after the firing of Nate Mcmillan.
The Hawks lost to Washington, 119-116, on Tuesday night in Snyder’s debut.
Cam Reddish had 25 points and Jerami Grant had 14 for the Trail Blazers, who lost their third straight and fifth in six games.
• MAGIC 117, HORNETS 106: Paolo Banchero scored 31 points to help Orlando beat host Charlotte.
Cole Anthony had 16 points and Jalen Suggs added 15 off the bench for the Magic, which took three of four from the Hornets this season.
Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 29 points for Charlotte.
Before the game, Orlando announced that Jonathan Isaac’s comeback story was sidelined again by another season-ending injury, this time a torn adductor muscle.
Isaac had surgery Friday to repair the muscle and will miss the remainder of the regular season, the Magic said. He felt discomfort on his left side Tuesday after practice, and an MRI exam Wednesday showed the severity of the issue.
He played in 11 games this season after missing 21/ years 2 following a serious knee injury and other setbacks. And now he faces another period of recovery and rehabilitation.
The Magic did not release a timetable for Isaac’s potential return to basketball activities.
• THUNDER 130, JAZZ 103: Aaron Wiggins scored 27 points, and host Oklahoma City defeated Utah to snap a five-game losing streak.
The Thunder hadn’t won since Feb. 15 — its final game before the all-star break. The Thunder never trailed in this one.
Lauri Markkanen had 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Jazz.