Nets win third straight, fail to advance in tournament

Nets win third straight, fail to advance in tournament

Mikal Bridges scored 22 points, including the tiebreaking three-point play with 4:15 remaining in the fourth quarter, as the Brooklyn Nets pulled away down the stretch for a 115-103 victory over the T

Mikal Bridges scored 22 points, including the tiebreaking three-point play with 4:15 remaining in the fourth quarter, as the Brooklyn Nets pulled away down the stretch for a 115-103 victory over the Toronto Raptors in the final game of group play in the NBA in-season tournament Tuesday night in New York.

Despite winning their third straight and finishing 3-1 in Group C, the Nets were eliminated from the tournament. Brooklyn, Orlando and Boston finished 3-1 but the Nets lost the second tiebreaker of point differential to the Celtics and Magic.

In a game that saw 14 lead changes and 15 ties, the Nets did not take the lead for good until Bridges surged through the lane for a short jumper and sank the free throw after being fouled by OG Anunoby.

Bridges then hit a corner 3 with 3:16 left for a 100-96 lead and Royce O’Neale hit a 3-pointer for a 106-100 edge with 1:55 to go. A layup by Cameron Johnson pushed the lead to eight with 68 seconds left and he hit two more free throws before Dorian Finney-Smith canned a 3 in the final minute to finish it.

Spencer Dinwiddie led the Nets with 23 points as the Nets shot 57.1 percent in the fourth and 44.9 percent for the game. O’Neale scored 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting from long range in the fourth, finishing the game with 18 points.

Johnson added 18 and Nic Claxton contributed 15 for Brooklyn.

Pascal Siakam and Scottie Barnes scored 17 apiece to lead the Raptors but the duo combined to shoot 11 of 37. Gary Trent Jr. added 15 and Dennis Schroder finished with 14 as the Raptors shot 38.6 percent and finished 1-3 in the tournament.

The Raptors ripped off 12 straight points for a 42-35 lead on Siakam’s three-point play with 4:19 left in the second and held a 44-37 lead about a minute later before the Nets scored the final 15 points of the half for a 52-44 lead at the break.

Brooklyn held an eight-point lead early in the third but never pulled away, allowing the Raptors to hang around and force the Nets to settle for a 76-75 lead going into the fourth. O’Neale hit 3s on consecutive possessions to put Brooklyn up 94-89 with 6:26 left but Trent’s jumper forged a 94-94 tie with 4 1/2 minutes left before Bridges started Brooklyn’s final push.