Mikal Bridges, Nets cruise past skidding Pistons

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 1 1/2 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.